Saturday, February 21, 2009

More spotting

today I, yet again, went bird spotting. I almost didn't go, but I just felt drawn to it today. The weather wasn't the best for it in that it was partly cloudy and supposed to get more cloudy. I know that if you live in Michigan, where they expect 5" of snow today, this doesn't sound all that bad, but from a photography standpoint, and beingthat I use a 100-400mm lens, bright sunny days are better. I started out this morniing at Sunset Park. It was about 7:00 AM. Much later than this and I feel like I slept the day away. Throughout my bird spotting I took about 300 photographs. Of that, I kept about kept about 82, and uploaded about 38 to Flickr. A normal day for me!

My first sight this morning was...none other than a Gabrels Quail:
Nothing unusual there. They are likewinged rats out here...and they are generally NOT afraid of people.
Infact they rushed my car:
They were everywhere:
Rats are not this brave!!!

I've gotten fairly good at spotting birds. Not always good at taking photos mind you, but I can often spot a bird before someone else would, and can generally determine the family it belongs to.
Back in Michigan I could often determine the bird in the bush by the sounds it was making. I'm not to that point yet here in Vegas, but I'm working on it.

Two birds, well three really give me identification problems.
1. Raptors.
2. Sparrows.
3. Hummingbirds.

There are sooo many variations though, that I don't feel too bad about not being able to always identify the exact type.

There is nothing I enjoy more, well thats legal anyways, than going out and photographing a bird I've never seen before, or taking a better photograph of a bird than I have before. Today, I've done both!!
Here is an unknown raptor:
not seeing him fly makes it even more difficult to identify exactly.
Red Tailed?? red Shouldered???Sharp Shinned? Broad Winged? I don't know.....

But I think I got some good pics!!!

This bird is a rare one too:
Although he does fly on a set

Sunset Park itself has much to offer. Fishing, remote Control Boating, Birding, Dog Park, Exercise, relaxation.

One of the complaints I've often read about Vegas, and never understood, is that there are no parks in Vegas. There There are 3 parks within 5 miles of my house. There are 10-15 specific DOG parks in Clark County. Red rock, Valley of Fire, Henderson Bird Preserve, Sunset Park, Gillespie Park, Horsemans Park, Clark County Wetlands Preserve, and on and on. No parks??? Please, your just lazy, or toooo picky!!!!!Not my fault they didn't build a park on your front step!!!!!!

This couple had the misfortune/advantage of feeding the ducks. She now has a "following"


When I woke up this morning, about 5:40 AM, it looked dreary out. Yahoo forcast mostly cloudy today and cloudy on Sunday. When you are using a 100-400mm lens, clouds can make all the difference between a great, pin sharp photo, and an ok, kinda sharp photo. Yes I know its a Canon 100-400mm IS "L" class lens, but it still matters!

Regardless, I felt a, desire is not the right word, but its kind of accurate, to go anyway.
When I arrived at the Preserve, it was sunny!!

After leaving Sunset Park I went to the Clark County Wetlands Preserve. This is where, if you remember from a previous post, the Las Vegas Wash is. It flooded last week.

Next post...the Wetlands Preserve....


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