Thursday, June 12, 2014

Prothonotary nest

A week or so ago despite a lengthy survey for Blue Grosbeaks, the "bird of the day" was a Painted Skimmer.  A couple days ago on a 10 mile canoe float down the St Joe river looking for dragonflies struck out almost entirely, but had Prothonotaries every 1/2 - 3/4 mile.  We happened upon one nest which I returned to this morning.

It was foggy, overcast, cold and followed 2 days of rain which wasn't really ideal for lighting or kayaking upstream.  It was the morning I had though, so it was the morning I went.  Workers can't be choosers.  Both male and female were attending the nest, which I reached after about an hour of paddling. 

This is the female

They pretty much ignored me standing on the opposite side of a channel, I think they categorized me in the Morbidly Obese Heron category.

I stayed back which allowed me to take some pics of the birds as they flew up.  They would land somewhat sideways for whatever reason.  I tried to keep the birds in their exact position in the frame on these montages; they look cramped but it shows the wingbeats.

Inchworms seemed to be the main menu item, though the male ate a damselfly at one point.

I was surprised how much they foraged right around the nest (that's how we spotted it in the first place); I don't think I've seen any other passerines that active right in its vicinity, though the narrow band of habitat along the river's edge is probably the reason.

Finally, this one could be a caption contest.

I'd be tempted to go back with a scope to digi-scope the birds and get much more full frame shots; all of these are cropped more than I'd like.

No comments: