I have always considered it a true honor to be allowed to join this amazing team of writers, scientists and bird enthusiasts. I feel that the real skill that I bring to the group is in my photography, and some what less, my writing skills. It is with that in mind, and given that we are pretty much half way through this year, that I have picked my top twenty images for 2017. Each one will have a story, as nearly every “good” bird that we find is destined to have. Some are just birds I happen to favor, some are judged on how hard they were to obtain, and others are based on the quality/content of the image. I will keep the stories short, and hope that you enjoy my mid-year favorites as I did taking them.

This Great Blue Heron was found up near Seattle this winter, and I was as cold as this birds looks to be!

 

I have always found the Green-tailed Towhee a real challenge as they seem to stay in the dense under brush, so to get this shot, makes it a finalist.

 

Laying down in wet sand, and keeping said sand out of the camera is always a concern. This Snowy Plover was certainly worth it.

 

 

Given that we have hundreds of Snowy Egrets in the area makes them fun to find ways to get a photo that is new and different.

 

 

I happen to think the Crested Cara cara is one of the most beautiful birds in the falcon family. With that massive bill, it makes for a wonderful profile!

 

We always have a few American Avocets that do not migrate back north. They stay here in Mexico despite the heat, and raise their families.

 

 

This has been a wonderful year for finding Varied Buntings. Their regular visits to my favorite watering holes makes for some beautiful photos

 

California Quail are quite common here in the desert, but they are still absolutely beautiful, and fun to photograph. This male hoped right up on the side of my hide.

 

 

I seem to have an unlimited number of Black Skimmer photos, but they are one of my all time favorite birds to photograph.

 

 

This Bufflehead was found in the Nisqually Delta Refuge, near Seattle, when it was way to cold for my thin blood, but they are such a beautiful bird…..

 

I rarely ever get to see Least Grebes, so finding this bird in a small creek, way up in the mountains was a true surprise and treat.

 

This Song Sparrow was in the Seattle area last winter, and got so nicely framed with the local foliage. Take note of the water droplets….we don’t have much of that here on the Baja!

 

I am still cheering for the Mangrove Warbler to be split away from the Yellow Warbler. I am sure the delay is something way above my pay grade, but I can still hope!

 

When ever I am over on the Mexico Mainland, my eyes are always looking for Russet-crowned Mot Mots. In fact I am not picky, any old Mot Mot will do!

 

This Gila Woodpecker was one of the star attractions of last weeks posting. It moved quickly to the list of my all time favorites.

 

Here is the world traveler, a Surfbird, doing exactly what its name implies. It hurts for food right in the crashing surf, where no other birds really go.

 

Another bird that I get to photograph quite frequently, this Tri-color Heron is so photogenic. Color, poise, and location all make for a great image.

 

 

I photograph White Ibis’s a lot, but almost always feeding in the tidal flats, and around the mangroves. I guess that is what make this flight image so fun for me.

 

 

A real rarity, it is such a treat to get to watch an Anna’s Hummingbird here in this part of the Baja.

 

 

One of our favorite local endemic, the Gray Thrasher is always good for a series of nice shots.

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Written by Tom Brown
Tom Brown grew up in the high desert area of central Oregon. His love for birds and photography started at a young age. Thru the course of time, travel, and a lot of different occupations, he ended up living in Seattle, and met a girl with a sailboat. Now his wife, Jeanne wanted to travel the world, and he thought that sounded like fun, and a great way to see a bunch of new birds! So far they have sailed north from Seattle, up thru British Columbia, Canada and down the West Coast of the US to settle (for now) in La Paz, Mexico. When he is not scouring whatever area they are in, looking for the next great bird photo, he can be found trying to earn enough money for the next adventure, and of course, a new lens or camera body! Having been nick-named “The Bird Nerd” by his last remaining friends and family, Tom continues search for that next lifer, and the accompanying photo that goes with it.