Saturday, July 07, 2012

Lifer: Northern Waterthrush

Our area has been sweltering under the heatwave that has enveloped much of the central and eastern United States.  I have focused much of my wildlife photography over the past week upon one particular spot along a local creek where deer frequently cross.  While focused upon obtaining "deer in the water" shots; other wildlife opportunities do arise as did this encounter with a waterthrush.

Actually, I was unaware that any waterthrush's inhabited our area until one day in April when my wife and I accompanied our niece Amy and her husband on a walk through a wildflower reserve.  Amy heard a bird calling and identified it as a Louisiana Waterthrush and soon we spotted it bobbing along a bubbling stream.  This remained my only encounter with waterthrush's until yesterday morning as I sat at the creek crossing when two birds lit along the creek and began hunting the shoreline.  At first I thought, Louisiana waterthrush, but upon researching the waterthrush I found that our area is in the range of the northern varity as well.  I think that what I have here is a northern; based upon the description.  If anyone has reason to disagree I would certainly appreciate your input in a comment. 

I was simply amazed by the number of insects, worms, etc. that these birds caught in a short amount of time.  As they searched among the rocks only a few moments passed between each catch.  Once I saw a bird with a small crayfish in its beak; however this activity was taking place in a dark shaded area.  Under those conditions my autofocus was giving me fits and no photos of the birds with a catch made the grade to be published here.  However, when one bird hopped into a shaft of sunlight everything worked perfectly.

While the waterthrushs are members of the warbler family their gait and feeding habits are much like those of the spotted sandpiper; bobbing continously while foraging near the water's edge.


Ruth Hiebert said...

WOW!!! These are fantastic. The reflections are a beautiful bonus. I look at your pictures and I know I have so much to learn.Thanks for being an inspiration to keep on shooting and learning.

Montanagirl said...

Congratulations on your "lifer"!! Love these shots, and that last one is superb with the reflection.

Sharon M said...

Beautiful photos.

Brian King said...

Congratulations! The photos are beautiful. Love the reflections!

Chad Oneil Myers said...

The last frame is a greeting card cover.