Thrushes Waxwings & Allies

Important Announcement

From this point forward postings will be made on the main page, but the photos will also be added to the gallery. To see the written information about the photo do a search for the number (the first number, if it is a set).

Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – December 21, 2011
Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 1000, f/5.6, 1/160 sec

West Cliff Drive – Santa Cruz, California – November 22, 2011
Take a look at the scientific name of this bird – Sturnus vulgaris. I don’t really know what those two words mean, but what comes to my mind is “stern” and “vulgar”. This is not a well-liked bird here in the United States. First, it is an invasive species – coming from Europem and not a bird indigenous to North America. It is an aggressive species that overwhelms many of our indigenous birds. They often fly in large flocks and cause damage to crops. Today, I will focus in on the more positive traits of this bird. The European Starling has some beautiful coloring, as you can see in these photos. Secondly, the bird makes some amazingly beautiful sounds. They are very good mimics, and the sounds they produce are varied and interesting. Following, you will find my tribute to this villain of a bird. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 240mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington – February 2, 2011
I didn’t have a whole lot of photo opportunities on this occasion, but this robin was very cooperative. The bird was on the boardwalk that goes from the visitor center area  out to Two Barns. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f/6.3, 1/80, ISO 200, tripod.

Dungeness River Audubon Center – January 18, 2010
This American Robin was posing near the spot where I took photos of the Eurasian Colored-Dove. He decided to ignore me completely and take a quick bath.

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum – Santa Cruz, California – March 31, 2009
I had 2 other photos of this bird while on the grass, but I narrowed it down to the best 2 of the four. As I said in the last posting, this was a lifer for me.

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum – Santa Cruz, California – March 31, 2009
These three photos are not very good, but when I get a chance to photograph a lifer I tend to get a little carried away. I’m shooting my Tamron 200-500 lens at its full focal length, and the light was not cooperative. Photo series 820 will show a few shots of this bird on the ground.
From what I understand, the only place you’ll see this bird is in California or Baja California.

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum – Santa Cruz, California – July 31, 2009
Whenever I go down to my cottage in Santa Cruz I always make it a point to visit this location. There are always plenty of birds, not to mention many interesting plants. UCSC is known for their hummingbird population, and I’ve never been disappointed when I visit either in Spring or Summer.

Carmel, Maine – July 22, 2008
I was so excited to get an opportunity to photograph this bird. I had heard them in the distance – their distinctive call that is obviously how they received their common name. They seem to be a rather private bird, but his particular individual was willing to give me a chance to photograph. Notice the band on this bird’s leg. Maybe this guy ran into a curious ornithologist at one point.

Carmel, Maine – July 14, 2008

This is the last photo taken on July 14 at Shawn and Malia’s place. I believe this is a lifer sighting and photo for me. Part of the problem of taking so long to process photos is that I forget the situation, and my record keeping is not so great. I have some more photos coming up that were taken on a later date. Though this photo is not very good, it was fun to observe this bird.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 320, 1/200 sec, f/6.3, tripod

Carmel, Maine – July 12, 2008
I was bored and too lazy to go for a walk, so I set up my digiscope on Malia and Shawn’s front porch. They had one little tree in the middle of a very large lawn, so when this Robin landed in the tree I snapped the shutter. Not a great photo, but at least an account of what I observed that day. Nikon P4, Fieldscope 82mm ED, ISO 100, 1/250 shutter speed, tripod

Birdsacre, Ellsworth, Maine – July 11, 2008
I found this thrush on the loop trail behind the bird refuge, but I haven’t been able to ID it. The lighting was very poor, so these are good photos. I took them for documentation purposes. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 640 at 1/50 and tripod

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – May 31, 2008
This was a highlight for the day. This may have been a lifer. I can’t remember, but I certainly can say I don’t see this species much. This bird was along the road that goes along the Nisqually River and the north side of the Two Barns loop trail.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom, Manfrotto tripod

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – May 31, 2008
It was so long ago (today being Jan 14 2009) that I don’t remember where in the refuge this was taken. No matter. Thank you Mr. or Mrs. Robin for letting me take your photo. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom, Manfrotto tripod

