A few bird images from New Years Day

White-crowned Sparrow on New Years Day 2015White-crowned Sparrow on New Years Day 2015 – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

It was chilly but bright yesterday morning and there were bluebird skies overhead and Antelope Island State Park beckoned and I of course heeded that call. For me it is always wonderful to spend the first day of the year out photographing the birds I am so passionate about. While I didn’t see all that many species I did spend some time photographing the White-crowned Sparrows that were feeding on the seeds of Rabbitbrush on the island.

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow on a snow-covered RabbitbrushJuvenile White-crowned Sparrow on a snow-covered Rabbitbrush – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Most of the sparrows I saw were juvenile White-crowned Sparrows and although I did see a few adults they were mostly hidden or kept their distance. It interests me because I do see fewer adults during the winter and far more juveniles whereas in the summer I see more adults than juveniles.

Drake Northern Shoveler in breeding plumageDrake Northern Shoveler in breeding plumage – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1600, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Next up was a short trip to Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management area to see if there were birds that were close enough to photograph and although I did take a few Northern Harrier images I didn’t see that many raptors. Of course there were a few Bald Eagles on the Eagle Tree and this time of the year that is fairly common. I was able to take a few images of Northern Shovelers as they rested and floated on the water. This drake Northern Shoveler is in breeding plumage and really stands out.

Drake Northern Shoveler in eclipse plumageDrake Northern Shoveler in eclipse plumage – Nikon D810, f9, 1/1000, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

There was also this drake who is in eclipse plumage and appears to be going into breeding plumage. I enjoyed having the two drakes in different plumage phases nearly side by side to compare them.

My year started out great with birds in my viewfinder and I came home with a few bird images from New Years Day.  I hope your year started off great too.



  1. Humming Bird Lover January 7, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Hi! I always love your photo’s I wish Dr. Cook saw this blog of the Northern Shoveler! to match his print! Have a great day shooting!

  2. Lois Bryan January 2, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Pretty, pretty, pretty!!!!

  3. Jolanta January 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Great images, as always. Thank you!

  4. Elephant's Child January 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    What a wonderful start to the year. Long may it continue.

  5. Bill Richmond January 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Just love the look on the Shoveler!! Have a Great 2015!!

  6. Liz Cormack January 2, 2015 at 8:15 am

    What a beautiful bird the shoveler is. I have photos of a female taken in Niagara Falls but no male was around. Thank you for the images.

  7. Dave Sparks January 2, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Great way to start the new year, with colorful birds and nice light. The Shovelers I saw at Merritt Island earlier in the week were NOT in breeding plumage and the light was not so good … drizzle and fog. But it was good to be out and seeing lots of birds.

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