Singing Brewer’s Sparrow
Brewer’s Sparrows were abundant at the location where we photographed Ospreys close to the Flaming Gorge Reservoir last week and it seemed like they sang every time they popped up on top of the Sagebrush in the area. The Osprey spent enormous amounts of time preening on top of an ugly power pole close by or off in the distance eating fish on another power pole so I was glad the Brewer’s Sparrows were there for their song and because they make great subjects.
Brewer’s Sparrow on a Sagebrush near the Flaming Gorge Reservoir
The Brewer’s Sparrow in these images snuck up on the ground and it was foraging and singing from inside the sagebrush before it popped up to the top, I like being able to tell a bird is there before I see them because I can anticipate where they might show up. The sparrow was so close I was concerned that it might be too close for my minimum focusing range but I worried needlessly about that though I do wish I had set my aperture for more depth of field.
Alert Brewer’s Sparrow
Brewer’s Sparrows breed in Utah and are fond of arid brushlands and deserts of the High Plains and Great Basin where they ground forage for insects and seeds. The male Brewer’s Sparrow sings continuously in the spring to attract a mate, this sparrow sure did!
Okay. At least this female Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is landing with flared wings and tail!
Female Osprey Landing on nest – Nikon D200, tripod mounted, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 200mm, natural light, not baited
I photographed this female Osprey as she came in to land on her nest near the shoreline of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in north-eastern Utah, quite often when Ospreys land they flare their wings and fan their tails to create enough drag to slow them down. The nest is on a manmade platform near the water and there is plenty of fish in the reservoir to support this Osprey family.
Female Osprey in flight – Nikon D200, tripod mounted, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
Prior to the image above the Osprey had been on the nest, she had been there for quite a long time and I believe she wanted to spread her wings so she lifted off and flew towards where I stood photographing her, I was zoomed all the way to 400mm. It looked like she might swing around even closer to me so I backed to zoom up to 200mm to hopefully fit her all in the frame. She tricked me though and flew right back to the nest which is why the top image is at 200mm, I wish I had left it fully zoomed out. Another time perhaps.
Flaming Gorge at sunrise under stormy skies
Sometimes a picture says more than words so I’ll just say Flaming Gorge is awesome at sunrise with storm clouds moving in.
More information about Flaming Gorge