Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

On Dawn

On the morning appointed for her departure Tess was awake before dawn — at the marginal minute of the dark when the grove is still mute, save for one prophetic bird who sings with a clear-voiced conviction that he at least knows the correct time of day, the rest preserving silence as if equally convinced that he is mistaken.

Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles


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Some Birds

Today I had the opportunity to get outside with my camera. It was challenging for me to take photos of birds this summer because there were so many leaves and I couldn’t focus on any of them! Now that the leaves are falling I feel like I have more opportunities to both observe and photograph birds. It doesn’t hurt that it is prime migration season, either.


A pair of Double Crested Cormorants seems to have taken up permanent residency at my lake. I see this male frequently, but the female is a bit more rare of a sight. I hope she’s nesting. I’d love to see some cormorant babies in the spring.


This migrating warbler landed on a branch right above me and I managed to snap this fun photo of his yellow belly.


Many thanks to this Carolina Wren for doing such a thorough job cleaning out my hammock! He didn’t even care that both I and my cat were outside watching him.


This isn’t a great photo, but I was astonished to watch this Flicker stash an acorn in a pine tree. I wonder if he’ll come back for it, or if a squirrel will find it first.

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Photo Walk

The title of this post is a misnomer because two of the photos you will see were taken from inside my house (one was taken from my bed). But because a few of the photos are from around the neighborhood I’m sticking with the photo walk idea.



One of my neighbors has a really beautiful garden. These interesting flowers are growing right by the road.


Goose family. Since this photo was taken another pair of geese has hatched another set of three goslings. It’s fun to watch them wander around the neighborhood.


We have this giant spiky mahonia plant growing on the corner of our house. It grows purple berries that don’t look very appetizing. I had never seen any animals on it before until today, when I was distracted from a playdate by a pair of bluebirds collecting berries out the playroom window. I quickly grabbed my camera, but the birds flew away whenever I pointed it at them. This is the only shot I got and I kind of love it despite its blurriness.


In the few days between opening the pool and adding the pool chemicals we had a few visitors. This turtle happily hung out with us for a good 24 hours until he decided he’d had enough and wandered off.


One day I was laying in my bed reading and just happened to have my camera handy when this squirrel paused outside my window to eat a nut. I took several shots of him before he got wise and left.

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Hawk by ambermae
Hawk, a photo by ambermae on Flickr.

One of my favorites from this morning’s photo walk at nearby Shelley Lake.

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So long, ducks

I forgot to mention earlier that the arrival of spring also means the departure of our buffleheads and other winter ducks. So long, funny ducks. I’ll miss you.

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Welcome Spring

Today it finally feels like we’ve turned the corner on spring. I thought the winter would never end. Some photos —

Rainy cardinal:



A carolina wren sounds an alarm:




Pine siskins:


Kitten antics:


And squirrel antics:


Dinner for ten:





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Easter at the Lake

Yesterday before the family settled in for Easter dinner I grabbed a few minutes to sit outside with my camera. It was a beautiful spring day and the birds were quite active. This yellow rumped warbler preened right in front of me for a while, which is why he’s so fluffy:


This is what they look like when they’re not so ruffled:


My kitten enjoyed a little time outside, too:


The big surprise yesterday was that this double crested cormorant seems to have moved to our lake. I saw a few recently at another nearby lake, but this was the first one I saw here:


And today I found this shy bullfrog hiding in my pool cover. He’s safe from the heron up here!




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