Monday, May 25, 2009

Daggett Creek

In the spring I like to head a short distance into the mountains not too far from Boise to enjoy the cooler air and the birds that follow the streams and rivers as they migrate and seek nesting areas. This is Mores Creek, which flows into the Boise River.

This Osprey was circling overhead and watching me warily. Perhaps it was trying to gum up my camera lens so I would leave.

The Dipper was gathering nesting materials and taking them to a nest being constructed under the bridge.

I found some Red Crossbills feeding in a pine tree. It was the first time I had ever seen one. I scrambled up a hillside and hung onto a tree to try to get closer to eye level with them. They feed in the tops of trees, prying open conifer cones with their odd, curved bills. The females, like this one, are yellowish. The males are red.

The Yellow-breasted Chat do an odd courtship flight, almost hovering, moving slowly through the air with their tail and wings spread wide, the yellow throat puffed out and waved like a flag.

There were many swallows flying low over the water, catching insects. I think this is the first Barn Swallow in flight that I've managed to focus on and photograph.

There were many Lazuli Buntings, both males and females. The males wear the bright blue that gives them their name.

And, my favorite image of the day is this Calliope Hummingbird that came and perched very close to my head. They have long, purple feathers on their gorget. It was a fun way to spend a day off from work.

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