Beyond the BackyardLake Apopka

Why Do the Best Birds Like Ugly Fences? at Lust Road

I don’t understand it.  Why do the prettiest birds seem attracted to the ugliest fences?  We really need to send our winter visitors to photography school to teach them the value of a good natural-looking perch! :)

I met Michael on Saturday for a morning of birding on Lust Road.  He said I was supposed to share my recent good luck there.  As it turned out, he spotted most of our birds.  :)  It was a cloudy morning, and there wasn’t a huge amount of activity, but we did find a lot of the specialty birds at that area.

The Ash-throated Flycatcher continues at the Lust Road gate.  He’s a very mobile little bird, so if you don’t see him at first, keep looking.  He first showed up for us in the trees on the north side of the road, then we re-found him as he was flycatching near the palm tree on the south side.  Try not to notice the fencelines behind him! :-p

Ash-throated Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher

The female Blue Grosbeak continues as well.  She made an appearance during one of the rare bursts of sunlight that we had on Saturday morning. I hope she finds a mate soon.  Her bright blue male counterpart is gorgeous.

Female Blue Grosbeak
Female Blue Grosbeak

Our American Robin friends appear to be leaving us.  Last week I had large flocks flying overhead all morning; this week I saw significantly fewer birds.  I love to listen to the happy little babbles of robins.  Safe travels on your journey north, little guys!

American Robins
American Robins

“Potato chip!”  I often hear American Goldfinches singing overhead while I am birding, but I don’t always see them land close enough to get a shot.  It’s fun to see them in their natural habitat, away from my feeder!  The goldfinches are starting to turn yellow in anticipation of springtime.

American Goldfinches
American Goldfinches

Michael was on the lookout for Grasshopper and Vesper sparrows, so we spent a while scanning the fence lines and fields.  It takes some patience.  As soon as I go hunting for sparrows, I find the ones that were right in front of me – as they fly away!  I snagged a quick shot of a Grasshopper Sparrow as he posed–you guessed it–on the fence.

Grasshopper Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow

The trees were overrun with Yellow-rumped Warblers.  “Butterbutts”, Michael calls them.  As fast as they were hopping around, I decided they were good practice for long-lens photography.  Especially when they fly away…

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Painted Buntings are another good find at Lust Road.  I often hear them before I see them, now that I am used to hearing their call notes in my own backyard. :)  I often see greenies at Lust Road, but males are more scarce.  When we found one, I bet you can guess where it was…

Male Painted Bunting
Male Painted Bunting

You know, leading lines are supposed to draw your eyes into a photograph.  But the people who say that probably are not referring to the leading lines of a wire fence!

I took some digital liberties with this last image.  We spotted a female/juvenile “greenie” Painted Bunting across the canal, feeding in some lantana bushes.  (Yes, Dyeyo, Lantana bushes are good for birds, even if they are weeds!)  I was struck by how well the greenie blended into her habitat.  You could barely make her out, and that wasn’t just because of the terrible lighting conditions or my high ISO setting.  I cropped the image and took it into some photography filters (Topaz Glow, Nik Color Efex, and an added texture).  This last one earned me a “Wow” from Rich.  High praise indeed! :)

Greenie Painted Bunting on Lantana
Greenie Painted Bunting on Lantana.  View larger on 500px.

2 thoughts on “Why Do the Best Birds Like Ugly Fences? at Lust Road

  1. I can see why Rich liked the greenie. Very nice. But that fence has got to go or we need to get some better birds out there!! It was a fun morning and I look forward to getting my grasshopper sparrow on the fence (since I struck out on Saturday).

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