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28 March 2009 @ 03:47 pm
It's been a while since I actually went out to photograph birds and wildlife. I just realized how long I have been away from the bird books when I came across regulars and I was struggling to get their name right. I also realized how much I had been missing it. I spent the whole morning walking around and shooting anything I could spot and get close enough. I would probably still be lurking on those trails if I hadn't run out of camera batteries.

It all started because of news of Eared Grebes in breeding plumage. These birds breed up near the Arctics and winter around these parts. During winter, they have a comparatively dull black-and-white plumage. Turns out that some birds have assumed their breeding plumage before they start their long migration and I just had to go check them out. The other option is to go to Alaska or some place far north during late spring and summer. Driving 10 minutes is perhaps a simpler option for now?

Plumage comparison! Guess which one's in breeding plumage...

Barn Swallow

Canada Geese

Geese are bold. They can bite too! And they are very strong...

Canvasback male and female

A Cliff Swallow. In a few weeks, this place is going to have a nest built of clay... it's Spring!

A Coot. They were everywhere. They always are.

Greater Yellowlegs

If they called the one above Yellow Legs, then they should have called this on Graylegs. But Willet it shall be


A California Towhee having breakfast

Surf Scoter. Doesn't this look like he's got his mouth wide open? :))

... a side view

A Desert Cottontail! Note: As premium bird feed, this photograph qualifies to be under a post titled "Birds!"

Golden-crowned Sparrow

House Finch

Anna's Hummingbird

Drinking and driving flying!

Has her own orchestra too...

Pied-billed Grebe

Horned Grebe assuming breeding plumage

Eared Grebe. Aren't they beautiful?

They're practicing their rituals too...

"Nice hairdo!"
"You too!"
"Hey, shouldn't we going off to Alaska now?"
"No. Let's hang around here for a bit longer. I hear they are having issues with a volcano."
"Oh Boy. That sure is going to disrupt air traffic."

kruthikruthi on March 28th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
Very very beautiful :)
Yathinyathin on March 29th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
Thanks. It was just an awesome spring day in California.
dr_koolaimzzdakini_bones on March 29th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
Origa: Heronoriga on March 29th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
Fabulous photos!
It's been a while since you posted photos of birds and such, and it's great to see this wonderful set! You inspired these haiku:

Hibiscus --
a hummingbird
drinking and flying!

the hummingbird conducts
a hidden band

the Eared Grebes
in breeding plumage
behind the dam

breeding time --
a Eared Grebe looks askance
with its red eye

show haut couture
horned Grebe assuming
breeding plumage

Thanks! :)
Yathinyathin on March 29th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
Re: Fabulous photos!
Wow. That is AWESOME. Thanks! :-)
Re: Fabulous photos! - origa on March 29th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Yathinyathin on March 29th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
yeah, it's been a really really long time since I went out bird photographing.
Margaretrivendweller on March 29th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
I love it! The clarity is amazing, Yathin. Good job.
Yathinyathin on March 30th, 2009 02:54 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was awesome fun walking those trails after a really, really long time!
purely_narcoticpurely_narcotic on March 29th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
The geese bite! Haha, experience speaketh eh?

Nice pics, Yathin. I loved the one with the perfect reflection.
Yathinyathin on March 30th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Experience speaketh! Of course!
Sajith T Ssajith on March 29th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
Good to be in California, I guess?
Yathinyathin on March 30th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Spring's a nice time everywhere! :-)
kejnkejn on March 29th, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
finally! we were starving here!!! :-)

awesome pics!
Yathinyathin on March 30th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
IdahoSwedeidahoswede on March 29th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
All excellent as usual, but those hummingbird photos really stand out.
Yathinyathin on March 30th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
The Anna's hummingbirds are surprisingly bold out here!
mamtanaidumamtanaidu on March 29th, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
Superb set!!!!!!
Bushtit is so cute.........
Yathinyathin on March 30th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
It's such a tiny bird that you'll think it's a moth or something from far.
Aparna: Myselfinspirethoughts on March 30th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
I was wondering abt that too...you had not posted abt animals and birds and nature in a while. Good to see a beautiful post after a long time.

Bushtit? Is it really called by that name...LOL!

Surf Scoter looks like Daffy Duck to me. Is Daffy Duck based on this bird? I wonder.

Drinking and Flying pic is the most amazing one. :) and the conv at the end is really cute! :)
Yathinyathin on March 30th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC)

Surf Scoter sure looks like Daffy Duck and comical too!
(no subject) - inspirethoughts on March 30th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deponti on March 31st, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - inspirethoughts on March 31st, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Subodhsubodhs on March 30th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
On the topic of birds
Beautiful pictures! Although when you said "birds" I interpreted "Bird watching" as in - "s/Bird Watching/brigade road" lol
Yathinyathin on March 31st, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Re: On the topic of birds
Well, such confusion has happened a lot of times before! ;)
blueaquanblueaquan on March 31st, 2009 10:15 am (UTC)
Fantastic | Request info on your Camera
Hi Yathin
Fantastic, Fantastic photographs. I wonder what are you? A Naturalist? A Computer Engineer? Or a Photographer? Hey, by the way, could you please let us know details about your Camera and Lens please...

Yathinyathin on March 31st, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Fantastic | Request info on your Camera
Professionally an Engineer and an amateur photographer and nature enthusiast!

Here's the list of camera and lenses I use these days:
Nikon D300
NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX
NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S DX
NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D AF
NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED AF-S
AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II
AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E II
Re: Fantastic | Request info on your Camera - deponti on March 31st, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
depontideponti on March 31st, 2009 11:29 am (UTC)
Beautiful birds,
But my words
Will talk of your photographs...
Superb images, these,
of hummingbirds and geese.
Alas, the word "bushtit"
I read as "bullshit"..
That gave rise to quite a few laughs!

Thanks, Y, for bringing us out of the Lent of wildlife photographs from you, to the Easter festival!
Yathinyathin on March 31st, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And yeah, a lot of birds have hilarious names... :-)
(no subject) - deponti on March 31st, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yathin on April 1st, 2009 12:08 am (UTC) (Expand)