Thursday, March 16, 2017

Crops and Clips - Signs of spring

The March full Moon, AKA "Worm Moon," creeps out from behind a cloud as we set out into the cool air a half hour before sunrise:

Moon in Clouds 20170313

Spring is a time for departures as well as arrivals. New leaves and winged seeds appear on the Red Maples:

Red Maple leafing out 20170228

Winter residents are packing their bags and saying goodbye. We suddenly miss the rattling calls of the last  Belted Kingfisher...

Belted Kingfisher 2-20170214

...and the bobbing tails of Palm Warblers :

Palm Warbler - western spring 2-20170313

We will especially miss our wintering Painted Buntings. This male surprised me out in the wetlands by suddenly landing within camera range and sitting for a few seconds, just enough for me to obtain a portrait:

Painted Bunting 02-20170301

Yellow-rumped Warblers gather into flocks and soon disappear:

Yellow-rumped Warbler 2-20170217

Some Black-and-White Warblers overwinter but their ranks are swollen by new arrivals who join them for a mass exodus:

Black-and-White Warbler 2-20170309

Most migrants are seen for a few days as they simply pass through on their way north. Northern Parula warblers arrive early:

Northern Parula 20170216

Resident birds undergo changes. Great Egrets sport plumes and the bald flesh in front of their eyes turns green:

Great Egret 01-20170309

Male Red-winged Blackbirds stake out their territories in anticipation of the arrival of the females:

Red-winged Blackbird 20170312

Yellow-crowned Night-Herons begin displaying before prospective mates:

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron male display 01-20170302

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron displaying 20170226

Our local Bald Eagles are nurturing two eaglets. They are a month or more behind schedule, as they lost their first two nestlings last year and raised a second brood. They were busy feeding and training the lone surviving eaglet well into September. This is probably why they delayed nesting by 4-6 weeks, but their two new chicks are growing rapidly:

Bald Eaglets 20170311

A mother Virginia Opossum guards her half-grown youngster next to our neighbor's fence:

Virginia Opossum 01-20170313

The little one seeks safety in a tree:

Young Virginia Opossum 03-20170313


Thank you all for your expressions of condolences on the passing of Mary Lou's brother, Richard. She has lost three of her five brothers in the space of three years, beginning with Larry, who was my high school and college classmate, and Jack, who died only a few months ago. Sorry if I have been slow in catching up on correspondence but we so appreciate your concern.

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Gosia

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

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

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19 comments:

  1. I've yet to see a painting bunting...sigh

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  2. What a glorious series, Kenneth, and your header is stunning! I hope you have a great day and weekend!

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  3. love your bird images. the painted bunting is gorgeous and the heron displaying is pretty too.

    I missed your wife's brothers passing so i extend my condolences too.

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  4. Wow, your bird photos are amazing. I have always wanted to see a painted bunting, but must live in the wrong place for them. Great reflection photo.

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  5. A wonderful series of photos! I especially enjoyed seeing the courting Night Heron
    Have a great week-end!

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  6. Fantastic wildlife photography ~ love the opossum babies and the kingfisher ~ thanks,

    Wishing you a lovely weekend ~ ^_^

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  7. Nice shots - would like to see one of those none-australian marsupials one day!

    We are getting signs of autumn here - leaf rolling spiders in the gardens and little correlas (a parrot of sorts) in the trees.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  8. I haven't seen a painted bunting in such a long time. That was a treat. Oh, and the 'possum....cute, cute, cute. I never used to like them 'til I read somewhere where they eat [and like] cockroaches! LOL

    Excellent sharing this week.

    Thanks so much for your participation this weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin'! I never stop enjoying your birding photos and your expertise! Well done.

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  9. I enjoy this blog so much for color clarity and unusual photos

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  10. Hello, great shots of the birds and the critter. The Painted Bunting will always be a favorite bird for me. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy day and new week ahead!

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  11. That's a fine collection of birds! Excellent reflection!

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  12. Your photos are just wonderful! Great portraits of so many different birds. And I love the opossum...it's a favorite animal of mine that I feel is often maligned. So sorry to hear about your wife's loss.

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  13. I'm sorry about the loss of your dear brother-in-law.
    Wonderful birds (snow-birds heading home in some cases) ... I wish they would stay a month or two longer, just like us two in this house -- we always see more birds right here in the neighborhood after the crowds have left.

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  14. Kenneth, I'm sorry to read of Mary Lou's brother's passing. I know that's difficult. She's lost many of her siblings in a short span. By the way, your wife's name is the same as my favorite auntie. :) I shall say a prayer for your family. It's never easy losing loved ones no matter how old we get. The moon shot is incredibly gorgeous and your bird friend pix are amazing. I just love that Painted Bunting. His colors are so vibrant. I remember when our kids were small, I used to keep the bird feeder full and we'd try to figure out the different ones as they stopped off for a nibble. I'd like to set up the feeder again and keep in stocked for my own amusement. It's quite fun to see them come by for a quick bite and flit off. I didn't know opossum could climb or maybe I knew and just forgot. I do that a lot...forget that is. Thanks for sharing and have a fototastic week. No worries with slow return visits. Everyone in Blogosphere totally understand! God bless you and your wife!

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  15. Fantastic shots! The opossum is soooo cute! :)

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  16. Merci pour ce magnifique voyage en couleurs ;-)
    Céline & Philippe

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  17. Such beautiful animals and birds. Nature heals. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. So many wonderful birds here. I loved the Kingfisher, Painted Bunting and the Heron fluffing out it's feathers.

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