Thursday, December 24, 2020

Crops & Clips: 2020 Yard Birds

The Coronavirus lockdown has now been going on for nearly eight months. We have not seen our children and grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) in more than a year. Of course we have not seen the inside of a restaurant and usually order our groceries online for curbside pickup. 

Visits with family have been virtual, as have most of our medical encounters. The only human outsiders who have entered our home this year have been: a plumber, an electrician and a barber (or should I sound uppity and call her a hair stylist or beautician, which of course she is), all masked and so much appreciated.  

Our back yard has been another story. Over the years we have hosted crowds of visitors, feathered and furred. 

A distinguished visitor was a Wood Stork, twice this past week. This immature bird still has feathers on its head and upper neck, lacking in older birds:

Egyptian Geese have invaded in recent years:

Herons include this Tricolored... adult Little Blue Heron, photographed through the window of the back sliding glass door...

...and an immature Little Blue Heron, far across the lake. Its characteristic bill-down "nearsighted" hunting posture made it easy to spot:

Flocks of Ring-billed Gulls will linger if the fishing is good:

Some Ring-bills flew in before sunrise on December 21

The adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds abandon their young to the care of their mates and migrate early. One appeared in November:

An immature male replaced the adult this past week. He has a speckled throat, while that of the female is clear white:

An Osprey swooped low over our back patio:

A Great Blue Heron posed for a moment before flying off:

A Great Egret foraged across the lake:

Our most numerous long-legged wader species has been the White Ibis:

Almost as common are the established feral Muscovy Ducks. We can't fly out, but they they can fly in:

Mama Muscovy rests on our goose decoy:

The goose seems not to mind all these critters riding on his back--

...a Double-crested Cormorant adult, showing off his double "crests:"

...a Mottled Duck hen, whose drake was reluctant to join her:

...Anhingas, recently a youngster, and back in 2014 before our duck decoy "drowned," a spread-winged adult female: 2016, a Spotted Sandpiper:

...and way back in 2012, a Great Blue Heron:

Our only (visible) furry creature this year has been a Gray Squirrel:

The view at sunrise, December 21 from our "wildlife viewing platform:"


Our tabletop Nativity scene. Merry Christmas!

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Linking to:

Fences Around the World

Nature Thursday

Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters


Camera Critters

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Our World Tuesday


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


  1. What a beautiful post filled with lovely birds!! Most of which I've never seen or heard of before, thank you so much! The Egyptian Geese and Cormorant are favourites! Wish you a very Merry Christmas Kenneth! :)

  2. I love seeing all the birds that fly in for a photo op! And the deer are very pretty. Merry Christmas to you both! holiday hugs, Diane

  3. This is beautiful. Thank you so much. Have a very Merry Christmas!

  4. Wonderful photos, all. They are heart warming.
    You are right. There are many in such dire situations, visiting food banks, and being evicted. We are quite lucky.
    Merry Christmas!

  5. Great collection of photos. I like the one of the Great Blue Heron looking down at the duck decoy. Funny! Merry Christmas!

  6. YOur photos bring me such peace - Merry Christmas!

  7. Hello, Ken!
    I hope you and your family had a very happy Christmas, even though due to Covid it may have been different. I think we all miss our families, eating inside restaurants and just being social. I feel blessed with all I have and I am staying healthy. Your birds and photos are always amazing. I love the sky captures too. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Also, thank you for all your comments and links this past year. I wish you all the best in 2021, a very happy and healthy NEW YEAR! Take care, enjoy your weekend!

  8. Belated Christmas wishes to you, Kenneth, and hope your holiday was a joyous one. Like yourself, we also have not seen family in a year, but one day soon we all hope. Happy New year!

  9. These are remarkable images! It has certainly been a strange and often lonely year. I miss my daughters so much! Stay safe.

  10. What a year 2020 has been. I hope 2021 allows our lives to return to normal, or at least a bit normal. I hope you'll be able to see your family soon. I need to see my 91 year old Mom too. I love seeing your backyard visitors though. I didn't know about immature ruby throated hummers having a spotted throat. It is always a joy for me when they return here up north. Thanks for sharing these photos. I hope your holidays were happy and you have a great start to 2021. Stay safe too.

  11. What a marvelous yard you have if these are typical visitors!
    Thanks for joining us this week and every week at!k Your photos always astound me.
    I wish you every happiness, good health, and a future without masks but with lots of hugs in 2021!

  12. Your lockdown must have had different rules - was surprised all these people could have come to your house (I guess a different rule about what is "essential?" Sorry you had to miss seeing your family.Can't remember if I told you, but here in Texas everything it more relaxed. businesses are open and indoor dining. I think only limits of how many people in a party.
    Am amazed at the duck being able to carry so much weight! Makes for funny pictures:) The Egyptian geese have such a distinctive look!Hope you were able to enjoy Christmas, of course with the most glaring that your family could not be around:( Many thanks for all the wonderful posts you have sent All Seasons this year. Am very grateful you are on board so faithfully!
    Wishing you all the best for 2021, and that it may be an easier year on all of us, Jesh

  13. Thank you, Ken, for a wonderful series of holiday images! That's a wonderful collection of holiday visitors you have!

    Here is wishing us all a New Year filled with hope and peace.

  14. Wonderful set of pictures. Lets hope you can spend actual time with family in the coming year!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  15. Enjoyed reading here for a last week in this year. Your fantastisc captures.
    Wish you and your family a happy and healthy NEW YEAR 2021.

    All the best, Heidrun

  16. Such great birds! I love those green eyes of the cormorant, wow!

    A fantastic addition to 'My Corner of the World' this week! May the new year bring you great things to photograph!

  17. I came back to wish you a safe and enjoyable new year!


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