February 12, 2016 Salineno Birding Area, Texas

Great Kiskadee
Great Kiskadee

Salineno Portrait Session

Yesterday I lugged my 600mm lens over to the birding yard for a portrait session with some of our colorful birds. The 600mm is actually too much lens for the normal flight action I have been shooting for the past couple of months, as I have been able to lure the birds in very close for these shots. But recently I added a large, as in seven foot tall, piece of old gnarled driftwood I found in the river, and planted it in the center of the yard only twenty feet from where our visitors sit to view the show.

This piece of driftwood has all kinds of nooks and crannies to hide our peanut butter/lard/cornmeal mix and thus has proven to be well received by our feathered friends and much appreciated by our visitors. It also has proven to be a great prop for taking some close, as in full frame, shots of our birds.

Audubon and Altamira Oriole Dispute
Audubon and Altamira Oriole Dispute
Audubon and Altamira Oriole Dispute
Audubon and Altamira Oriole Dispute
Audubon and Altamira Oriole Dispute Resolved
Audubon and Altamira Oriole Dispute Resolved

But before i get to the portraits, the above sequence of shots is of an Audubon Oriole defending it’s position on another of the props I have set up in the yard. These action shots are what make my day nowadays, and what I will be concentrating on in the remaining time I have here in Salineno. The Altamira is a much larger bird and is actually the bully in the yard, but this one Audubon tends to stand his ground with almost anyone trying to force him out.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

Now for the portraits, a male Northern Cardinal …

Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal

… his female counterpart …

Altamira Oriole
Altamira Oriole
Altamira Oriole
Altamira Oriole

… an Altamira Oriole, the largest of all the orioles and quite colorful also …

Audubon Oriole
Audubon Oriole
Audubon Oriole
Audubon Oriole

… the Audubon Oriole, under most lighting conditions, the most difficult bird to photograph here, it’s black head making it very hard to show any life in it’s dark eyes most of the time …

Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker

… one of my all time favorite birds, the male Golden-fronted Woodpecker. This is one bird I am still trying to catch in flight after more than three and a half months of trying …

Green Jay
Green Jay

… the spectacular, but very common here, Green jay …

Long-billed Thrasher
Long-billed Thrasher
Long-billed Thrasher
Long-billed Thrasher

… the Long-billed Thrasher …

Bewick's Wren
Bewick’s Wren

… the petite Bewick’s Wren …

Olive Sparrow After Bath
Olive Sparrow After Bath

… and lastly, a wet version of the Olive Sparrow, just emerging from it’s bath.

Perfect Camo, Northern Bobwhite
Perfect Camo, Northern Bobwhite

Then just one more shot, one of our regular visitors that never uses any of the props I set up in the yard, the Northern Bobwhite ( quail ), a bird well camouflaged in this setting.

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