Peeks of sun

The sun came out for about 10 min today, so I hustled out to the backyard to see if I could get photos of the green heron pair that have taken up residence on one of the ponds.

I got distracted by two Common Yellowthroat warblers having a sing-off, quite close to each other.  Surely, I could get a photo of at least one of them.  Here’s where I found one of the singers.

Can you see him -- middle of the picture?  That was with 400 mm telephoto!

Can you see him — middle of the picture? That was with 400 mm telephoto!  He is across the pond from me and at the top of a tall oak tree.

With digital zoom -- good enough to tell what the bird is, but not to put on your wall.

With digital zoom — good enough to tell what the bird is, but not good enough to mount on your wall.

So I followed the sound of the second bird and found him in the willows on the edge of the pond, nicely obscured by leaves, singing his little heart out trying to drown out the other bird.  It was interesting to listen to the way the birds tried to over-sing each other.  When one started his song, the other one would immediately start up, so you got the song in stereo.

Waiting for the opportune moment when he broke free of all the willow branches and leaves, I got him.

The black mask and yellow throat are the key features of the Common Yellowthroat warbler.

The black mask, white eyebrow, and yellow throat are the key features of the Common Yellowthroat warbler.

The song sounds like, "whichity - whicity" or "which is it, which is it" or some variation of that.

The song sounds like, “whichety – whichety – whichety” or “which is it, which is it” or some variation of that.

common yellowthroat

And then the sun that was lighting up that brilliant yellow throat went behind the clouds, and the photo shoot was over.

And then the sun that was lighting up that brilliant yellow throat went behind the clouds, and the photo shoot was over.

As it turns out, the pair of Green Herons was only about 20 feet from where the Yellowthroat was singing, and by creeping up on him, I scared them off.  Oh well, next time.

10 thoughts on “Peeks of sun

  1. All I ever see of green herons is their tail feathers as they fly away. I’m glad the wrbler came out of the tree-I couldn’t see him at all in the first photo. I like that last shot-it looks like it was painted.

    • I usually see the heron just as it takes off, but sometimes I get to a spot before it does, and then it just takes time to get into the right position.

    • I was so lucky to get that one shot, because the bird insisted on singing either in the middle of the willow or on the far edge away from me. I got a lot of butt shots.

  2. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing all this beauty that is around us. Keep looking for the green heron pair. Maryann

    • Photographing them has gotten difficult now that the trees are fully leafed out (e.g., the first bird), but the second bird was amazingly cooperative. My challenge is trying to find them in the foliage, even when I can clearly hear them there.

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