Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I so wanted it to get up on the ledge where I could get a full body shot but it didn't want to cooperate. I will be going up there next week to see if I can get both of them in a close up! The falcons won't nest here because there is no shelter. They will come up here to catch the rays and look for pigeons though! Tim (the maintenance man told me he has even found pigeon carcases on this ledge so I am guessing they dine here as well.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
He looks to his left to see if those are appealing.
Then he looks at the ones right below him to size up their appeal.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
My guess is that I will know for certain next week where they decide to roost. I am just waiting for the male to start doing his aerial mating ritual which he has yet to do. I guess he didn't get the email that spring is near and he better start courting his woman. She may be the only falcon around but he shouldn't be taking it for granted that she will want to spend another year with him without any romance. ;o)
Monday, February 23, 2009
I am really starting to enjoy looking at the various mergensers that live within the Blackstone River. I find most of them along the bike trail I go to almost every weekend. The one above was swimming by herself as I watched her totally transfixed by her graceful swimming and the gentle ripples of water she made with each splendid stroke.
The male hooded mergenser is such a beauty. I watched a group of them on Sunday morning appreciating all of their colorful feathers and markings. As I watched, my thoughts started wandering and crept into my mind. I have used this bike path since it first opened which was approximately 4 years ago. In the past, I would lace up my sneakers and run the length of the path with a timer to see if I could break my record each time I ran it. I would use various points of the river as benchmarks on progress and measurement.
Were the ducks here all of this time and I had just never noticed? How could I not have seen a bird as lovely as this even if I wasn't into birding? It didn't take me long to get my answer........ I was too busy running miles, projects, schedules and responsibilities to pay any attention to much of anything. I watch the ducks fly off and feel somehow cheated of the first half of my life by my own doings. All that time there was so much out there for me to see, but I never thought to open my eyes.
The bike path to me is no longer a running track. Most of the people who use it are walkers, runners or bicyclists. We all know each other by now and nod our polite hellos as we pass but they all leave me far behind. I am the one who has noticed the beaver dam over where the heron will build her nest. I am the one who noticed a new bulb flower growing slowly in the corner near the pine tree and I am the one who notices the mergensers swimming gracefully along the river.
I guess it's true what they say about one choosing ones own path in life. Many of us use this same path every day, but for our own various reasons. I walk along the Blackstone River happy that I have finally found true happiness. It is indeed the path well taken.
I finally gave up, got in my car and was driving to my next destination when suddenly I could see a car full of people pulled over on the side of the road with their fingers pointing toward the sky. I looked up and noticed the hawk was going toward the direction of the elementary school and immediately followed. It sat long enough for me to turn on my camera, unroll my window, zoom in just a tad and then click. I was going to zoom in a little more and it flew off. This prompted me to put my car in park ,get out of my car and attempt a couple of more photos in flight before it took off. It was exhausting and very quick so I couldn't keep up with it.
While very happy with my first photos of a red tailed, I do wish it would have sat still a little longer for me so I could get a few more pictures. Do hawks ever sit still? Such gorgeous birds!!
For more great bird photography pictures go to Bird Photography Weekly over at my sidebar.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I decided to give the simple crow his time in the spotlight and took a few photos of one standing hawk guard. Many people don't care for crows much but I happen to really like them. They are comical and extremely intelligent. I can spend hours watching them communicate with one another, play on tree tops and stalk hawks. They are also one of my best way of spotting hawks. Once I hear a bunch of crows crowing, I know a hawk can't be too far away and get my camera ready.
The pretty robin up in a tree. I actually can't believe how well this photo came out because green wire fencing was between the both of us. I used manual focus to concentrate on him and that softened the fencing. The ground is starting to thaw so I actually saw a couple of robins on the ground today searching for worms. I was hoping they succeeded as I am sure they are sick of berries by now.
My nemesis bird the great blue heron. It actually struck a pose for me today instead of yelling at me a taking off like she normally does. I have never seen it out of the water before and found it odd. I am wondering where it is going to make its nest. My guess is around this area of the river because it is there every time I pass by it.
A ring billed gull? walks on ice. These gulls are smart little critters. They all flock around the ice fisherman in hopes they can get some scraps of some sort. There were literally dozens of them out there hoping for the fisherman's success.
Lastly is my weekly bird I am not sure of. I am guessing a female hooded mergenser but the red breasted mergencer looks very similar in my Peterson guide. Can someone please confirm to me that this is a hooded? Thanks.
It looks as if I will be doing most of my birding tomorrow from my kitchen window. We are supposed to get snow!!!! Arrrggg!!! Just when it was all starting to melt. Enjoy your Saturday everyone.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Today was the day that old man winter decided to come back and remind me spring is still a little while away. The wind blew fiercely as I went about filling up the feeders. I knew it was going to be one of those days when I looked over at my neighbors tree and saw about 50 starlings on it and eye balling my feeders. With no will to fight them, I went back indoors and decided to watch
The starlings came and the feathers flew. They love my suet and will fight to the death to get a piece of it. The picture above is a good example of the type of war fare the starlings are capable of in my peaceful back yard. The others perch upon the green fencing directly behind the suet feeder. I put that up as a deterrent to neighborhood cats getting to the birds. I have the regular fencing up there too and wanted to get rid of the green wiring but it is frozen solid into the ground!! It looks like I am stuck with the convenient perching spot for the starlings for the time being.
While this goes on the other birds watch along with me. I often wonder what they think of the fighting and the starlings in general. Do the starlings annoy them just as much as they do me? I am guessing the answer is yes.
The mockingbird on the other hand could care less what the starlings are doing. It goes about its business and has recently discovered my bird bath. If the starlings do decide to give this bird an attitude, he is a force to be reckoned with and will fight right back. He didn't want any part of that today though and spent most of the afternoon with his lady friend on my privet tree.
The woodpecker watches and is obviously annoyed that the starlings have decided to hijack her favorite suet feeder. She waits patiently for her turn and nibbles on peanuts in the coconut feeder instead.