LBB’s ( Little Brown Birds ) at the LTVA
It has been a long time since I have done a bird post, but the last two days I finally got out and did a little bird photography. When I first arrived here at Imperial Dam, I was greeted by a small flock of Gambel’s Quail right in front of my motorhome. So, I set up my platform feeder and spread some scratch feed on the ground where I could keep an eye on it from the front windshield, as seen in the image above.
Well, for a week I did not see a single bird take advantage of this free food. Then, slowly they began to show up, first just a couple house finches, then some sparrows, and finally the quail returned.
All pretty much just LLB’s, but since there were a couple I did not immediately recognize, and since quail are some of my favorite birds to shoot, I finally made myself drag out the camp chair and the tripod and semi concealed myself against the side of the motorhome and shot these images, all taken with a 600mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter attached.
The Chipping Sparrow and the White-crowned Sparrow, I was familiar with, and have shot before.
Same with this Mourning Dove, a rare single dove, I never saw another one show up..
But the Albert’s Towhee …
… and the Sagebrush Sparrow sent me to my Sibley Birds guide to identify.
Both, though not rare, were firsts for me.
As is most often the case in the desert, most numerous of all that showed up were the House Finches.
Initially, I tended to overlook them, but upon closer examination, I became quite fascinated with the color variations in the males.
While most of them were not that brightly colored, there were several males that really stood out. There were two in the flock that sported quite a bit of yellow.
My perch on a small gravel hill here overlooking some wetlands provided a wonderful out of focus background for these images.
It took a while, but the Gambel’s Quail finally showed up in numbers, probably a couple of different flocks, one numbering eight individuals and a second group probably between fifteen to twenty birds. Both groups were coming in several times a day, but were extremely skittish. At one point, I had to go in the motorhome and put up a barricade to keep Sam from jumping up on the dashboard ( her favorite lookout position ), since every time I heard her up there the quail would hightail it out of the feeding area.
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