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – May 31, 2008
This photo is a bit noisy, but I like it regardless. These birds always seem to have a majestic demeanor and are fun to photograph.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfroto tripod

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – May 16, 2008
Here is a pretty good view of a robin shot from below so you can see the markings of the underside of this bird. Usually you just get to see the top of the breast and sides as they hop around the grass looking for worms. The second photo shows a nest of baby robins. I like the little guy on the left. This is how you can visualize me the first few weeks of retirement! Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom

Somewhere in Maine – December 21, 2007
Back in photo 603 I posted this species. Then a bit later I found a folder of digiscoped photos that were taken of the same birds. The second photo is included to show you the colors of the wings. It was very cold, so they are puffed up. I was still experimenting with ISO 400 on this camera. Notice excess noise in the photo.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, 1/850 sec, f/7.6, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

Somewhere in Maine – December 21, 2007
We drove around looking for birds in the frigid but sunny Maine weather. It wasn’t easy to find anything.
However, these birds were a real treat. I see Cedar Waxwings back home on occasion, but to see its cousin was truly a highlight.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 410mm, 1/800 sec, f/6.0, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

Santa Cruz, California – July 11, 2007
Every time I go down to my bungalow in Santa Cruz I see a Mockingbird on the campground. The bungalow is located on a church campground a few blocks from the beach and adjacent to a marshy lagoon. Tall eucalyptus trees surround the campground, and there are several small cottages or bungalows on the grounds. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/40 sec, Manfrotto tripod

Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – May 28, 2007
This Cedar Waxwing was kind enough to pose for me. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/160 sec, Manfrotto tripod

Kent Ponds – Kent, Washington – May 25, 2007
This Cedar Waxwing flew into a bush right next to a parking lot at one of the observation towers.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 460 mm, 1/160 sec, Manfrotto tripod

Capital Lake – Olympia, Washington – May 12, 2007
If one explores the southeast shore of Capital Lake they may be rewarded with several different species of birds. They tend to like the deciduous trees that surround the lake. There are several little gravel and paved trails to explore. Here is a series of 3 photos from this outing.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 450mm, 1/200 sec, Manfrotto tripod

Santa Cruz, California – near Corcoran Lagoon – April 3, 2007
After breakfast on the Capitola Wharf, we went back to the bungalow to drop off my Dad. I found this mockingbird on a wire on the campground. It was very cooperative to allow me to get a few photos. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 390mm, 1/320 sec, handheld

Northern California Rest Stop – April 1, 2007
At the same rest stop where I found the Acorn Woodpeckers, I found tons of robins. Since the lighting was so poor (overcast and early morning), I took a photo of anything that moved. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 360mm, 1/60 sec, Manfrotto tripod

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – February 10, 2007
It was a foggy morning. It was around 11 AM, but the weather was being stubborn. This robin flew up in a tree near me, so I took advantage of the
opportunity. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500zoom at 390mm, 1/80sec, Manfrotto tripod

Vaughn Bay, Washington – January 12, 2007
Lately, the robins, wigeons and flickers have been invading what – with a stretch of imagination – could be called grass in our yard. I snapped a photo of this bird when it took a break from feeding in the grass. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

Manchester State Park – Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
A few Robins were feeding in the grass at the park and I was putting my new camera through its paces. This is a right profile.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 390mm, Manfrotto tripod

Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – October 21, 2006
European Starlings are considered to be pests by most people. They were brought to New York in 1890. By 1950 they had made their way to the Pacific Northwest.

Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 14, 2006
I don’t see many American Robins in my backyard. They prefer to eat insects and worms in the grass. I hate grass. Therefore, they are usually in my neighbor’s yard. Robins like to perch in the tallest tree around. I wonder if they can see worms from way up there?

Fort Flagler State Park – Marrowstone Island, Washington – October 7, 2006
A large group of Cedar Waxwings were in the trees on the bluff overlooking the water. They were in the tops of some pretty tall trees, so getting a photo was somewhat of a challenge.This photo doesn’t do this bird justice. It is a very pretty bird.