I was long overdue for a return trip to Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. So yesterday, I took one. Huzzah for the flexible work schedule of a substitute teacher!
American White Pelican in flight to black and white.
Baird's Sandpiper doing an "Exit, Stage Left" bit, the conversion was more a case of the bird being fairly drably colored and the rocks he was walking across being a pretty uniform white. This way, the focus is more on the pattern in the feathers and the texture of the rocks.
Lesser Yellowlegs in the shallows. You do miss the yellow legs this way, unfortunately. Trust me -- he has 'em.
Great Blue Herons -- I saw at least 20. But they were VERY reluctant to let me get close enough for a good shot. I must have spent five minutes slowly creeping up on in this one in my car, which most wildlife is less concerned about than a person on foot. Having a hybrid with a nice quiet engine definitely helped. Still, he kept with this peek-a-boo routine until he finally decided I was close enough and flew lazily off.
American Golden-Plover in non-breeding plumage. More muddy water, which has a positively mesmerizing texture in black and white.
I was surprised by this large Polyphemus Moth lying motionless on the trail. By large, I mean his wingspan was easily four inches. I poked him gently with a twig and he fluttered a bit. So I scooped him up and deposited him on this nearby log, which he promptly crawled off and plummeted into the grass. So I patiently scooped him up again, and eventually he flew a solid 30 feet or so. Not sure what sort of future he had, but I feel like I bought him a little more time. And it was very cool to see him up close.
Variegated meadowhawk warming up on a paved section of the trail.
Snowy Egret in color to enjoy the yellow patch by his eye and the hint of his yellow foot.
Little Blue Heron stalking in the reeds.
Wilson's Snipe. The smaller shore birds were definitely more cooperative subjects than their larger counterparts this day.
Not exactly the trip I'd envisioned, but that's the great thing about nature. It almost never does exactly what you expect, and it's still almost always wonderful. :)