After a series of heavy rains in the past week, large portions of our local parks are inundated. These shallow flooded areas have become gathering areas for a variety of wading birds that are not commonly seen there. Today, I spotted a new first for me, a group of Wilson's Phalaropes (Phalaropus tricolor). These strikingly colored birds clearly stood out from the more mundane coloration of most wading birds. This female came quite close as I stood still with my tripod. On reading about phalaropes, I discovered that the normal coloration seen in many birds, with the brightest colors seen in the males, is reversed, with the male phalaropes being much more dull colored than the females. They also have in common a characteristic walking pattern in a tight circle as they stir up insects and worms from the bottom. Apparently this group made a stopover here, on their way to summer breeding grounds in the northern US and Canada. A really good bird photo day. More to follow. _____________________________________Gary Holmes, photographer: I am an opportunist photographer of nature, landscapes, abstract, and other found objects of interest. I prefer to capture the spontaneity of things and events as they are occurring, and rarely photograph staged subjects other than portraits. Although I have been a photographer for decades, I have only started posting them for others to see since about September 2012. Please see my largest collection of photographs posted at http://500px.com/holmesidepi. I had sufficient encouragement from posts on other sites to try putting some up for sale on Fine Art America (FAA), which offers a wide range of printing and mounting options not currently available on 500px. As a result, I have successfully sold some of my works. Unfortunately, photography is not my primary field, and I have limited time to expand my online presence, but I will continue to steadily post more of my best works on 500px and/or FAA every week.

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