A few winter birds at Farmington Bay and flapping wings

Northern Harrier on the wingNorthern Harrier on the wing – Nikon D300, f8, 1/1250, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I looked through some images and edited a few from the 26th of January from last year at Farmington Bay WMA. There were plenty of Northern Harriers on the wing that morning but most of them stayed too far away to get decent images. This one flew in close and I was able to get a few frames before it flew away. Nice of the harrier to give me eye contact and show the complete underside of its wing. Love those feather patterns.

Common Merganser at Farmington BayCommon Merganser at Farmington Bay – Nikon D300, f8, 1/800, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

There was also a single Common Merganser amongst the coots and grebes at the four-way and I photographed it as it rested, floated, fed, scratched, preened…

Common Merganser wing flapCommon Merganser wing flap – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

And flapped its wings. I think their narrow serrated bills are fascinating and that they are handsome birds. I see them far more often in the winter than I do any other time of the year.

Great Blue Heron on the wingGreat Blue Heron on the wing – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Later I heard a familiar squawk and was able to get a few frames of a Great Blue Heron on the wing. It came in fairly close and I was happy that in this frame that I didn’t clip the wings because there were a few other images I took where I did.

Pied-billed Grebe flapping its wingsPied-billed Grebe flapping its wings – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Pied-billed Grebes gather where the water is open, ice-free and there always seems to be quite a few at the four-way at Farmington Bay. They seem to rest, preen and feed at the same. It is as if one starts an activity and the others can’t resist. And that holds true for wing flapping. One starts…

Another Pied-billed Grebe flapping its wingsAnother Pied-billed Grebe flapping its wings – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

And before long more of them flap their wings too. They can some times flap like this for a minute or more with everything out of the water but their big, funny looking feet. I must have seen nearly a dozen of these saucy little grebes flapping their wings over and over that day.

Pied-billed Grebe wing liftPied-billed Grebe wing lift – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Some times the Pied-billed Grebes just lift their wings and hold them over their bodies like shown above but quite often this is the pose I will see when one of the grebes finishes wing flapping.

Maybe when the weather clears tomorrow I’ll be able to get back out Farmington Bay to photograph things with wings.

Life is good.

Mia

6 Comments

  1. Dave Sparks January 19, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Nice assortment of terrific shots. Hope the weather lets you get back to collecting more soon.

  2. Elephant's Child January 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Oh my. How very, very beautiful.

  3. Utahbooklover January 19, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Nice collection but I especially like the Great Blue Herin on the wing. Yesterday while driving on I-15 near Layton I saw 100 or so Crows flying in a southerly direction, some perched in tree-tops. What an amazing sight

  4. Jolanta January 19, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Beautiful as always 🙂

  5. Humming Bird Lover January 19, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Hi! Love all the special photo’s this morning! Great shooting and I’m sure enjoying all your beautiful shot! Have a great day !

  6. Liz Cormack January 19, 2015 at 7:07 am

    I’ve seen all of the above birds “on the wing” but always at a distance. Thank you for the close-ups. The harrier is spectacular.

Comments are closed.