Spring migration is always fabulous, and at Malheur NWR this year despite the general lack of water there were more then enough birds to make us very happy photographers! There were five male Greater Sage-Grouse on the lek, but no females. But this in better then the first year after the fire that swept through when there were only two males on the lek. While the decline from the days went there were 17 to to 22 grouse on the lek ten years ago is a drastic reduction, at least in the past couple of years there has been some slight improvement.
While photographing the Greater Sage-Grouse I had that funny feeling that I was being watched and when I looked up I was startled to see two Pronghorn in front of the car. I think they were as startled as I was. But they stayed and I moved very slowly in the car as not to create too much movement and scare them away. Of course, they were between me and the sun so I got some great morning glare and a little backlighting on them. So that rule about always having your back to the sun in wildlife photogpraphy -- well, it's really only a suggestion.
There's a big movement of Yellow-rumped and Nashville Warblers going through the wildlife refuge this week. This was the first time I'd been able to photograph Nashville Warblers so it was a real treat!
I like to shoot low to the ground, or eye level with the subject, but laying on a busy road isn't something I want to do everyday. A few quick shots and I was up and back in the car! It's a great feeling when you can watch a calling bird, stop, get a few images, and then when you leave it's still there calling. Moving slowly and deliberately and being quiet helped me capture this image.
Enjoy! Thanks, as Always Tim