Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunrise Bokeh

The winter storm has passed, the sun is out, and the ice is melting.  The sun rising over the trees this morning was a welcome sight and was pretty reflecting over the ice covered limbs.  I grabbed the camera but despite best efforts, a camera just cannot capture the light as you see it.

After several attempts at the shot I wanted and gave up on, I began focusing or should I say out of focusing on the bokeh.  The "golden hour" light gave the bokeh and nice, rich copper color.

















The birds were back out feeding heavily at the suet feeder and seed feeder this morning.  There were so many yesterday and today I would just throw a cup full of seed on the ground so all could eat.  The birds looked nice sitting in the ice coated limbs.


 With only 55 days until the first day of spring, I hope this is the first and last winter weather for the year.  The ice did a lot of damage on the trees and it will take several days to clean up the limbs.





Friday, January 8, 2016

Dinner for the Cooper's Hawk

It has been a very dreary, misty type of day but at least not too terribly cold.

 Late this afternoon I looked out the window just in time to see the Cooper's Hawk come and sit on top of the bird feeder.  I went quickly for the camera but by the time I got back, it had swooped down, gotten a bird and flew to a nearby tree.

I stepped out of the house to try for a shot.  It was not until I looked at the photo that I realized when it swooped down it had caught a bird.  Despite my best efforts to provide cover at the bird feeder area, this hawk has learned it is a good area for birds.

I always feel bad about it but realize that is just the cycle of life in nature.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Berry College Eagle Cam

Once again this year, the eagles are back and nesting at Berry College.  I have been checking in on them occasionally over the last week to see if any eggs had been laid.

Today they were really working hard on the nest.  Since Saturday they have brought in a great deal more soft lining material.  Looks like she may be getting ready to lay soon.

The web cam site is here.  I caught his screen grab today.  Nest building is definitely a joint effort.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Warm Weather Equals Fewer Winter Waterfowl

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, my brother, nephew and I headed to Lake Mattamuskeet early yesterday morning.  I suspected that this may be an odd year because of the weather and there was a noticeable difference in the numbers and diversity of waterfowl.

The lack of really cold weather sufficient to kill back vegetation in the wetland marsh made viewing more difficult.  There were lots of ducks but they were hidden from view.

The weather has been so warm that even some of the reptiles and amphibians don't know it is winter!  Looking at the photo of the Eastern Box Turtle, I wish now I had put something down as a scale.  She was a rather large and beautifully marked turtle.  We stopped and moved her out of the path for fear someone else may not stop and would hit her.



A bullfrog was sitting out catching some rays and enjoying the warmth.

















The numbers of Northen Pintails were down significantly.  The waves of hundreds taking off and landing was not happening. Those that were present were hiding in the grasses.









The numbers of Northern Shovelers was also down but of those that were present, it was fairly easy to get a nice shot of them.













There were several species whose numbers appeared to be greater than normal for the past several years.  The American Wigeon is one of those.  After attempting a decent photo of them for the past couple of years, this year it was fairly easy to get some decent shots.


The numbers of Ring-necked ducks were high this year.   I had to add two photos...one I liked but I also like to show the female of the species.



There were also quite a few more Gadwalls, or at least they were more visible,


The number of Tundra Swans was also down.  We did however find that a rather large flock had shifted over to the Gull Rock Gamelands,  It appeared that there had been quite a lot of work done on one field to attract them and indeed, the swans had responded.



Scanning the trees as we were departing the refuge, an eagle was sitting looking regal as if surveying the activities.  We had seen several juvenile eagles earlier in the day.


Always with an  eye open, we spotted a couple of turkeys in a field on Hwy 94.  Not the best shot.  The vibration of the car is definitely picked up in the photos.  They were there, then gone.




Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

It seems hard to believe December is almost gone.  With the warm weather it definitely does not seem like Christmas.  Best wishes to all for a great holiday season.

A few photos of December at a glance.  With the beginning of the year, I plan to begin making regular posts again.  It has been a rather long hiatus from the blog and I am ready to come back now.

























Monday, November 2, 2015

Mei and Bei Bei at the National Zoo

Well it has been a very busy spring, summer and fall trying to complete house and yard projects.  I think I am finally about to wrap things up less one final room to paint.  I have really missed going out but wanted to focus some much needed attention to house and yard projects.  I will look forward to spring now to see which of the yard projects have been successful.

I am definitely looking forward to the incoming waterfowl this winter.  The fall migration was just kicking in good with lots of birds starting to come through when the two weeks of unending rain hit.  That pretty much doomed the remaining fall migration.

I definitely have not been spending much time on the computer except for checking email and a quick check in on Mei and her cub Bei Bei.  The link to the panda cam at the Smithsonian National Zoo is here.    The cub is really growing and over the last week has shown quite a bit of effort on getting it's back legs working.

Mei, the adult female panda appears to be a really good mom.  I really enjoy watching her when she sits back and using her two front legs like arms, holds the cub for feeding or grooming.  This photo is a screen grab from this morning.  Makes you say awe!  I am looking forward to when she finally brings the cub out.  I haven't been to the National Zoo since I was a child so this will be a good reason to go again.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Family Gathering

I have watched over the last couple of days as the bucks have been arriving.  The doe with the fawns at first chased the bucks away but they would not go far and just stand and watch.  Gradually, the doe have permitted the bucks to come closer.  It makes me think that these are perhaps the fathers of the fawns.  One of the fawns attempted to engage one of the bucks in play but no-go.




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Nature lover, animal lover, lover of life.