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You Got Song on Your Face

Updated: Mar 28, 2023


It was a one-day weekend. Not because I had to work, but because the weather on Saturday was pretty bad. Rain and high winds kept me pinned in for the day. Some braver souls made it out. I stayed home and did chores. Sunday, I had social commitments, but I was able to make it out for most the morning. It was a very busy day at the park. In fact, I had to share one of my favorite shooting locations. I tend to go there to get away from other people, and someone else was there. Oh well, it was nice to be out.

I got to the park on Sunday and made a quick cruise through a couple of spots. There was not much going on. I was a tad late getting to the park - a half hour after sunrise. I still had plenty of time for what I was planning. I noticed it was super humid and cold. Fog was sitting over the water, and I could easily see my breath. That meant that I had a chance at catching some Red-winged Blackbirds singing. I just needed a spot that was backlit with a dark background. No problem. Except, there was a minor problem. Someone was already there trying to shoot ducks. I tried to minimize my moving around. Every time I moved, the ducks retreated back into the cattails. Unfortunately, the blackbirds were not very cooperative. They would pose for a few shots and then retreat up into the trees. Several minutes later, they would fly down to another area. I would maybe get a few shots, and then they would fly back off, again. Wash, rinse, ...repeat.

My other challenge here was the wind. It was not strong, but it was there. Sometimes it was blowing left. Sometimes it was blowing right. A few times, it was blowing straight at me. I could never quite get the classic pose with a good trail of smoke drifting through the air. The bird's breath tended to just curl back up around its face. With the warmer weather, it is going to take some pretty humid days to get another crack at this. Maybe in the fall. I played their blackbird games for about an hour and then headed off.

Just needed to face a bit more to the left....

I headed down to the sanctuary to walk part of the dam. It appeared that the majority of loons had moved out when the weather cleared. The water was very high, and the mud flats were gone. Amazingly, the were a good number of pelicans resting on some submerged logs. It was standing room only on them. A lone Caspian Tern was resting in some shallow water with a mix of Ring-billed and Bonaparte's Gulls. I did not scan the gulls carefully enough, though. After a few minutes of sitting at the edge of the water, I heard a Bonaparte's calling as it took flight. I looked over, and it was not alone... and the second bird had black underwings - the Little Gull was still about. The pair flew off and out of sight. I snapped some pics of the pelicans and decided to check out some other areas of the park.

I made a pass through a few areas. It was pretty quite. I stopped back by my favorite spot, but the duck shooter was still there. I made a loop around the park before calling it quits. I needed to head home anyway. It was not the day I had hoped for, but it was a beautiful day. Next weekend looks like more of the same. Let's hope the weather forecasters continue their trend of being wrong.

Thanks for reading,


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