Odds and Ends

Just thought I would post up a few individual photos of some fairly uncommon birds we have seen over the past week.

This Black-necked Stilt was performing it’s stilt act in the marsh pond Friday evening. I really like the stilts bubble gum pink legs and their bobble heads as they march about picking for aquatic insects.

The Clapper Rails are shy, nervous, and reclusive birds that are often heard but rarely seen out in the open. These rails are sometimes referred to as “marsh hens”due to their almost chicken like appearance. I saw these two swim across a small portion of water in the salt marsh and then climb up into the safety of the dried reeds along the edge. I suspect it could be a mated pair.

I heard this Common Loon before I saw it floating by along the salt marsh. The loons have an eerie yodeling or laughing wail that can almost send chills up your spine especially at night.

I spotted this male Painted Bunting in among some scrub pines near the marsh. The painted bunting is the most colorful North American songbird and has also been called a flying rainbow. You may notice this one has been banded. There is a banding program in place to help keep track and count of these birds which are considered a species of serious concern due mostly to loss of habitat from clear cutting woodland areas for development. We actually witnessed the banding process last summer and it was quite interesting. Each bird gets two different colored bands on both legs. The color and placement signify location and year, and are used to identify individual birds. 

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

Clapper Rails

Clapper Rails

Common Loon

Common Loon

Male Painted Bunting

Male Painted Bunting

63 thoughts on “Odds and Ends

    • Thanks so much Adrian and I’m very happy you especially like the rails. I only had a chance to get a few frames of the pair before they scurried off. I got some singles, but I also really liked these two together.

  1. Beautiful, Phil. Your Painted Bunting is gorgeous— I see them here so rarely and they are incredible. Your Black-necked Stilt and its reflection is terrific. Thanks!

    • Thanks so much Jane, I was very happy to see the stilt. When I first saw it the bird was completely backlit but within seconds it flew to the other side where I had a chance to get just a few frames on it with decent lighting before it took off. I just missed the flight shot because I was looking down at the camera to adjust settings for a potential flight.

    • I was a bit surprised they got so close, I know they saw me but they only wanted to continue on heading to the marsh pond so they ended up kind of ignoring me. First time I saw a pair together like that too.

  2. They’re all simply beautiful, but the stilt is my favorite. It’s the fashion accessory pink legs that do it for me! The reflection ain’t bad either. 😀 The bunting looks like it belongs in the tropics.

  3. I’ve just been astonished by the number of bloggers around here (SE TX to central LA) reporting scads of colorful songbirds the past couple of weeks: scarlet tanagers, warblers of all sorts, orioles, indigo buntings, and of course the painted buntings. There’s a blogger close to me who has a flock of the darned things! With no cover for them, I’m stuck with the herons and such, but it’s so good to know they’re out and about.

    I got to see stilts this winter at the Anahuac wildlife refuge. They’re wonderful birds. And I saw a loon,once. (Well, I’ve known a lot of loons, actually, but just one was a bird.)

  4. I misread your post and thought it said black-legged not black-necked, and thought but their legs are pink!

    And the colours of the bunting are just surreal, definitely every colour of the rainbow.

    My chickens don’t look like clappers. I love the way the loon is drifting peacefully down the water. S/he looks so tranquil, calm and serene. No alligators around presumably.

    • Yes I really like the bubble gum pink legs on the stilts, very interesting birds indeed.
      The PB has all the colors of the rainbow, even a little violet hidden away in places.
      There was no alligator in the salt marsh when that loon went drifting by but there were two in there the next night.
      Those gators are really starting to get active. 🙂

  5. i just love these pictures, Phil! The stilt is so like our UK’s blackwinged stilt and the loon like our great northern loon. You were so clever to catch the clapper rails like that, as I know from our water rails they are so shy it is virtually impossible to photograph them. Your painted bunting, though – oh wow! He is so beautiful! It’s a great name, as the yellow and green feathers particulary, look just like brush strokes. Brilliants pics, Phil, thank you!

    • Thanks very much for your kind comments Maggie and I am very happy you enjoyed these photos of birds I really like but don’t often see. When the PBs hit our area people come from all over to hopefully see some, they are so colorful.
      I believe this was the first time I have ever caught a pair of clappers together like that.

  6. What beautiful colors on that bunting! I’d love to see one of those, but I just looked it up on Wikipedia and learned that their range does not include my area. Hope you post more photos of this beautiful bird.

    • Yes the PB is very colorful and I am very happy any chance I get to see one. I do have some additional photos and may post those at some point. Thanks very much for checking these out!

  7. I love the Black-necked stilt`s coulered legs … and the Buntings colors .
    But my favourite is the common loon … There are many bright summer nights that i´ve been listening to the loons a bit eerie song …. // Maria

    • I’m very happy you liked these various bird photos Maria. Yes I really like those pink legs of the stilt and the PB is extremely colorful. That sound the loon makes is quite remarkable isn’t it?!

  8. Thanks Phil for the pics! I try to get pictures of some of the birds at my feeder and pond here in North Charleston but most are really camera shy…We get a large variety of birds and they peck on our window if the feeder or the suet basket gets empty…soon it will be Hummingbird time? Looking forward to some pictures of them as well?
    thanx again,
    Tim

    • Glad you enjoyed these photos Tim! Funny you should mention hummingbirds, we just had our first one of the season show up at our backyard feeder here this morning. I have many photos of the red-headed woodpeckers that fly in and around the trees behind our house. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Ted in Times Square! | Cowboys and Crossbones

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