Thursday, May 19, 2022

Spring migration and Flower Moon eclipse

The northward migration of land birds is highly anticipated by birding enthusiasts. I have childhood memories of trees festooned by several species of warblers. Spring migration is shorter and more intense than the southbound fall migration. For many bird species, the plumage of spring migrants is more colorful than in autumn. 

Over the years I have noted a decrease in numbers of migrating birds, a trend which has been documented in many studies.* The overall population of neotropical migrants has decreased, although some species have increased in number, probably due to differences in their adaptation to changes in climate and loss of habitat in breeding and overwintering areas.

Because of nasty weather and also some health issues I have not been able to take full advantage of this season. Nearly all my observations have been confined to the back yard and adjacent wooded areas. My yard list has grown to 58 bird species, of which 25 are neotropical migrants, all but 5 of which I have been able to photograph. 

This past week my sightings have included...

Male Northern Parula:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, at the feeder...

...and singing from a treetop:

Male Yellow-rumped ("Myrtle") Warbler

Female Black-and-White Warbler:

Red-eyed Vireo:

Male Brown-headed Cowbird, a short-distance migrant:

Yesterday I put up our hummingbird feeder. Only a few seconds after I walked away, a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird landed on it and began feeding. I quickly retrieved my camera and obtained these poor shots through the door window:

My attempts to obtain photos of the total eclipse of the Flower Moon on May 15 kept me up until midnight, but the clouds interfered, allowing me a few poor partially obstructed shots... 11:28 and 11:31 PM...

...and finally, just before the last reflections of sunlight, at 11:38 and 11:40 PM

The trees in the Loveland Preserve which borders us just to the west, have leafed up between May 7...

...and May 17, as storm clouds gathered:

The storm passed overhead rapidly. A few drops began to fall as I snapped this photo from the upstairs patio:

The sky quickly cleared, providing one last look at the sun as it sank behind the distant hills:

Radiating from below the horizon, the sunbeams illuminated the cloud tops:

*REF: Vanishing: More Than 1 In 4 Birds Has Disappeared In The Last 50 Years: Nearly 3 Billion Birds Gone

Linking to:

Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters


All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Wild Bird Wednesday

My Corner of the World

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


  1. Sorry to hear of your on going health issues however it is wonderful that you can see up to 58 different species in your garden. If I saw that number during a whole day's birding in Northern Ireland I would be very pleased. Great that you were able to get some Moon shots Kenneth even through you stayed up to midnight. Hope your health keeps improving.

  2. It's great to see "our" migratory visitors on their breeding grounds and in glorious spring plumage. You're turning the yard into a mini-nature preserve!

    I empathize on the eclipse photo sky conditions. The mosquitoes and I enjoyed each other's company!

    Terrific after-storm images!

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Hi Ken, I would love to have your backyard if you can watch such wonderful birds there 😉. The full moon could be seen and photographed well with us, but unfortunately not the eclipse, there he already went down. I hope your health is already better. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and the participation in Nature Thursday.
    Best regards - Elke
    P.S. Kitsch has probably been adopted as a loanword into English 😉. I had to laugh when I read your comment at me.

  4. What wonderful views you have !! Perfect for a photographer..Your pictures are fantastic..Thanks for sharing..Have a happy weekend..

  5. Beautiful photos of the eclipse. I was doing the same thing, and learning that taking good, clear shots of a lunar eclipse is harder than you might think!

  6. Coming here to your site is my weekly bird watching activity. Thanks for all the awesome shots.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  7. The Cowbird is one I don’t recall ever knowing about before now. The hummingbird at the feeder is a charmer. What an amazing expansive view you have as well as welcoming yard for so many species of birds. And (pardon the pun) I would be over the moon about the fantastic shots you took during the eclipse.

  8. Hello Ken!
    It is great you have added so many birds to your yard list. What a beautiful variety of birds and photos. I miss having the feeders for my yard birds, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak was always a favorite of mine. We missed seeing the eclipse here, it was too cloudy. Great photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend! PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  9. We missed seeing the eclipse here, it was too cloudy also. Sorry to hear that you are having health issues. Amazing that you have recorded 58 bird species that have been in your yard. Thank you for posting these photographs. You take care now.

  10. These are lovely shots! The 3rd pic is my favorite!

  11. That grosbeak at the feeder is stupendous!! Loved viewing the eclipse with you.
    We birders enjoyed your share today Thanks for linking in and have a wonderful day!

  12. You really got the red in the moon. Well done and the second last shot if fabulous!! Thanks for joining in #Allseasons

  13. lovely birds, love the sunset, and send warm thoughts for your health

  14. Always love seeing your bird photos. Fortunately your back yard has a great deal of bird life to observe and photography. I'm impressed you got the Rose Breasted Gross Beak with his wing extended.

  15. Thanks, Kenneth, for again providing us with another post of wonderful images from birds, to eclipse to sunsets. Hopefully, your health issues will allow you to get outdoors soon. That said, you still have shown your keen photo skills even from indoors.

  16. Wonderful images! I feel discouraged over the decline in birds and the health of the planet in general. If Nature is trying to thin us out, I don't blame her!


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