As 2011 comes to a close and 2012 is just hours away , I wanted to do one more blog post for the year.

A rainbow and Wilson's Phalaropes
A rainbow and Wilson’s Phalaropes (Phalaropus tricolor) ~Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Montana
Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/400, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

The day I created this image I had been photographing shorebirds in the shallow water near the dam when a storm came into the Centennial Valley. The clouds were dark and ominous but it didn’t look like the storm would last long so I continued to take images.

Soon there was thunder, lightning, rain and hail.  I had never thought about what birds do in storms as much as I did that day while the hail pelted the hundreds of shorebirds in front of me.  They seemed too delicate to survive the pounding they were getting from the hail.

The birds survived the storm and shortly after the hail let up the sky started to lighten, the birds in front of me shook off their wet feathers and this flock of Wilson’s Phalaropes took to the air with a rainbow behind them. They flew back and forth as if they were jubilant that the storm hadn’t beaten them down.

I know, I’m just putting my human emotions into what I saw, but truly I couldn’t help but think that was what the birds were doing.

Happy New Year everyone,