Saturday Snapshot June 4: Meanwhile at the Pond

The pond has been bursting with life.

The past two weeks were prolific for me, not in writing but in shooting. I’ve been able to capture some new discoveries, first time photographing and identifying them. Here they are.

A pair of Common Terns, not common for me. They dart like speeding bullets onto the water to pick out fish but fly so gracefully in the air:


A flying common tern.jpg

Tern flying

The American Coot, not a duck, but a coot. Whatever is the difference, I need to read more:

American Coot

Here’s a pair of Blue-winged Teals. The white crescent behind the bill is the identifying mark. I’ve learned that they are long distance migrants, flying all the way to South American in the winter:

Blue-winged Teal, Male and Female

There’s also the Green-winged Teal, a beauty. Look at the shiny shades of color at the tail:

Green-winged Teal

And on the shore, perching on cattails from last fall, the Yellow-headed Blackbirds. I see the Red-winged Blackbirds all the time, but this is my first sighting of the brilliant yellow heads:

Yellow-headed Blackbird.jpg


Some of them have a shade of orange, even more handsome:

Orange yellow

Exciting discoveries for this amateur birder. More coming…



Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

30 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot June 4: Meanwhile at the Pond”

  1. Wow — I’ve never seen any of those except the coot and maybe the terns (and that was traveling and years ago, so I’m not sure.) That yellow-headed blackbird is a TOTAL STUNNER! You must be in seventh heaven finding all these new residents at the pond! I’m so glad the pond is sharing its wealth of riches with you.


    1. Jeanie,

      I was absolutely delighted to see so many new birds all at the same location! I’ve got more too, but those weren’t ‘new discovery’ so I’ll leave them till next time. It was indeed a prolific spring for me. πŸ™‚


  2. This is so interesting. This winter, I photographed the coots and the blue and green winged teal at our refuges. They’re gone now, but I know where at least a few of them are! We have the terns in summer. Their calls while flying are wonderful.

    On the other hand, I had no idea there was such a thing as a yellow-headed blackbird. The distribution maps show that they migrate through Texas, but I don’t remember even seeing a photo of one. How excited you must have been, and what great photos you got of them all. Happy spring, and happy birding!


    1. Linda,

      Interesting to know we have common birds. Of course we do, birds fly, and usually take the north-south route. Only in migration season that I see so many variety of them. Those Yellow-headed Blackbird were heaven sent. πŸ˜‰ At first I thought I was seeing some kind of a Goldfinch type of birds, but then I questioned myself, how come the body is all black and only the head golden? So I went home and looked them up. Funny that this is the first time I see them at the pond all these years!


    1. Margot,

      Welcome to the Pond! Yes, I was ecstatic to see the Yellow-headed Blackbirds for the first time. They are easy to photograph, which is a bonus. They sit still and even pose for you, not afraid your getting close, but just not too close. πŸ˜‰ Hope to hear from you again.


  3. Hi Arti, I enjoyed your excellent bird photos. Looks like “one good turn deserves another,” eh? I especially enjoyed seeing the yellow-headed black bird, and the colour of the head (turquoise, nearly) the Green-winged Teal. Kudos to you for faithfully getting β€œout there” to shoot, & continuing to publish.β€‹πŸ“·πŸ‘€πŸ’“β€‹πŸΎ


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Arti what an amazing array of birds you captured on camera!! I remember the first time I say a yellow-headed blackbird–it was stunning to me!! Where is this lake or pond located ? The birding is really good!


    1. Heather,

      Haha, you’ll have to come up north of the 49th parallel and head to Cowtown, that’s Calgary, Alberta, Canada. My neck of the woods. πŸ˜‰


  5. I wish I could have your knowledge to identify some of the birds around our home. I can recognize the Mallard Ducks (!) and the Red-winged Blackbird, and the Oriole, but that’s about all. There is so much in God’s creation, and while I am able to enjoy it, unlike Adam, I am unable to name it. πŸ™‚


    1. Bellezza,

      I think Adam had an easier job than we do, for he could just say anything and that was the name. Now we have to learn and remember what these beautiful creatures are called. But not hard though, for I’ve only started birding maybe five or six years ago and when it’s one’s passion, one learns faster. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by the pond, my friend.


  6. The yellow headed blackbird is so striking, not just its colouring, but the way you have focused in on it so well, while keeping the background textures so evocative too.


    1. Denise,

      They are indeed striking. This is the first time I actually see them there and apparently they are quite common in this area. Don’t know why it took me so long to ‘discover’ them. Thanks for stopping by the Pond!


  7. A yellow-headed blackbird? I had no idea! So pretty! I don;t know the difference between a duck and a coot either I just call them all ducks, bad me. Those teals are gorgeous!


    1. Stefanie,

      Thanks for stopping by the Pond. I’ve made several new ‘discoveries’ this spring already, so, very rewarding. Wish my blogging activities can be as prolific. But when one spends more time at the actual Pond, one would have less time at the virtual. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Grad,

      Thanks for stopping by the Pond. Yes, these are stunning birds, and I’m just glad that I was at the right place at the right time. I use a Nikon D5100 camera with a 70-300 mm tele lens. Often I have to upload the photos to my computer before I can see my subjects clearly and identify them then, esp. with new sightings.


  8. Out here, the terns compete with the pelicans in their hunt – flying high, eccentric and most excitingly. The terns seem to cry to each other – as a warning or a greeting? Their flight is quicker and more unpredictable than a pelican’s – one day I will be satisfied with my photos of them!

    These other birds I know only by name – I do wish I could meet them in person!


    1. Aubrey,

      Sorry for the delay in replying your comment. I didn’t realize I missed a few here on this post. Sounds like you have a vibrant avian community where you live. We don’t have as many sights and sounds up here so I treasure every single sighting of any birds, well, other than robin, sparrow (albeit some are more rare) and mallards. πŸ˜‰


  9. I have never seen that yellow-headed blackbird. What a magnificent bird! You have taken some very nice wildlife shots. We get a great variety of birds in our backyard, but with the screen on the windows it is hard to take their picture and as soon as I go outside they fly away… It is not easy to photograph birds, but you are good at it.


    1. VB,

      The yellow-headed blackbird is stunning. And it’s the first time I see it here at the pond. Not my backyard, but I have to drive about 20 mins. to get to the pond in a natural area. Thanks for stopping by this virtual pond and leaving your comment! BTW, love your immigrant story. As always, I’ve greatly enjoyed your Recollections. πŸ˜‰


  10. Isn’t it fantastic to find new birds (and then be able to identify them!)? It’s amazing what variety is out there when you just go look. We have an Australasian Coot that looks very similar, and there is a very similar looking bird in Europe. Our terns also look quite similar and fish in the same way. The Yellow-Headed Blackbird is a stunner.


    1. Louise,

      It’s always exciting to find a ‘new bird’. I’m sure our varieties are very different from yours. One day I’d love to visit your country. That will be truly eye-opening for me. Thanks for stopping by the Pond and leaving your ripples. πŸ˜‰


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