As promised previously, I’m cranking through the remaining photo shots from last year’s vacation. This year’s vacation is closing fast and since we are headed to a state I’ve never been, the assumption is the shutters will be snapping non-stop. I have already picked up that region’s field guide and perusing it from time to time in order to set my wildlife checklist. Last year almost all the animals on the list were checked off, with the exception of the Wolf and Mountain Goat. Time is short today so I better get to this set of birds. The first image is of a Chickadee that is fairly common both around my house and apparently out there.
I mainly added this picture because I liked how the little one was tucked inside the evergreen branches. The field guide actually claims this is a Mountain Chickadee, but to be honest it looks exactly like the ones outside my window as I type this blog. It does say the habitat is coniferous forests. Based on this photo, they nailed it. Wow, as I looked out the window to verify with a chickadee on my feeder, I spotted a raccoon holding onto a branch above my feeder and paw over paw pulling up my bird feeder over the squirrel baffle. Please hold while I deal with this evil spawn. ……. the problem is solved. Geesh, it’s 5:44pm in the afternoon, they are definitely getting bolder.
The next set of photos is from a small pond we stopped at because it had a ton of creatures flying out and diving under a bridge next to the road. They were flying so fast I couldn’t really tell what they were, so I decided to get out and try to figure it out. The first consideration of bats were thrown out pretty quick due to the coloring, which led to some type of swallow. Although I clipped this one, it did show the coloring pattern that led to the identification. Nothing like trying to look through the viewer and try to get one of these bullets in your field of shot.
I was in the process of putting the lens cap back on the camera and closing up shop when all of a sudden one of the swallows fell completely out of the sky and landed on the water. Finding this odd, I ended up taking the cap back off in order to use the zoom to get a better view of the scene. There the bird remained motionless just floating on the water for what must have been at least 3 minutes.
The assumption was it was dead for what reason remained a mystery. Eventually the little guy stirred a bit and began to come to life. Slowly it started to beat the wings to build up momentum to escape the water.
Likely due to the extra weight from the wet wings, it was quite a struggle before it was able to gain flight again. This shot is actually one of my favorites as it was taken just a split second after reaching freedom.
I am hoping it is just a shadow, but the shot actually looks like it might have left some blood where it landed. Based on the amount of birds flying around at break neck speeds, the odds are it collided with another swallow and lost consciousness for a little bit. It looked fine as it gained altitude, but eventually I lost it in the swirling mass so best wishes.
Please hit the jump to see the rest of the set.