Thursday, March 12, 2015

Birding: Winter's last full moon

The last full moon of winter on March 5, is also the "smallest" moon of the year because it is at its furthest distance from the earth. Native Americans named it the Worm Moon because it calls the earthworms to the surface as the ground begins to thaw. I captured this mini-Moon or micro-Moon as it rose over the lake in back of our home, almost due east.

Mini-Moon or Worm Moon rising 2-20150305

Before sunrise the next morning, in the wetlands next to our subdivision, the mini-Moon pierces the early fog:

Moon and mist HDR 20150306

I rush to catch the moon's reflection in the lake before it settles into the mist.

Mini-Moon Reflection HDR 20150306

Birding has been slow, as some of the winter visitors are already diminishing in number and migration seems reluctant to get underway.

The local male Bald Eagle's new mate may be too young to start raising a family this season. He continues to bring sticks to the nest . As reported previously, they copulated successfully in late January. Although she has joined him in arranging the nest, she does not appear to be broody. Here she watches from a perch just above and to the right as Pride brings in a large branch which he snapped off the top of a dead tree:

Bald Eagle male returns with stick 2-20150305

Under her watchful eye he arranges it to his satisfaction:

Bald Eagle male arranges stick 6-20150305

He seems to say: "How do you like it?"

Bald Eagle male prepares to leave 3-20150305

A White-winged Dove gathers twigs in our front yard and carries them to a flimsy nest in a neighbor's back yard:

White-winged Dove gathering twigs 20150305

This Brown Thrasher is singing his heart out, anticipating his northward departure. It feels as if spring is here already!

Brown Thrasher singing 2-20150304

Here is a snippet of his unique song (If video fails to display, click here):

Male Red-winged Blackbirds stake out territories in the wet prairies, singing and displaying red and yellow epaulets to each other, awaiting the arrival of the females and hoping to attract them into their harems:

Red-winged Blackbird singing 20150302

Red-winged Blackbird singing 2-20150302

This blackbird could not have picked a more idyllic setting for his performance. Is that an old stump, or an exquisite sculpture of a fantasy island?:

Red-winged Blackbird reflection 20150301

The clear whistled songs of Northern Cardinals fill the air:

Northern Cardinal 3-20150305

The quacks of Mottled Ducks betray their relationship to the Mallard clan:

Mottled Ducks in flight 20150306

This pair joins a Great Blue Heron resting on a boulder:

Great Blue Heron with Mottled Ducks 05-20150225

Another Great Blue enjoys a sound sleep..

Great Blue Heron sleeping 20150305 a Great Egret takes flight...

Great Egret 4-20150305

Great Egret takes flight 20150305

...and rudely awakens him:

Great Egret wakes up Great Blue Heron 20150305

Belted Kingfishers will soon be heading north:

Belted Kingfisher female in flight 20150305

While I am photographing the landscape with my pocket camera, this adult White-tailed Deer doe suddenly appears along the road. Using the the same camera, I get a quick but blurry shot before she runs away, followed by two younger deer.

 White-tailed doe Canon SX700HS 30x 20150303

They stop to watch me from across the wet prairie. A young buck, his antler buds only starting to emerge, stands in front of a young doe:

White-tailed Deer 4-20150303

Probably more playful than amorous, the buck attempts to mount the doe:

White-tailed Deer young buck 2-20150303

When birding is slow, the camera finds other interesting subjects, like this Green Anole. Facing competition from the exotic and invasive Brown Anole, these are quite scarce in our local wetlands. This one displays its dewlap but I do not see any others of its kind in the vicinity:

Green Anole displaying 20150302

Butterflies abound, including this Gulf Fritillary:

Gulf Fritillary 20150304

Its under-wing pattern contrasts sharply with the dry grass:

Gulf Fritillary 4-0150304

A Halloween Pennant perches high:

Halloween Pennant 20150304

Spring may be imminent, but here in South Florida we seem to have our brightest foliage just as the tomatoes ripen and winter wanes. This was the view along the north shore of the lake on March 3:

North shore2 HDR 20150303

On the morning of March 9 the mini-Moon was waning, but shadows made its features more visible:

MiniMoon waning 20150309

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart


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



  1. i thought i just came from the zoo after looking at your beautiful shots.

