Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's a Nice Day for Some White Birding

Ring-billed gull - second year

Oklahoma City Audubon's Tuesday morning birders meet every week in the fall and winter come rain, snow, shine, sweeping prairie wind -- or in the case of last Tuesday - a thick blanket of misty fog on a day that promised to be a warm and sunny 71 and never mounted 60.

Ospreys in the mist

A huge flock of unidentified icterids course the air in Hitchcockian glory

This season is under the expert guidance of naturalist, Oklahoma native plant genius and birder extraordinaire - Bill Diffin. The Tuesday morning birders are lucky to have him and any day birding with Bill Diffin is a good day for the wide-eyed-and-wanting-to-learn.

Osprey and Comorant

White bird
In a golden cage
On a winter's day
In the rain

Great Blue Heron and Bobber

Even a day smothered in grey fog and wet mist and with less than ideal conditions for photography.

Franklin's Gull

With the promise of lots of sun, I brought the big guns last Tuesday to the Lake Hefner outing. Even on the sunniest day I am usually less than thrilled with my Canon EF 400 mm f/5.6L despite its enormous popularity and high ratings. The images are never tack sharp; and on a cloudy day - fuggetaboutit!

Osprey caged in gold

The leaves blow
Cross the long black road
To the darkened skies
In its rage
But the white bird
Just sits in her cage

Common loon a calling

I shot at everything that would sit still long enough for the lens to focus through the mist;

Red-shouldered hawk on mast

remembering that a gray day and a fairly competent digital dark room can work wonders on blurry, blah, rainy day birding images.

Leaping Harris sparrows

Whoever says photography is not art - look again.

Belted kingfisher on snag

And whoever says rainy day birding is not your heart out...

The sunsets come
The sunsets go
The clouds Float by
And the Earth Turns slow
And the Young Birds Eyes
Do always Glow
And she must fly
She must fly
She must fly

White Bird Must Fly
or She will die
She will die

Many thanks to Bill Diffin for 52 species and a great day of birding on Lake Hefner, despite the weather. That's OKC Audubon's Tuesday morning birding at its best!

"White Bird" from David LaFlamme's band Beautiful Day
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