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2012 Photo Shoot Day #2: Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary (Jan 2)

January 5, 2012
Northern Cardinal

© jmillerphoto.com - Northern Cardinal (female)

So with January 2nd this year being the legal holiday for New Year’s Day, I found myself with a day off and my offspring at school.  I wanted to make some images but I didn’t want to go very far so I wandered back up to Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary.  My visit the previous Saturday was very rewarding photographically and I wanted to see if I was going to get lucky again.

The weather was a little cooler than it was on my Saturday visit, but the birds didn’t seem to mind.  And I didn’t mind, either.  As they say it is mind over matter: If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

I spent part of the morning seeing if my pop-up blind would be of benefit with making images of the birds.  I got mixed results.  Part of it was that I couldn’t get there early enough to allow the birds to get used to the blind being in an established area.  And part of it was there just was too much sun where I was at.  And part of it was that I lacked the patience to sit long enough for things to progress.  I quickly folded up the blind after about a half hour and shot out in the open.

Black-crested Titmouse

© jmillerphoto.com - Black-crested Titmouse

It was a good day of shooting with about 450 images on the card.  I had a life list add of a Common Ground-Dove, bringing my 2012 total of life list adds to 3.  I also saw both of my previous life list adds seen on New Year’s Eve (Greater Yellowlegs and Long-billed Thrasher) so I can say my integrity of 2012 adds to the bird list has been restored.  18 total species were seen on the day, bringing the nominal total for the year up to 24.

I did notice with some fascination the number of birds that I made images of that had been caught by bird banders and were marked with pretty metal bracelets around one of their legs.  The majority of these birds were male Northern Cardinals.  Northern Cardinals present a special problem for bird banders because their beaks are so strong and they are so stubborn.  If memory serves, their bands have to be stainless steel.  Most other birds can be banded with much lighter materials.

There are things that I would like to do differently the next time I am out there.  I’d definitely like to be there in mid to late afternoon so I can see how the light is different in a couple of the spots after the sun has moved to its downward trajectory.  I’m also hoping for some more rain out here so that the ponds once again fill and the dragonflies have a fighting chance this summer.

I’m very much looking forward to getting back up to Warbler Woods.  It is an outstanding way to spend a morning.

About the Images:
I had to be equal opportunity when it came to the Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), especially when there were so many specimens out there and they were posing so nicely for me.  This lady Cardinal, I am told, is one that makes the rounds often and is partially leucistic, or deficient in pigment.  The Black-crested Titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus) was unusually cooperative in the series of 16 shots that this one is taken from.  Normally they have all the patience of a ferret on a double espresso.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2012 10:22 am

    Interesting post, Jim. Warbler Woods sounds like a great place to shoot.

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