  2. Beautiful photos! I love the deer and the anole is beautiful.

  3. Another wonderful post. So many beautiful images.. I love all the birds and the cute deer. Awesome moon and sky captures.. Have a happy day!

  4. Wow, great pictures! :))
    I love the blackbird sitting on his fantasy island the most.
    It's just perfect :))
    And I love the colours of the north shore picture.
    So beautiful!
    Have a beautiful day!

  5. just beautiful skies, birds, butterflies, deer, reflections and all!

  6. What a post FILLED with treasures! I LOVED your moon and mist shots! Gorgeous! The eagle couple is darling...such great photos of them! I loved the brown thrasher shots and especially the video of him singing. Then there are so many other great photos after that! It just kept getting more and more wonderful as I scrolled down! Loved this!

  7. So many wonderful photos today. I enjoyed it all but especially enjoyed the deer, the anole and the shot just about the moon. Such a pretty area you live in.

  8. Your moon images are beautiful, especially the ones taken in the morning. The birds are just gorgeous! Beautiful deer as well. I had to laugh when I saw the pictures of the red-winged blackbird because I knew exactly what he sounds like when he looks like this. They are very vocal at the moment!

  9. It's wonderful to see so many creatures and lovely photos in one post.Great eagle shots, and I love the image of the ducks in the same frame as the Blue Heron. The green Anole, deers, butterflies, and dragonfly are all super.

  10. I just love all these beautiful images. So rich and full of life.

  11. You are such a talented photographer. Beautiful work. Spring must be in the air with all those birds singing and I loved the video. Lovely selection of water birds also with some smashing reflections. Great shot of the Ancle and the Deer.

  12. beautiful photos...I especially like the heron on the rock beside the ducks

  13. Your photos are stunning. I especially love your eagle pics.

  14. Another great series of shots! I like the last shot of the moon... perfect focus and capture of detail.

  15. Hello there - I just found your blog via Eileen's Saturday's Critters #65. Needless to say, I love your blog, and your photography! You have a special talent. I'm signing on to follow. I invite you to visit my blog and follow as well (if you wish). Have a great weekend!

  16. Wow - gorgeous shots of moon and birds!

  17. Wow! Fantastic array of nature shots!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  18. Gorgeous series of photos. :)

  19. Another stunning series of captures, Kenneth. Those bald eagles sure are handsome birds! The young and inquisitive deer are delightful and all the other shots are a treat for the eye too - thank you for sharing your talents.

  20. Your photos are spectacular for a loss of the best word to describe how wonderfully precise and clear they are of your subjects. I especially like the candid eagle photos. Thank you for sharing the world you see.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  21. Fantastic series of photos! Especially love the reflections and the bald eagle. Have a nice weekend. :)

  22. So many different beautiful creatures...They are really amazing... Excelent collection...

  23. You had me with you every step of the way....throughout the moon setting/rising to the anole and critters. And the birds...oh the birds. How beautiful they all are Ken.

    Amazing post.

    Thanks for sharing the link this weekend.

  24. Great photos of some of my favorite birds! I loved egrets, herons and red winged blackbirds and they are here in our wildlife refuge as well. We had clear skies all the way up until the day before the full moon. The fog rolled in when the full moon rose and it was barely visible. Great post here. Thank you for sharing.

  25. Another wonderful post... many thanks for sharing.

  26. Great clarity of photographs. Well done. I love the bald eagle. Very majestic.

  27. Love all the birds and the pastel scenery under the day lite moon is lovely. It feels like summer here in this part of Florida ... I think we skipped Spring. Kinda hoping it cools down a tiny bit soon.

    I tried all day recently to get a picture of a displaying anole with no luck. I'm too slow! Love yours.

  28. Wonderful shots from nature and beautiful birds.

  29. Awesome post and great photos! The eagles are always awesome! Thank you for linking up, sorry I am late commenting!


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