Kip’s Comments 5-11-18

American Bittern - Image 503926 (© Kip Ladage)

 
It’s All About Habitat

As a wildlife observer/wildlife photographer with a strong passion, I am often humbled by the opportunities that come my way. I may carry my equipment with me so I am ready for interactions, and I may pay close attention watching for wildlife as I am out and about, but that I see it so often and so close is a gift from God. There is no explaining how today happened other than divine intervention.     

As I was traveling, my route included areas of suitable habitat – specifically marsh and grassland environments. The landscape provided all that wildlife needed and since nature abhors a vacuum, in that habitat I saw wildlife filling the void. Not only did I see a variety of bird species, but I saw several species that I don’t often see, and certainly not at close range. I will provide a brief description of each below.   

American Bittern –

The last American bittern I saw was within the past few days at Sweet Marsh. As soon as our eyes locked on each other, the bittern took flight and flight images were all that I was able to shoot. As I rounded a curve in a road today, I saw what many, myself included (for a short time), may have thought was a short, rotted out tree in shallow water. Almost as soon as that thought entered my mind, I stopped and studied the “tree”. No, it was not a rotted out tree, but was this American bittern.

As bitterns often do, it hardly moved, other than to look like the grasses around it. The bird knew what it was doing and I am sure others may have passed by it and not noticed its presence. Needless to say I was thrilled by the experience.   

American Bittern: 

American Bittern - Image 503754 (© Kip Ladage)

American Bittern – Image 503754 (© Kip Ladage)

 

American Bittern - Image 503767 (© Kip Ladage)

American Bittern – Image 503767 (© Kip Ladage)

 

American Bittern - Image 503780 (© Kip Ladage)

American Bittern – Image 503780 (© Kip Ladage)

 

American Bittern - Image 503824 (© Kip Ladage)

American Bittern – Image 503824 (© Kip Ladage)

 

American Bittern - Image 503826 (© Kip Ladage)

American Bittern – Image 503826 (© Kip Ladage)

 

American Bittern - Image 503826 (© Kip Ladage)

American Bittern – Image 503837 (© Kip Ladage)

 

American Bittern - Image 503857 (© Kip Ladage)

American Bittern – Image 503857 (© Kip Ladage)

 

American Bittern - Image 503915 (© Kip Ladage)

American Bittern – Image 503915 (© Kip Ladage)

 

American Bittern - Image 503926 (© Kip Ladage)

American Bittern – Image 503926 (© Kip Ladage) 

 

Clay-colored Sparrow –

Not too far from the American bittern I watched much smaller birds flitting around. When one of the birds perched on a tree branch, I took a few pictures. Some “little brown bird” identification assistance told me I had seen and photographed a “Life Bird” for me – a clay-colored sparrow. I had not seen such a bird before and was happy to have also recorded acceptable images of the bird. Again, the habitat was right for the grassland sparrow to thrive.   

Clay-colored Sparrow: 

Clay-colored Sparrow - Image 504012 (© Kip Ladage)

Clay-colored Sparrow – Image 504012 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Clay-colored Sparrow - Image 504015 (© Kip Ladage)

Clay-colored Sparrow – Image 504015 (© Kip Ladage) 

 

Upland Sandpiper –

On a different section of road I spotted this upland sandpiper on a fence post. My buddy was behind me and wondered why I was turning around. He had not noticed the sandpiper on the post. I guess my watching as I travel paid off.     

For those wondering, the upland sandpiper was in suitable habitat for its species’ characteristics.   

Upland Sandpiper on Fence Post: 

Upland Sandpiper on Post - Image 504087 (© Kip Ladage)

Upland Sandpiper on Post – Image 504087 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Black and White Warbler –

Before I explain this one, let me admit that the picture is less than stunning. The image is more for documentation than for sharing.     

I was in a development with timber watching yellow warblers and a pair of hermit thrushes when I noticed this lone black and white warbler hopping around on a tree. The little warbler did not pause long enough for a decent composition before flying off to destinations unknown.   

Black and White Warbler:     

Black and White Warbler - Image 503942 (© Kip Ladage)

Black and White Warbler – Image 503942 (© Kip Ladage)

 

I shot more wildlife images that also seemed to illustrate today’s theme of “It’s All About Habitat.” If the habitat would not have been present, none of these moments in time would have happened.     

Wood Duck in Brushy Habitat:

Wood Duck in Timber - Image 504104 (© Kip Ladage)

Wood Duck in Timber – Image 504104 (© Kip Ladage)

     

Trumpeter Swans in Cattails (presumed to be on a nest):   

Trumpeter Swans in Cattails - Image 504021 (© Kip Ladage)

Trumpeter Swans in Cattails – Image 504021 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Trumpeter Swans in Cattails - Image 504028 (© Kip Ladage)

Trumpeter Swans in Cattails – Image 504028 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Trumpeter Swans in Field:   

Trumpeter Swans in Field- Image 504032 (© Kip Ladage)

Trumpeter Swans in Field- Image 504032 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Trumpeter Swans in Field- Image 504035 (© Kip Ladage)

Trumpeter Swans in Field- Image 504035 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Trumpeter Swans in Field- Image 504036 (© Kip Ladage)

Trumpeter Swans in Field- Image 504036 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Barn Swallow on Fence: 

Barn Swallow on Fence - Image 503932 (© Kip Ladage)

Barn Swallow on Fence – Image 503932 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Juvenile Double-crested Cormorant: 

Juvenle Double-crested Cormorant - Image 503960 (© Kip Ladage)

Juvenle Double-crested Cormorant – Image 503960 (© Kip Ladage)

   

Whitetail Deer in Timber: 

Whitetail Deer in Timber - Image 504096 (© Kip Ladage)

Whitetail Deer in Timber – Image 504096 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Muskrat Swimming Near Dead Fish: 

Muskrat Swimming Near Dead Fish - Image 503985 (© Kip Ladage)

Muskrat Swimming Near Dead Fish – Image 503985 (© Kip Ladage)

     

Canada Goose Nest With A Broken Egg:

Canada Goose Nest With Broken Egg - Image 503956 (© Kip Ladage)

Canada Goose Nest With Broken Egg – Image 503956 (© Kip Ladage)

       

Turkey Vulture Flying Low:   

Turkey Vulture in Low Flight - Image 504060 (© Kip Ladage)

Turkey Vulture in Low Flight – Image 504060 (© Kip Ladage)

        

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