Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cold Saturday Morning

I went out early to see what ducks were on the pond this morning.  To my delight about a dozen Northern Shovelers had arrived at the pond.  The Ring-billed Ducks were back again this morning also.  The Mallards did not quite know what to think of the Shovelers.  Their habit of swimming in circles searching the bottom had the Mallards stirred up.    Unfortunately they were on the far side of the pond and at the out limits of my lens.  Hopefully they will stay the winter and I will have some additional opportunities.  I had thought about coming back home and getting the scope but there was a pretty stiff breeze coming over the bridge of the pond.

I had a nice opportunity to photograph a Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker this morning.  Not sure what it was finding to eat but if worked an area at the edge of the water for some time.  They are usually so skittish that I enjoyed the relaxed opportunity.

Friday, November 29, 2013

More Activity in The Cedar Trees

I went out for a bit around mid day.  The activity around the cedar trees was high.  What I wonder about is why the birds will select a specific tree then want to squabble over the berries.  On this farm, there are lots of cedar trees and all are loaded with berries but each day the birds target a different tree,

The Bluebirds and Waxwings were in a constant squabble with each other.  There were a couple of water bowls in one of the animal pens that the Waxwings kept visiting.  When some of the Bluebirds decided to join in, the Waxwings expressed their displeasure.
Sorry for the fence noise.

These trees also are a favorite of the Kinglets to hunt in.  This little Ruby-crowned got so close to me at times I could not even get the camera to focus without stepping back.

As I was walking back to the car, there was a water hole that the Dark-eyed Juncos were using as a bath spot.  They were really enjoying the water even on a cool day.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Bevy of Bluebirds

After days of rain it was nice to see the sun today though a bit on the cool side.  After doing the Thanksgiving Day lunch thing I was completely miserable from too much food.  Steak, shrimp and scallops.  Yum!  Not the traditional T-Day food but it sure was good.

Not being use to a large mid day meal I found myself wanting to take a nap.  Oh no...I won't sleep at night if I do that.  With the sun out I grabbed the camera and the dog and headed out.  She needed to burn up some energy from being stuck in the house after two rainy days.

There were at least a dozen bluebirds performing acrobatic feats in their efforts to get the cedar berries.  The Cedar Waxwings were taking their turn also but they stayed more to the inside of the tree so no really good photos of them.  The Bluebirds however went for the outer edges of the limbs where the greatest number of berries were.

There was the tilt and lean method, the flutter and sometimes just sit and look.  The lean and tilt was the preferred method.  They were quite amusing to watch.  The dog was ready to go before I was but then of course she took at least 15 running steps for every one step I took.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Morning Outing

What a difference a day fact, a couple of hours.  After a night of rain showers, there was going to be a brief window of time before more clouds moved in this morning.  I headed out early just to see what was out.

The sun was out when I arrived and the Great Blue Heron was sunning on a favorite tree.  I talked with the park ranger for a while and we walked on back to the marsh area.

Several deer were out and blended so well into the background we didn't see them at first.  The wetland area looks so different without the green lush foliage of the spring and summer.

Lots of Mallards were flying in and beginning to congregate on the pond.  The males were busy chasing each other while the females were nonchalantly preening their feathers.

A group of Ring-billed Ducks were at the far side of the pond.  I had my 4/3 camera with me so set in on 4x optical zoom with a 300mm lens.  Not the best shot but it let me see what kind of ducks they were.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Late Autumn Day

It was another unusually warm day but for sure I am not complaining.  Cold air is suppose to arrive Sunday so it was nice to have a last opportunity to open up the house to air our.  The frogs and lizards were out enjoying the warm weather too.  I counted three Carolina Anole basking around the deck area this afternoon.


A little Downy Woodpecker has been hitting the suet feeder hard along with the %(*&$# squirrels.  By this afternoon is looked a little perplexed as to why so little left.  Late this afternoon I fixed up a batch of home made suet which the birds seem to prefer.  Once the cold weather arrives next week all they birds should hitting it pretty hard.

I spent the day getting up leaves before  the rain comes in.  It seems like this year the leaves have stayed on the trees quite a bit longer than usual.  I guess because we have had so little cold weather they are hanging on longer.  The Japanese Maples in the yard look like pillars of fire against the brown of the other trees.  They too turned later than usual and still have most of their leaves.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Beautiful Day

The last two weeks have been extremely busy with work on my room.  Painting is completed and the new floor is down.  My new mattress was delivered Friday and when arrived, I found I could not get on the bed without a step stool!  I spent the day scouting other mattress possibilities and fighting with Sears since they have given me every reason in the world on why the mattress should not be returned.  I was told to "give it 30 days" and see how I like it first.  They just don't seem to understand that I will not grow any taller and the mattress will not lose any depth in 30 days.

So frustrated by this afternoon I headed out just to get away.  The birds were very active taking advantage of the warm day and increased insect movement.  I hit one spot where the bird activity was so numerous then all of a sudden the robins alarmed and they all flew.  I saw the hawk fly on by so guess that is what spooked them.

There were lots of Kinglets, both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned, Eastern Bluebirds, Pine Warblers, Flickers, Woodpeckers and Sapsuckers.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blue-headed Vireo

Hearing lots of chirps, chips and peeps when I arrived home this morning, I grabbed the camera and walked out in the yard.  What I expected to see was some Kinglets of one kind or another.  Once I looked through the camera I realized that this was not a Kinglet and was very surprised and delighted to see a Blue-headed Vireo.

It was a nice, unexpected treat in a time when all but the everyday song birds are usually the only birds around.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Early Morning Outing

I met a friend out early this morning to view the partial eclipse.  We were not the only folks out to watch.  Picture time was limited to first views as to not damage the camera sensors.  Pretty cool!  It was a fairly cool morning out and I could not believe some folks showed up in shorts and T-shirts.  With the wind blowing I know they were cold.

I decided to ride on down the road a bit even though it was just barely light.  I stopped and cut off the car when I saw some deer come up through the pasture and reach electric fence.  Panic behavior set in quickly as they paced and ran along side the fence looking for a way through.  I really felt sorry for them.

 About that time I sneezed and the doe went over and the young deer went through.  The young buck began crouching getting ready to make the jump.  He seemed hesitant but soon made the leap.

Lots of Palm Warblers have arrived and were flying in and out of a tree that was receiving first light.

A pair of hawks were hunting over the fields and one buzzed by so close and so quickly I really could not get the camera to focus well.