Mead Gardens, 4/28/2012

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Great Blue Heron
This morning I returned again to Mead Gardens with the great people at the Orange Audubon Society.  Compared to earlier in the week, this morning was rather quiet, but we still came away with some good finds and an enjoyable time.  The Yellow-billed Cuckoo and the female Painted Bunting were both seen again today.

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Painted Bunting
It was nice to see seven species of warbler: Ovenbird, Worm-eating, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Cape May, Northern Parula and Black-throated Blue.  I've been on a quest to get a good photo of Worm-eating and Black-throated Blue warblers, and while I have not yet reached my goal. I never tire of photographing Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.  We found one that must have lost its keys, and he was looking for them quite frantically.

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
And finally, there were some other wildlife besides birds that I found interesting, and not just because they make good bird food.

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Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
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Green Anole

Here's a list of the species we saw this morning.

Wood Duck 4
Mallard hybrid 3
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 3
White Ibis 5
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
Osprey 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 4
Mourning Dove 3
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2
Chimney Swift X
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 3
Blue Jay 1
Fish Crow X
Carolina Wren 5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 5
Cedar Waxwing 20
Ovenbird 1
Worm-eating Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 4
American Redstart 1
Cape May Warbler 1
Northern Parula 5
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
Northern Cardinal 8
Painted Bunting 1
Red-winged Blackbird X
Brown-headed Cowbird 1


  1. Awesome, as usual.  Gnatcatchers are so hard to get to "sit still" for a second.  These are excellent and wonderful "poses".  Nice to see the Green Anole--those nasty invasive Brown Anoles have not eradicated all of them yet.  The Eastern Lubber is another very nice image.   I wonder, Scott, about trying to get a good image of a Black-throated Blue.  If I expose the image to try to get the eye and the black area right, the white patch on the wing and the breast and other white spots will be "blown out".  Other than trying to "fix" blown out areas post-processing, it seems to me that the Black-thoated Blue Warbler will be one of the most difficult birds to "get right".  You need a perfect storm of lighting and other elements to come together to get a truly great image of that species.  That's the challenge that awaits me.

  2. Thanks so much, Bob.  I think birds with black and white do pose a challenge, but with the overall dark of the black-throated blue, I do think it better to overexpose a little. Sometimes the white areas will be fine, or they may be fixable with just the move of a slider.  Shooting in RAW can really help.

  3. How I miss some of the birds I used to see in Florida but I get to see them here! Well done Scott!


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