Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter birds

Winter birds by andiwolfe
Winter birds, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.
I would have used the title, "snow birds," but that has a different meaning around here. Yesterday, Steve and I joined some friends to visit a farm up in Delaware county that is owned by an enthusiastic nature lover and his wife. Each winter they feed the birds with corn from their fields. There are literally thousands of snow buntings, horned larks, and lapland longspurs in a mixed flock gleaning the fields and taking advantage of the kindness of these folks. I've never before seen so many of these birds in one flock.

The weather was very cold with a very strong wind. I was dressed in winter layers - smartwool and capilene for the long underwear, fleece and hiking pants for the next, down and snow pants for the outer. I had my winter boots on, my windstopper hat, and a scarf, plus gloves. I was actually quite comfortable except for my fingertips, which always get cold doing winter photography.

To make this photo, I was kneeling in the snow, just waiting for the flock to get spooked. I wish I could describe the sound that they make during take-off. It's a lovely winter serenade....

Click on the image to see a much larger view. These birds are very beautiful.

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