My, What Big Eyes You Have

Even on a slow day, I can usually manage a picture or two that I like from a day’s walk at Theler. Considering how many Osprey I’ve seen this year, it seems appropriate on a recent visit that I got this shot of the resident flying overhead with a sole in its talons.

It was even considerate enough to wait for us on our return to the car

and seemed more than willing to pose for us.

I don’t think I’ve ever got a straight-on shot of an Osprey before. The size of those eyes must explain why it is so successful at spotting fish while hovering high in the sky.

When Birding is Slow

These are definitely the summer doldrums as far as local birding goes, but curiosity and habit bring me back to Theler Wetlands weekly unless we are out-of-town. With fewer birds to be seen my attention often turns to flowers like these delicate purple flowers that flourish in the shade

or this Columbine that seems to prefer direct sunshine.

Occasionally I’m lucky enough to get a shot of the juveniles that are keeping their parents busy gathering food.

It’s even rarer to see a curious fawn.

No matter what we see, though, it’s a great way to get some exercise.

Backyard Visitors

After nearly two and a half months of “vacation,” I was more than ready to return to the comforts of “home.” It was especially nice to reap the rewards of last summer’s hard work and just rest in our newly-landscaped backyard.

The bees, butterflies, and birds seem to enjoy our new garden almost as much as we did. Though the bees seemed to enjoy the new plantings more than our other visitors, we were rewarded by sightings of several birds we haven’t seen in our yard for years.

Small flocks of American Goldfinches frequented our plum tree.

A rarely seen female Black-Headed Grosbeak

joined flocks of Purple Finches, Tree Swallows, Song Sparrows, Stellar Jays, etc.

Nevertheless, the Anna

and Rufous Hummingbirds

continued as headliners of our backyard show.

Frequent backyard visitors, supplemented by weekly walks at Theler Wetlands, repressed the urge to hit the road to distant birding sites. Luckily, Fall Migration has begun at the beach just as our backyard visitors have seemed to thin out.

A Disappointing Ending

Our wonderful trip to Colorado ended on a bit of a sour note. We had arranged to spend the night right outside of Yellowstone and then spend a day in the park. Our stay in Dubois was surprisingly pleasant. We got in early enough to visit several of the art galleries in town and enjoyed talking to the staff in all of them, as well as enjoying seeing art I couldn’t afford.

We headed out for Yellowstone by way of the Grand Tetons very early the next morning. Unfortunately, the heavy cloud cover made it impossible to see the Tetons, much less get a shot of them. By the time we got to the Yellowstone entrance there was a considerable backup and we waited well over a half hour to get in. Unfortunately, that long delay was just an indicator of how many people were in the park, and I can’t help but think that so many people pushed the animals further away than usual.

We did see elk and bison, but they were so far away that even my telephoto lens couldn’t manage a decent shot.

Since we didn’t spend as much time in the park as we had anticipated we decided to spend the night outside Boise and explore the Birds Of Prey area where our friend John had wonderful luck a few weeks before. We didn’t get skunked but the only decent shot I got was this one of a Horned Lark,

not hardly a bird of prey.