Beyond the Backyard

Callaway Gardens Vacation: Part 5 – Migrating Warblers!

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The Beast was napping in his case when Rich and I were hiking in the Azalea Bowl at Callaway Gardens last week.  I had the wide-angle lens on the camera, somewhat disappointed at the meager number of birds that we’d managed to find on our vacation.  So I put on a warming filter and concentrated on making landscape images.  (Note: an APS-C sensor with its 1.6 crop factor does not make for a good landscape camera at Callaway…the trees are so tall that you can’t fit them in the frame!) Of course, as soon as you leave the telephoto lens behind, you come across the birds!  We found a flock of mixed warblers and other small birds in the woods.  Some of them are year-round in Georgia, but with the mixed flock, I wondered if they were migrants. I ran back to get the Beast.  Even though it was mid-day and the light was very harsh, I found that the trees filtered the light, and my shots were better than I expected. The first bird I photographed was the Black and White Warbler above.  I was glad to have my 1.4x teleconverter, as the birds were all really high up […]

Beyond the Backyard

Migrants Making their Way to Circle B

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It was a cloudy, foggy, and humid morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  As we headed out Heron Hideout into more and more fog, we doubted that we would see much.  But it turned out to be our most productive species morning in several months.  The migratory birds are definitely making their way back to Circle B! We started out on Heron Hideout, where we basically observed fog.  It had just rained within the last few hours, and there were puddles everywhere. We arrived at sunrise, but there was no sun to be seen with such thick cloudcover and fog.  So we decided to avoid the mosquitoes of Alligator Alley and take the Eagle Roost over to Wading Bird Way. As always, the Common Moorhens were entertaining on Wading Bird Way.  We saw at least three generations of birds, with adults, early spring juveniles, and fairly young babies. I liked this juxtaposition image of the adult and an early spring juvenile: There was just one tiny baby, and it was swimming around a lot in open water, with just one older chick keeping an eye on it.  Earlier in the spring, there were dozens of babies, and the parents […]