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Tree and Bird-Filled Morning Sky | by G Dan Mitchell
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Tree and Bird-Filled Morning Sky

Tree and Bird-Filled Morning Sky. Central Valley, California. January 28, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


Giant flocks of migratory birds fill the winter sky above the Central Valley of California.


There are times when the number of migratory birds visible in California' Central Valley approaches the level of unbelievable. As we photographed them near the end of January, at one point we noticed that there are almost always more birds than you think you see. Your attention might be caught by a formation of birds flying not too far above. But if you look beyond them you might see another formation up higher. And if you look more closely you might find even more higher and further away. For me it is common to review a photograph that I made of one grouping only to discover many, many more that I had not even seen when I made the exposure.


During a lull in the action directly overhead, I looked a bit further out to the east and noticed what might best be described as a "cloud of birds" rising from an area perhaps a mile or more away. At first the cloud stuck together, but soon it began to thin and separate into smaller groups. If you look more closely at this little jpg version of the image, you may still be able to see even more birds than were apparent at first glance. The sidelight on the tree and the plants growing around the pond comes from very early morning sunlight shortly after dawn.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.

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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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Taken on January 28, 2012