It appears that you are currently using Ad Blocking software. What are the consequences? Click here to learn more.
Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

McIntosh Lake

November 24th, 2012 · No Comments

Print This Post Print This Post
Advertisment


On one hand, McIntosh Lake in Longmont is too civilized for us. Much of the 3 1/2 mile path around this large lake is paved with cement. Both Sharon and I prefer to walk on dirt.

On the other hand, we found plenty of dirt. When I wandered off the path to get close to a group of American White Pelicans, I had to cross a mudflat. The mud got thicker and thicker and finally got so sticky that I couldn’t lift one of my boots out of it without going down on my knees and crawling back. I did get dirty, but of course protected my camera. It doesn’t like dirt as much as the little boy in me does.

Actually, I didn’t get any good shots of pelicans then. But an hour later both we and the pelicans had moved to the other end of the lake. Of course, they were in the lake, and we were next to it, and this time I wasn’t in the mud.

Pelicans are one of the largest birds in North America and among my favorites, especially because they seem to choreograph their movements in sync with each other. As they did here:

Three American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) Swim Together in McIntosh Lake (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/1000th, ISO 800)

Three American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) Swim Together in McIntosh Lake (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/1000th, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

As we walked around the lake from one pelican sighting to the other, we came across three species of grebes in the lake. The Pied-billed Grebes were too far away for successful photography, but Eared Grebes and Western Grebes were within range of my lens.

An Adult Non-Breeding Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) Swims in Still Waters (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/350th, ISO 800)

An Adult Non-Breeding Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) Swims in Still Waters (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/350th, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

The other grebe species we found there is the larger and even more elegant Western Grebe.

Note the Distorted Reflection of the Bill of this Non-breeding Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentals) (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/500th, ISO 800)

Note the Distorted Reflection of the Bill of this Non-breeding Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentals) (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/500th, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

The Eared Grebe above is in general misnamed and is winter is especially so. In summer it has yellow ear-tufts, not protruding ears.

Just before sunset, the last bird we saw was especially hard to identify. Sharon tentatively identified it as a Black-bellied Plover, even though its belly clearly is white. Our friend Ted Floyd, the editor of Birding Magazine, the journal of the American Birding Association, confirmed it. In winter this bird’s belly does turn black, so that was not the only problem. Rather, it was because people have so rarely seen this bird in Colorado. Nobody had ever reported it at on eBird at McIntosh Lake and only a few people had ever reported it anywhere in the state.

A Rare Colorado Sighting of a Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 390mm, f/8, 1/180th, ISO 800)

A Rare Colorado Sighting of a Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 390mm, f/8, 1/180th, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

To get this shot I had to walk across more mudflats. But this time I stumbled onto a bird instead of quicksand.

Share

Posted in: Photography

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment