Friday, March 30, 2012

Oh Say's Can You See

I fit in (fitted in?) just a pinch of evening birding on Thursday, hoping to see some first of the season Nighthawks. No luck there, but I did get some great views of the perennially visible and beautiful Say's Phoebe. There were actually a pair of the Phoebes, and they were feeling a bit frisky in the dusky light (no photos there out of respect for their private business). The female preferred to stay low to the ground where she was surprisingly well camouflaged among the granitic rocks. This is an aspect of the Phoebe's plumage that had never occurred to me before. Contrarily, the male perched proud and tall atop this creosote bush, surveying his domain and devouring anything with more than four legs.

I've gushed about my affection for evening light before. It does make flight shots (a fun enterprise with flycatchers) very difficult, but also adds a warm soft glow to the photos, a glow that I find to be a very welcome relief from the white-washing Arizona sun.

If I may Say's so, this cinnamon species is the loveliest of Phoebes.