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


Mel said...

Hi Tim!
Nice set of pics, I love the poems in between.
Awesome work as usual.

Gaelyn said...

That's my personal theme song.

Love what you did with those misty images.

Gaelyn said...

The first osprey, the gull and the kingfisher are my favorites.

I had to come back while listening to White Bird.

Excellent combination!

Loree said...

I loved the last poem and you got some really good shots of the birds.

Doug Taron said...

Great photos and words. It's not just anyone who can work in musical references to both It's a Beautiful Day and Billy Idol in the same post.

Sophie said...

Gorgeous, as always. I love the flocks in flight.

Crayons said...

That measured fully 6 shivers across my shoulders and back. It was the mix of beautiful photos, beautiful poems and heartfelt prose. These are examples of my favorite class of your photography: seeing the sublime in the everyday. The very fact of the inferior weather increased the beauty.

I'm just now getting interested in birding. This post was right at my level. Thank you for this.

Nina @Nature Remains said...

Your misty images are better than most manage on a better day.
And that subtle gold--the perfect complement to what would otherwise be B&W.

Crayons said...

Good morning TR
I just tried your e-mail link, and it won't let me in. I think it's my system and not yours. Could you dash me an e-mail so I can send something?

PS: I have been thinking that someday I would like to see a post consisting of photos of YOU shooting photos. The invisible becomes visible.

Stark Raving Zen said...

The kingfisher was so SWEET! Beautiful pics. I also loved the Loon. I keep thinking about driving out to Kiowa National Grasslands for the excellent bird-watching out there. Your blog entry has pushed that to the forefront of my mind.

Murr Brewster said...

Thanks for the post, and for putting that song in my head. I think almost everything is good in the rain, and I would like to define myself as being the sort of person who has friends who say "unidentified icterids."

Jennifer Chronicles ( said...

That white bird is an angel. I can't believe that photo. Your connection to nature is so magical, Tim. You really are so gifted. You have no idea.

Kathie Brown said...

TR, you gotta know I would love this one-poetry, art and birds? You can't beat that with all the gold in the world! Perfection!

Susan Ellis said...

Beautiful shots! Love seeing the huge flocks, something so positive and nurturing about them..we'll survive, and hopefully, thrive.

LauraHinNJ said...

I love these photos TR.. especially the osprey and corm!


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