Yesterday I spent some time at a northern Colorado lake enjoying the crisp morning and a notable lack of wind (folks on the Front Range know how welcome this was). This beautiful summertime visitor to the Centennial State gave me a picture perfect flyby just as the sun was cresting over the horizon, illuminating it beautifully
Who knew these guys were into watersports? 😉
Kind of a fun capture from a couple of weeks ago as this American white pelican landed straight toward me. As it did, it extended its legs and used its feet to help slow it down before settling onto the water for a swim. Kind of a bummer that the sun was behind the bird making for tough shooting conditions but not too bad of a capture.
American white pelicans are some of the first migratory birds to return to the Colorado Front Range in the spring. Their arrival is a sure sign of the changing of the seasons.
On Thursday, I saw some but they were too far off to do anything with. Yesterday after work, I found a couple dozen of them hanging out at a local pond. They provided a couple of hours’ worth of fun photo ops as they swam, flew and fished.
These guys are just gorgeous – and massive. They are also my wife’s favorite so when I see them, I am required to photograph them or I will hear about it. 😉
Nothing much exciting happening in this image but a trio of pelicans just taking it easy this past weekend. Because they are pelicans, my wife’s favorite bird, I am compelled to share the image or I might catch an earful.
Well, this was one big bird with a bit of attitude.
I was tracking it across the sky as it approached and, suddenly, it takes a sharp turn and begins plunging toward the water. Its target? A western grebe that was hanging out quietly in the middle of the pond.
The grebe saw the pelican coming and after sounding an alarm, dived out of the way at the last minute. Once the pelican settled on the water, it swam toward the grebe who clearly knew it was no match for the bigger bird and moved on to a different spot of the pond.
I don’t know if the pelican thought the grebe was a fish or perhaps just has a thing against waterfowl but it was clearly targeting the much smaller bird. Kind of a fun bit of action although my angle wasn’t exactly ideal. Be sure to check out the entire sequence of images.
Sometimes I come across a scene and think, wow, that looks pretty cool. Such was the case with this image.
I was out on a trail, hoping to find something worth photographing. The skies were a dingy gray somewhat dampening my enthusiasm and hopes to find anything. On a pond, these two American white pelicans were perched on an old, crusty piece of concrete.
The water was the same color as the gray skies above, creating a virtually blank slate surrounding the birds on their perch, other than their reflections in the water below. Unfortunately, there was just enough of a hint of a breeze to keep the reflection from being perfect but I still find myself really liking this image.
While the images aren’t anything extraordinary, it was kind of a fun thing to see. As I was hanging out at a local pond, I noticed an American white pelican about to land. Following it, a smaller, white bird. This struck me as quite unusual so I continued to track the pair as they circled and landed.
The smaller bird was a snow goose and it seemed to have decided to hang out with the pelican for the day. Snow geese only come to Colorado during migration so it likely soon left for areas north but it was neat to see this odd couple together.
Well, this was a crazy scene I witnessed yesterday. After receiving my second dose of the COVID vaccine (Moderna), I decided to go for a walk around a local open space. There, I came across this very odd gathering of birds.
In the corner of the pond there were 30+ pelicans, 10+ great blue herons, a few cormorants and even a great egret – all gathered together in a very small area.
Seeing that many pelicans in one area isn’t unusual as they fish in groups. However, great blue herons don’t usually hang out together unless nesting and usually aren’t inclined to tolerate other creatures. I don’t know, but I am guessing a bunch of fish had gathered in the area and everyone was having a feast; that is the only thing that would seem to make sense.
It was definitely something I haven’t witnessed before. It didn’t last long as soon after I started photographing, someone came along the path and that was enough to scare them off resulting in this crazy cacophony of activity. You can see each of the birds I mentioned if you look close.
I’ve been on the lookout for these guys as they return for the summer and managed to find some this past weekend. Unfortunately they didn’t want to come particularly close and the pics aren’t extraordinary but as they are my wife’s favorites, I am obligated to share them. 😀 No doubt many more opportunities await in the months to come.
A shot from last weekend of my wife’s favorite bird. There were a few of these hanging out at the ponds of St. Vrain State Park, Colorado that were willing to give me some nice captures. It won’t be long and most of them will be heading south. With the heat we have been having though, they certainly have no reason to rush out of town.