331/366 | Stuffed

The husband and I are on our own this Thanksgiving Day, so we drove to LSU Lakes, one of our favorite birding spots. There, I spied a female American Wigeon all by herself under a cypress tree. An absolutely beautiful duck. She would have been my picture of the day, but a feisty Pied-billed Grebe began wrestling with a sacolait about 40 yards away. I thought there was no way he’d get that large fish down his throat. The husband had his binoculars and I had my camera trained on him, watching for several minutes as he successfully subdued, then swallowed the fish. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mr. Grebe! And I bet you will be full the rest of the day.

We will be going to a restaurant here shortly for a 3-course meal. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

400mm | f/5.6 | ISO 400 | 1/1000 sec

330/366 | Winter Migrant

An Orange-crowned Warbler came to visit my satsuma tree. It poured rain most of the afternoon, so I didn’t think I’d get an image today. During my morning walk, I thanked God for many things, among them, my photography project. I think this was His way of acknowledging my gratitude. You can faintly see the orange crown on top his head—the first time I’ve seen it. What a treat!

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1

400mm | f/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/1250 sec

329/366 | Dustup

Today I had several image choices to go with from my outing at LSU Lakes. The Black-bellied Whistling Ducks began breaking out in fights towards the end of my stay. Or perhaps they were playing. This was the more compelling image out of the bunch.

263mm | f/7.1 | ISO 320 | 1/1600 sec

328/366 | Fall Bokeh

This Black-bellied Whistling Duck perched in front of a cypress tree sporting lovely orange needles. The duck was in the shade, so I was fortunate to get a little bit of gleam in his eye. This morning I spotted two female Northern Shovelers, but still no male. Will try again tomorrow!

400mm | f/5.6 | ISO 800 | 1/1000 sec

327/366 | Northern Shoveler

While I was photographing this duck, I kept thinking “This looks like a mallard, but I know it’s not.” Later, I remembered the Northern Shoveler I saw in Texas years and years ago. The large bill gives it away. This is a female Northern Shoveler, a winter dabbling duck for Louisiana. Tomorrow I hope to locate the male who is much more colorful. Still, a good find for this area.

400mm | f/6.3 | ISO 320 | 1/1000 sec

324/366 | Goldfinch

This is the earliest I’ve seen the American Goldfinch in my yard. Normally, we see them around March or April. Sadly, we never see them in their breeding plumage. This is probably a young male with winter feathers perching on the Indian Hawthorn. I was hoping for a pose on the bougainvillea or near the Mexican heather, but they would not comply. Will try again tomorrow. 

400mm | f/5.6 | ISO 1250 | 1/1000 sec

323/366 | Butter Butt

Still taking it easy from the dental procedure. Today I sat outside enjoying the nice breeze and cooler temperatures. I was surprised to see a pair of American Goldfinches, but I didn’t get good enough shots of them. Actually, I failed to get any superb shots, so here is a mediocre image of the Yellow-rumped Warbler, also known affectionately as the Butter Butt for the yellow patch on the top of their tails.

400mm | f/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/1250 sec