Saturday, February 5, 2011

2011-02-04 Winter visitors photographed on a rare sunny day!

2011-02-04 Dutton and Lapeer Roads

Judy and I went back yesterday to the place off Dutton Road that Ed made us start visiting. We were wondering if any birds were still around after the large snowfall this week. Judy always thinks of what the birdies do when there is a big snowfall.

We were in luck. The flock was much smaller than we previously saw there. Instead of about 100 individuals, it was now about like two dozen. But the great news was that all three winter visitors were present!

It was full sun. My "cheap" Canon DSLR only seems to get decent renditions when it is sunny. Judy's Kodak always seems to work just fine. I will always wonder...

Anyway, the lighting and pics were great. I can now add some decent pics of the three major "winter visitors" to my blog. Also in playing with my pics, I also found out that now I have a "birdie foot fetish". Allen Chartier commented on an earlier photo of mine that it showed the long curved hind toe that gives the Longspur its name. So now I gotta look at birdie feet. Hey - it turns out quite fascinating. Check them footsies out.

Lapland Longspur
  The related Snow Buntings also have  long spur as well. (Note I said related ...)

Snow Bunting
  I am starting to think of  the spiked "ice creepers" some fishermen use ... On the other hand, I also think about nuthatches, titmice, and others that I know have curved hind toes. Each is for a specific adaptive reason, so now I just gotta pursue my new fetish.

Horned Lark - showing horns
 The foot thing with Larks is different. Interesting. I did notice that they were in a different family than the Longspurs and Buntings. Maybe this is one reason? Maybe pursuing my birdie foot fetish may shed some light on bird families as well as environmental adaptations. Always learning ...

Horned Lark - showing straight hindtoe
 Anyway, just wanted to share my really great pics (if I do say so myself...) with everyone.