Readers’ (and host’s) wildlife photos

January 27, 2014 • 5:33 am

New photos from reader Stephen Barnard (click all photos to enlarge):

It was interesting but difficult light. One photo is The Nature Conservancy’s Silver Creek  Preserve on this frosty afternoon. The other is an adult Trumpeter Swan and three juveniles [Cygnus buccinator] in my neighbor’s stretch of Loving Creek, upstream.

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And three photos by Professor Ceiling Cat, taken through my lab window (thanks to reader Rik for cleaning these up to remove window-effects) while I was feeding the birds. A male and a female cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), and another shot showing the sexual dimorphism. Yes, the birds were named after the red garb of Catholic cardinals.

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17 thoughts on “Readers’ (and host’s) wildlife photos

  1. Nice stuff!

    The panorama sure looks like that’s an incipient oxbow lake. It’d be interesting to see the area some decades or centuries or whatever hence.

    And that female cardinal somehow seems grumpy that somebody won’t turn up the thermostat….

    b&

  2. I don’t think this is an oxbow in the conventional sense. The channel of Silver Creek is determined by the springs that feed it. By the way, it’s a beautiful creek and one of the finest fly fishing destinations anywhere, with large populations of educated rainbow and brown trout. The Nature Conservancy deserves a lot of credit for saving this unique high-desert spring creek. There’s currently a major project underway in the Preserve and the downstream landowner’s property to improve the habitat.

      1. Yes. These trout see a lot of flies. People joke that the trout in Silver Creek count the tail fibers — two for Baetis and three for Tricos. They’re also difficult because of the gin-clear water and the occurrence of multiple insect hatches, with the fish feeding on just one species. My creek, Loving Creek (a tributary) is easier fishing because it gets very little pressure.

    1. The Nature Conservancy deserve a lot of credit for a lot of things. It’s well worth throwing at least a few dollars their way every now and again — and, hopefully, your photos will inspire some here to do just that.

      b&

    2. Stephen, I just had a look at the Preserve on Google maps. It’s very flat and there are many meanders on the creeks in the area. There is one about a quarter mile to the northwest of Sullivan Lake that has almost pinched off. Barring interference from humans it will soon form an oxbow.

      It will take longer for the loop in the picture to cut through the soil, but it will happen eventually if men in their wisdom don’t mess with it.

      How many of the farmers there are ok with the creek moving itself into their fields, I wonder.

  3. Nice cardinal pics Jerry! And the swans too. I lvoe cardinals — that splash of color to liven up our drab winters.

  4. Jerry’s cardinals must be a different species from St. Louis, Arizona, and Louisville Cardinals, as those all have yellow bills!

    *For non-American readers, those are American sports mascots.

  5. I like those cardinal photos — wish I had them here. They’re a good reason to keep your windows clean.

    1. One of them introduced himself by getting our bedroom window dirty when we were living in Ottawa. He kept flinging himself at his reflection, desperately trying to drive his equally determined rival away. He must have burned through a lot of calories doing it.

      I finally saved him from himself by putting a piece of cardboard over the window. He was one of only a few that we saw there.

  6. The first picture is nice but I absolutely love the second picture. It looks like a great place to take some sunset and sunrise pictures. Perhaps a few in the fog. I’m going to try and replicate it with my 3D landscape program Vue.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Yes. I can imagine a nice high-quality print of that adorning my wall. (not that there is any room for another picture on my wall!)

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