Thursday, January 16, 2020

First birds of the decade

Now I can proudly say that I have walked in each of 10 decades! Maybe this has something to do with why I forgot to process my photos taken on January 1, 2020. There were quite a few from our early morning walk. 

My first bird of the year was heard in the dark but not seen, about 40 minutes before sunrise. It was an Eastern Whip-poor-will which had been present for several days and called briefly next to the trail. The first bird we actually saw was a Red-shouldered Hawk,15 minutes before sunrise. It was initially silhouetted against the brightening eastern sky, but then turned sharply and passed by to the west, exhibiting its namesake "shoulders::
Red-shouldered Hawk 15 min before sunrise 02-20200101

Red-shouldered Hawk 15 min before sunrise 03-20200101

Highlights among the morning's sightings were Yellow-rumped Warblers...

Yellow-rumped Warbler 2-20200101

Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-20200101

...and acrobatic Yellow-throated Warblers:

Yellow-throated Warbler 01-20200101

Yellow-throated Warbler 02-20200101

Yellow-throated Warbler 03-20200101

Yellow-throated Warbler 05-20200101

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird visited the waning blossoms on the Firebush (Hamelia patens) hedge...

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 20200101

...while the berries attracted warblers and this sun-dappled Blue-headed Vireo:

Blue-headed Vireo in Hamelia patens 02-20200101

Blue-headed Vireo in Hamelia patens 01-20200101

Only three days earlier, the pair of Egyptian Geese which nested in a dense Cocoplum thicket next to our lake visited with their seven newly hatched goslings:

Egyptian Goose pair with goslings 04-20191229

Egyptian Goose female with goslings 02-20191229

To our surprise, they showed up on our yard again on New Years Day, but this time trailed by an eighth tiny newly-hatched gosling. It could not keep up with its siblings, but the parents waited patiently as it stumbled along behind them. It still had its "egg tooth," indicating it was very young indeed. Had the parents deserted the nest before the last egg was hatched, or was this egg deposited after the birds started incubating the other eggs?

The seven older goslings crowded together, while the lone eighth baby rested outside the group, then tried to join its parents and siblings:

Egyptian Gees seven goslings 03-20200101

Egyptian Gees gosling number 8 02-20200101

Egyptian Gees gosling number 8 01-20200101

On January 2, the local male (Pride) of the pair of Bald Eagles took a break from incubating and was rearranging sticks on their nest. We expected their first egg to hatch on or about January 4:

Bald Eagle male 04-20200102

Bald Eagle male 05-20200102

The female (Jewel) arrived to exchange incubation duties and Pride flew off:

 Bald Eagle male in flight 02-20200102

On January 3, the large male Bobcat stared at me from the edge of the gravel road. Then, rather nonchalantly, he strolled across the track. Note that I forgot to turn off the flash and his eyes reflect my error:

Bobcat large male 05-20200103

Bobcat large male 01-20200103

Bobcat large male 04-20200103

On January 3, a Gray Squirrel munched on Brazilian Pepper berries...

Gray Squirrel eating Brazilian Pepper 20200103

...a Purple Gallinule demonstrated the important construction technique of triangulation (as used in building the Eiffel Tower) by grasping three flimsy stalks of Alligator Flag which supported its weight as it climbed to reach the fruit on top of the stems:

Purple Gallunule 04-20200103

...and a White-tailed Deer doe appeared unexpectedly as I was photographing an egret:

White-taild Doe left blaze on snout 20200103

Also on January 3, a male American Kestrel posed nicely on a sign post:

American Kestrel 04-20200103

On January 5, the same kestrel exhibited unusual behavior by foraging for insects on the ground:

American Kestrel 07-20200105

American Kestrel 05-20200105

On January 10, the full Wolf Moon was setting as we walked into the wetlands. This DSLR image of the Wolf Moon against the dark sky was taken at 6:32 AM. I was tracking a satellite which almost crossed the face of the Moon-- it missed by about 2 diameters:

Full Wolf Moon 01-20200110

These photos were taken with my new iPhone 11 Pro Max. I was amazed at its excellent low-light performance. The first cuts through the pre-twilight moon-lit darkness at 6:28 AM, 42 minutes before sunrise. MaryLou is ahead of me with her flashlight:

Full Wolf Moon iPhone 03-20100110

The iPhone captured this moonbeam-burst 35 minutes before sunrise: 

Full Wolf Moon iPhone 01-20100110

Fifteen minutes before sunrise, the Moon had nearly set into the horizon:

Full Wolf Moon iPhone 04-20100110

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


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

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


  1. Beautiful photo set. I really like the bobcat photos!

  2. as usual I love every single photo - amazing.

  3. Beautiful photos. I know spring is coming!

  4. Great photos! Love the Egyptian geese. Some geese adopt orphaned goslings so that could be an explanation.

  5. Hello, the ducklings are so cute. You do live in a great area for the bird and wildlife sightings. Cool shots of the Bobcat. I love the cute warblers, deer and I would love to hear the Whip-poor-will. Your moon shot is beautiful. Great shots with your Iphone. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend. PS, thank you for the visit and commenting on my blog.

  6. wonderful photos!!! i love this wildlife!!!

  7. Good stuff! The eagle was watching you. :-)

  8. I have never seen Egyptian geese goslings before now! Extra special. Of course, my favorite today is the beautiful kestrel in the sunlight...simply stunning.

    Thanks for sharing with us at I'd Rather B Birdin

  9. Great shots! So many favorites there.

  10. What fabulous creatures! I love the wildlife you share with us with their colors and interesting narratives :)

    My Corner of the World

  11. Stunning set of photos, I do love the Bobcat. Enjoy your week, Diane

  12. I can't help but feel sorry for the 8th gosling. Hope it survives. Congratulations on your 10th decade of walking.

  13. Grand photos! Fantastic series.
    Thank you for sharing at

  14. The first two captures are of magnificent birds 9or is it the same)? You saw quite a variety of animals Love the agility of the vireo! You and Shiju think the same way: he had also some shots of the moon! Nice you tracked the moon leaving earth from sight! Many thanks Ken for sharing all these animals in Florida with us at All Seasons! Have a beautiful week!

  15. I've never seen Egyptian geese goslings before! Incredible photography!

  16. Amazing! It all looks so beautiful. Happy New Year! Hope it's full of amazing wildlife moments! Chris


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