Birding and Fishing

I’ve long said that fishing and birding are quite similar. So, when Logan wanted to go fishing I volunteered to take him, even though I no longer fish, and haven’t done so for years. Logan told me that he would try to choose sites that had both fish and birds.

He even spotted my first two birds, this Double-Crested Cormorant

and this Kestrel.

Unfortunately, his first location didn’t have many birds or fish, so he directed me to a larger pond a few miles away where we both had a little more luck.

After seeing my first-ever Long-Tailed Grackle in Utah a few weeks before, I thought I had caught my second look at one. Turns out I was wrong. According to Merlin, this was a Common Grackle, another bird I rarely see living in the PNW.

This Pelican that we saw as we approached the lake was probably proof that there were fish to be caught.

The shot of the day, though, was this shot of a Swainson’s Hawk.

I thought the shot I’d captured of a Swainson’s Hawk flying overhead at Malheur a few weeks before was as good as I’d ever get, but this hawk refused to fly away even when I approached closer than I normally would. Considering it was perched just above a busy sidewalk, it appeared largely indifferent to humans.

Colorado Wild Flowers

I love to hike wherever I go, but I knew when we decided to hike above Boulder right after we arrived that I wasn’t going to be up to carrying my heavy birding equipment, not at that altitude and not at that temperature. So I carried my trusty Canon SX 60 HS, which I bought precisely for such hikes.

We saw a few birds but the 60HS is nearly impossible to focus on moving birds, so I didn’t manage to get any bird photos. Luckily, there were more than enough flowers to keep me busy. I’m definitely not as good at identifying flowers as I am at identifying birds, but a flower without a name seems just as beautiful as a flower with a name.

I’m always surprised by the wide variety of flowers I see in the Colorado Rockies. yellow flowers seemed to hold sway on this visit.

I’d never seen flowers quite like this, but they seemed to thrive in these hills.

They were quite different from this flower that looked like it would grow quite successfully in the Pacific Northwest.

I suspect I have seen these purple flowers in the Cascades,

but I’ve only seen flowers like these in the Mojave Desert.

We get to see Zoe’s Soccer Game

We had a hard time scheduling our Spring trip to visit the Colorado Websters for many, many reasons, not the least of which was our hectic Spring. We spent most the week after our long Oregon/Utah/California trip visiting with Leslie’s visitors from Santa Rosa. Two days before our trip we were told Zoe would be playing in a championship tournament on the weekend. We knew the only way we could see any of her games was by leaving early (5 AM) Saturday morning and about the same time from western Wyoming on Sunday. We did get there just in time to see her last game in 90º plus weather.

Although Zoe’s team won the game, Zoe didn’t score a goal in the game we saw. However, I did get lots of chances to photograph her in action: chasing the ball down

and booting it down the field.

Although her speed is probably her greatest asset, it certainly doesn’t hurt she’s not afraid to mix it up.

That combination of speed

and aggressiveness

makes her fun to watch. It was an exhausting two-day drive, but it was a small price to pay for seeing our granddaughter play.

Seabeck’s Great Blue Herons

Unlike most photographers, I don’t go to Big Beef Creek to get great Bald Eagle Shots — though I probably spend more time trying to capture shots of them than I do trying to capture shots of Great Blue Herons. Still, my favorite shots from Big Beef Creek and Seabeck are the shots of the Great Blue Herons floating by below me,

Great Blue Heron flyby

gracefully landing with outspread wings,

Great Blue Heron landing

or snatching fish from the water.

Great Blue Heron with fish

I’ve taken pictures of Great Blue Herons nearly fourteen years now, but my favorite shots are those taken at Seabeck. As it turns out, these three aren’t quite as good as ones I’ve taken there before.