Tim Boyer Photography

Small Groups, Cool Birds in Fun Places, Create Award-winning Images!

Burrowing Owl

Malheur NWR What a Difference a Year Makes

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment
The expansive Malheur Lake at sunrise from The Narrows.
The expansive Malheur Lake at sunrise from The Narrows.

There's a drought in the West, some days it's not noticeable, but other times it just smacks you in the face -- there's no water here!  I had hoped to do some more landscape photography around Malheur and Mud Lake this year, but it didn't happen because of the massisve amount of water that just isn't there.

This is what Malheur Lake looked like last June, full of water, and here's what it looks like this June!

Lake Malheur from the Narrows June 2015
Lake Malheur from the Narrows June 2015

The photos can be deceiving though, it rained for 10 days straight before we got there so the desert was green with grasses, sage-brush and even flowering plants.  But it won't last, it was only a temporary splash of color on a stark barren landscape.

But,  where there's water -- yikes there's bugs - and where there's water & bugs, yep there are birds.  Here's a few of my favorite images for the three day photography workshop.

Beuna Vista Overlook
Beuna Vista Overlook
Common Nighhawk
Common Nighhawk
Young Burrowing Owls at teh nest.
Young Burrowing Owls at teh nest.
Great-horned Owl
Great-horned Owl
Young Great-horned Owl
Young Great-horned Owl
Common Nighthawk in evening light.
Common Nighthawk in evening light.

Despite the drought we had plenty of birds to photograph, Spotted Sandpipers, Yellow Warbles, Willow Flycatchers, Ravens, Franklin's Gulls, Sandhill Cranes, American Avocests, Black-necked Stilts, Wilson's Phalaropes, Bullock's Oriole, a pair of Greater Scaup, Killdeer, Ferruginous Hawks, and a lot of others.

Enjoy   Thanks   Tim

Wenas Canyon & Eastern Washington Workshop Report

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment

Just a quick update on the Wenas Canyon Eastern Washington Photography Workshop.  Here are a few images from the last two days!  

First shot of the two-day workshop. Beautiful light on this Mourning Dove.

First shot of the two-day workshop. Beautiful light on this Mourning Dove.

Day one was all about Western & Mountain Bluebirds. This Mountain Bluebird was very attentive to the chicks in the nest box. He made about 3 times the trips with food than the female.

Day one was all about Western & Mountain Bluebirds. This Mountain Bluebird was very attentive to the chicks in the nest box. He made about 3 times the trips with food than the female.

This Black-headed Grosbeak was pretty far away, so I had to crop this image quite a bit.

This Black-headed Grosbeak was pretty far away, so I had to crop this image quite a bit.

Day two started out with Burrowing Owls and I love the attitude this one is giving us.

Day two started out with Burrowing Owls and I love the attitude this one is giving us.

Our second stop was the County Line Ponds near Othello. This Black-necked Stilt is in the process of landing.

Our second stop was the County Line Ponds near Othello. This Black-necked Stilt is in the process of landing.

Wilson's Phalarope at County Line Ponds. For some reason, there are no American Avocets at the ponds but there were more Wilson's Phalaropes then I've seen there before.

Wilson's Phalarope at County Line Ponds. For some reason, there are no American Avocets at the ponds but there were more Wilson's Phalaropes then I've seen there before.

Lark Sparrow at the Ginko State Park in Vantage. We saw several and some had food they were carrying to chicks.

Lark Sparrow at the Ginko State Park in Vantage. We saw several and some had food they were carrying to chicks.

Rock Wren not on rocks but at the base of one of the large trees in the park.

Rock Wren not on rocks but at the base of one of the large trees in the park.

It was a fun two-day bird photography workshop.  We had some birds we didn't expect (like Lark Sparrow) and missed some we thought we'd get (like American Avocet).  There were seven chicks at the Burrowing Owl nest site, with two adults for  nine total an all time high, so that was good to see since their overall population in the Columbia Basin is declining.

Enjoy!     Thanks    Tim

Bird Quest 2014 #9

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment
Shy and hiding behind an irrigation ditch.
Shy and hiding behind an irrigation ditch.

Why are Burrowing Owls so shy?

I must have driven by them three or four times before I finally saw them.  I think one of them must have blinked at the wrong time and by subconscious mind noticed it.  It was like I knew they were there, but couldn't spot them.

Burrowing Owl-7614
Burrowing Owl-7614

The next morning I went by early to see if they were still around.  This one stayed up on up on the irrigation ditch and let me get a photo.  The second Burrowing Owl's head is just visible on the left by the tail of the one on the ditch.

Lesser Canaada Goose,
Lesser Canaada Goose,

I think this is a Canada Goose, subspecies "lesser".  The bill does not appear to be stubby and the head does not appear to be rounded as a Crackling Goose would be.  The neck length seems to indicate Lesser Canada Goose. Photographed at the Old Fishing Hole Park, Kent WA.

Tundra Swan
Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan from the  Sakgit Valley yesterday.  I thought these were Trumpters until I got home and magnified the image to 100%, the yellow between the eye and bill was clearly visible then.  Maybe my eight year old, $100, eight power binoculars need to get replaced.

Good Birding!

Tim