Thursday, June 23, 2022

Chilly Summer Solstice

Spring ended in a cold snap with overnight temperature of 44° F (6.6° C). A pool party celebrated opening of the backyard swimming pool. Despite the chill which was intensified by a brisk wind, our granddaughters briefly braved the icy water. 

In late April, the Eastern Bluebirds, having successfully warded off competing hole-nesting species, began building their nest in earnest:

They ate suet at the feeder.

The pair often roosted together until the female laid eggs and started the 14 days of incubation:

New arrivals celebrated the new season. The male Eastern Bluebird had been maintaining a vigil as the female appeared to do all of the incubation. His favorite perches have been the fence and a metal chair which he "painted" with excrement and from which he launched attacks at any interloping birds such as Tree Swallows, cowbirds, House Sparrows, chickadees and even other bluebirds.  


Like a little blue hawk, he repeatedly flew down to capture insects on the lawn. The female occasionally left her incubation duties to seek food. This week, their behavior changed. The female emerged from the nest box and the male flew up immediately with an insect in his beak:

He approached the female and before I could properly focus on them, she accepted the food. My photo of the event was horribly out of focus and I tried to sharpen it, but it ended up  resembling an impressionist painting. Like those of Monet, Pissarro and Renoir, it only looks sharp from a distance of about 10 feet:

The next frame was in proper focus and showed the female now holding the insect, which she promptly carried into the nest:


An American Robin paraded on the lawn with one of its speckled offspring:

At the feeder, a White-breasted Nuthatch...

...and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak:

Among the mammalian residents, baby Cottontail Rabbits nibbled clover on the lawn:

Chipmunks were numerous:

A White-tailed Deer browsed along the edge of the clearing, low behind the house:


Yesterday morning at 1:15 AM, a doe triggered the Ring doorbell camera at the front door of our casita. It tasted our newly-planted holly:

We took our morning walk along shore of Diamond Lake at the far south end of property but no longer visible through the trees:


Delightful sunset on June 20:

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Linking to:



Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters

BirdD'Pot

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

________________________________________________

Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display
________________________________________________

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Wild Turkeys

Hunting season for the Wild Turkey ended June 1. No hunting is permitted in the preserve which joins our back yard, but there is no prohibition on several large tracts of privately owned land nearby. Although native over much of North America, the Wild Turkey population crashed during the 19th Century due to over-hunting and loss of habitat. Thanks to improved wildlife management and active relocation, along with hunting restrictions to protect hens, their population has rebounded and their range has actually expanded to all 48 contiguous states, Hawaii and interior Mexico.  

This morning MaryLou spotted a female which suddenly appeared in our yard with 13-15 poults. (Normal clutch size for this species is 10-14 eggs}. They approached closely and allowed good views as the flock moved slowly across the property from the north side of the house to woodlands to the south. Our daughter and granddaughter spotted a second adult turkey associated with the group and also counted 2 more than we did, so the large number of offspring may have represented a blended family. I saw this one first before it disappeared shortly before it or another adult emerged from the wooded area:







Could this be the second adult? It has a "beard," although some females may develop one and seems to have darker plumage. Possibly it could be a "Jack," a lesser-ranked male.

The female Eastern Bluebird appears to be incubating eggs. She is inside the box for long periods and the male is nearby, watching the nest continuously from any of several  favored perches:

The female bluebird pops out occasionally and then returns inside the nest box:



We have three baby Cottontail Rabbits who emerge from the underbrush around the lawn. They act rather tame, not a good sign for their ability to survive. This little bunny actually kept moving towards me:


The bunny stopped to stretch very casually:

The swimming pool is now open and casts nice reflections of the sunset:


= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to:



Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters

BirdD'Pot

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

________________________________________________

Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display
________________________________________________