Thursday, October 18, 2018

The eagles have landed

The 2017-18 breeding season was another success for the local pair of Bald Eagles. By mid-October 2017 they were working together to reconstruct their nest (click on images for enlarged views):

Bald Eagles work on nest 06-20171025

Egg-laying commenced during the second week of December and by mid-January 2018 the parents were observed feeding unseen eaglets in two positions. However, photos near the end of January revealed only one eaglet, so mortality of the second chick was presumed. 

The eaglet, called P Piney 19 (the 19th known hatchling produced at this nest) at 26 days of age on February 5:

Bald Eagle Pride with P Piney19 20180205

The eaglet, judged by its large size to be a female, fledged on April 2 and returned to the nest to be fed. She was free-flying on April 11, and often foraged with one of her parents:

Bald Eagle eaglet P Piney 19 04-20180411

"P Piney 19" lingered near the nest longer than usual and was last seen flying over the local wetlands with one of the adults on July 23, 2018:

Bald Eagle immature 07-0646AM 20180718 

Bald Eagle immature 06-0646AM 20180718

Interesting-- the eaglet was carrying some grass in her talons:

Bald Eagle immature 05-0646AM 20180718

Now the adults have returned to begin a new nesting cycle. Here they are, roosting in a tree near the nest on October 7, 2018. The male (Pride) is to the left, while his mate (Jewel) is perched higher up. Note that the male's smaller body is more tapered towards the tail end while Jewel is much more filled out "below the waist.:"

Bald Eagles - Pride and Jewel 01-20181007

The pair spent much time preening:

Bald Eagle female Jewel 01-20181007

Bald Eagle male Pride 01-20181007

When Pride finished preening he got all ruffled up:

Bald Eagle male Pride ruffled 05-20181007

Bald Eagle male Pride ruffled 06-20181007

A closeup of Jewel's talons shows the elongated hind toe (hallux), characteristic of the female:

Bald Eagle female Jewel talons 05-20181007

Jewel is checking out something on the ground below:

Bald Eagle female Jewel 04-20181007

Pride sees it too, but I do not have eagle eyes:

Bald Eagle male Pride portrait 09-20181007

The nest appeared to have some new sticks added:

Bald Eagle nest 20181007

A pink sunrise in early October:

Pink sunrise 20181007

Two female White-tailed Deer did not see me at first as they walked up to the guard rail of the unfinished road in the Wounded Wetlands:

White-tailed does 20181007

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia

________________________________________________

Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Crops & Clips: Fall arrivals

Having sold our Illinois condo in April, this was the first time since 2006 that we spent the entire summer (except for two weeks in early September) at our permanent home in south Florida. 

This Northern Cardinal has finished molting into a new, brilliant coat:

Northern Cardinal 01-20181009

The weather continues its summer routine of heat, humidity and pop-up showers. I have added a new piece of equipment to my hiking gear-- a folding umbrella, which has come in handy several times.

Days usually start out clear, such as this morning under the waning crescent Harvest Moon:

Harvest Moon waning crescent 20181005

 A Great Egret may be out on the lake before first light:

Great Egret dpp-hd 02-20181005

However, one morning the sky looked very threatening at sunrise...

Storm brewing 20181004

...rain approached...

Rain coming 20181007

...and the shower was followed by a rainbow.

Rainbow 01-20181004

The earliest of our arriving warblers was a Louisiana Waterthrush. It showed up on July 30 and has been present every day through this morning (October 10), an unusually long stop-over. According to eBird, for the past ten years, except for a single sighting in December, 2008, this species has not otherwise been recorded in our County after the end of September. A very early migrant, it usually arrives in south Florida by mid-July and disappears to wintering grounds in the Carribbean or Central America by early September.

Louisiana Waterthrush:

Louisiana Waterthrush 03-20181007

Louisiana Waterthrush 04-20181007

A similar Northern Waterthrush arrived only this morning.  Louisiana Waterthrush has a broad white eye line which contrasts with its undersides and buffy flanks. The Northern Waterthrush has a relatively shorter bill, its eye line is buffy and is darker than or matches the color of its undersides, which are more densely streaked, often up into its throat.

Northern Waterthrush 09-20181010  

Northern Waterthrush 08-20181010

Other arrivals included American Redstarts...

American Redstart male 04-20181001

American Redstart male 02-20181001

...Blue-gray Gnatcatchers...

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2-20191001

...Red-eyed Vireos...

Red-eyed Vireo 1-20181007

...Ovenbirds...

Ovenbird 01-20180924

...Black-throated Blue Warblers, eating the Fireweed berries...

Black-throated Blue Warbler 091-20181009

Black-throated Blue Warbler 095-20181009

...Palm Warblers...

Palm Warbler 02-20181005

...Northern Parulas...

Northern Parula 20181001

...Eastern Kingbirds...

Eastern Kingbird 03-20180924

...Ruby-throated Hummingbirds:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Firebush 03-20181009

New arrivals bolstered local populations of Prairie Warblers...

Prairie Warbler 01-20181009

...and Common Yellowthroats:

Common Yellowthroat 01-20181005

Days are getting shorter. Sunrise is later each morning and has shifted to the south of the gate in "Sundial Alley:"

Sunrise 2-20181007


= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia

________________________________________________

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


________________________________________________

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Crops & Clips: Flashback to October 2015

Once again we peer through the retrospectroscope to refresh our memories of three years ago, searching the archives for favorite memes such as critters of all kinds (especially birds, flowers and butterflies), scenes of fences, skies, reflections and images which speak for themselves. 

We spent the entire month of October, 2015 at our permanent home in south Florida. As is our custom, MaryLou and I walked out into our local Wounded Wetlands well before sunrise to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and experience the wonder as nature raised the curtrain on a new day.

Photography is almost impossible in the first light of dawn, but the camera does pierce the gloom to some degree. We could barely see these four female White-tailed Deer, yet I felt that their placement and their forms were more important than the missing details, so I processed this photo as an oil painting with large brush strokes (click on photo to see texture):

Does in the dark OIL2 20151027

Sunrises sometimes provided a full color palette:

Sunrise HDR 20151021

Sunrise HDR 20151026

No hurricanes threatened, but a buttermilk sky portended a change in weather:

Buttermilk Sky HDR 20151027

Although it is an abundant winter visitor, morning light added uncommon beauty to a Palm Warbler and ripening Brazilian Pepper berries:

Palm Warbler 2-20151030

Other fall migrants had arrived. Among them, Yellow-throated Warbler...

Yellow-throated Warbler 20151015

...American Redstart...

American Redstart 2-20151015

...Black-throated Green Warbler...

Black-throated Green Warbler 7-20151016

...Northern Parula...

Northern Parula 7-20151013

...Ovenbird...

Ovenbird 3-20151006

...Black-throated Blue Warbler:

Black-throated Blue Warbler 4-20151014

Yet, not to be overlooked was the beauty of our common permanent residents, such as this female Northern Flicker...

Northern Flicker 2-cool 20151011

...a stately Great Blue Heron...

Great Blue Heron 20151027

...a demure White-winged Dove...

White-winged Dove 2-20151017

...and a Blue Jay enjoying a bountiful acorn harvest...

Blue Jay heaven 2-20151026

...shared with a Gray Squirrel:

Gray Squirrel 2-20151025

Among the butterflies, a Long-tailed Skipper:

Long-tailed Skipper 20151027

How long had this Bobcat been staring at me from the side of the trail?

Bobcat DARK 02-20151020

Bobcat Portrait 01-20151020

The flower of the month was a wild white Water Lily:

Water Lily 20151001
= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia

________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________