Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Town birds at Town Lake

It was a fine, sunny day in Austin, after a spell of cold and damp weather. I went down to Town Lake to see which ducks are back, and found ruddy ducks, buffleheads, and great numbers of lesser scaups.

Having also lately taken an interest in butterfly photography, I noticed that several butterfly species are still out in good numbers, notably American snouts (not nearly as numerous as before the first freeze), buckeyes, and a large yellow Phoebis species, either agarithe or philea. But I had my 1.7x tele-extension lens on because I wanted to take pictures of birds, and this is no good for macro shots.

I thought I had better pictures of the birds than it turns out that I did. Below is the best of the scaup photos.
Lesser scaup, Austin's Town Lake

This is a female ruddy duck. More commonly they have their short, stiff tails held almost upright.
Female Ruddy Duck, Austin's Town Lake

This is one of Austin's monk parakeets. They have lived and bred in Austin for 30 years or more. They are temperate and subtropical birds from South America, and can withstand fairly cold weather. They like power poles.
Monk parakeet in its natural Austin habitat

(click for larger versions of the photos at Flickr.)

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