Thursday, March 7, 2024

Crops & Clips: Flashback to March, 2021

As I do on the first Thursday of each month, I enjoy looking back over my archived photos, taken three years previously, in March, 2021, to remember how things were then as contrasted with events this year at our new home in Connecticut. As usual, I searched for images which reflected favorite memes: critters of all kinds (especially birds), skies and clouds, reflections, flowers and scenes which speak for themselves. We spent the entire month at home in Florida. I processed 625 photos.

Our local Bald Eagles captured much attention. Based upon behavior of the female, ground observers had agreed that the first egg had been deposited on February 1, and concluded that it hatched between March 3 and 7. "Joy" was certainly active away from the nest on March 7:

Portrait of Joy:

Merlins often share their winter territories with Bald Eagles. These small falcons  will soon be migrating off to northern breeding areas:

On March 10, a  Green Heron was incubating on one of the few nests in the remnants of the rookery: 

Ten days later, the heron's chicks were ready to explore nearby branches:

Another nest contained three smaller chicks: 

Two of the chicks were particularly aggressive in demanding to be fed:

A local neighborhood is very proud and protective of their resident Burrowing Owls.  The local Audubon Society provided an educational program and I led a walk for the public along their breeding colony: 

A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers were raising their family in hole which was out of view:

An assortment of images during a very productive month...

Male Black-and-White Warbler:

Carolina Wren:

Blue-winged Teal flyover:

Banded Garden Spider: 

Wild Magnolia:

Pine Bank before sunrise, March 15:

This was the first time in years that I missed posting my weekly blog, lapsing two weeks. Blame it on a spell of illness and hospitalization. Feeling better and will try to pick up the pace. 

This week's header: Blue-winged Teal

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to:

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Wild Bird Wednesday

My Corner of the World

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

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Window watch

On Tuesday night, a coastal cyclone type storm (Nor'easter, so named because its strongest winds are from the northeast) pounded us with high winds and overnight snowfall accumulation of 14 inches ( 35 cm). The next day the sky was clear, but the temperature remained well below freezing with strong  gusty winds. Lights flickered and some residents lost electrical power.

The day before the storm hit was sunny and the wind was calm. I walked out in the back yard a few times, hoping to see some birds in their natural habitat. My only photo opportunity occurred when two Red-shouldered Hawks flew rather high overhead.  I obtained only one clear shot before they continued on:

Back to my window, an Eastern Bluebird approached the heated bird bath, only about 5 feet away. I quickly switched the lens mode to macro and got fairly good focus but limited field of view. The deep shadows attenuated the brilliance of the bluebird's plumage:

Other birds appeared at a more comfortable distance for my long lens. 

A male bluebird was a fleeting subject:

An American Robin perched in the bare Aspen:

A male Red-bellied Woodpecker perched nearby. I increased the saturation to better show its eponymic red underbody.

Reliable feeder birds included...

Male Downy Woodpecker:

Male Northern Cardinal:

A brown-striped White-throated Sparrow:

A possessive Blue Jay:

Turkey Vultures had been absent the past several weeks, but a pair showed up warming their toes on a neighbor's chimney:

Sunset on February 6:

Striped Skunk caught on Ring security camera February 15:

For my Reflection meme, I had to go back to a November, 2009 view of sunrise from our back patio in Florida, 

This week's header: Sunset on February 12, 2024

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to:

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Wild Bird Wednesday

My Corner of the World

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

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Bluebirds brighten the day

When I started birding as a kid in New Jersey in the 1940's, Eastern Bluebirds were generally absent from the northeastern US during the winter, although some did persist all year in coastal areas. They have since expanded their year-round range northward and inland, to include southern New England. The provision of artificial nest boxes as well as other factors such as climate change and feeders probably played a role. Indeed, bluebirds may make use of bird houses during cold weather.

I was rather surprised to see a flock of over a dozen bluebirds descend on our small holly bushes to glean the berries left over by the robins. They also inspected our back yard bird houses. Possibly, some may have been raised in one of them:

Some lingered by the feeders:

This female bluebird foraged under the feeder in the shadow of the picket fence:

She looked up, hoping that the Red-bellied Woodpecker might drop some more suet crumbs:

A Black-capped Chickadee perched nearby:

A European Starling made a brief appearance:

A Song Sparrow searched for scattered seeds:

A White-tailed Doe looked out from behind the shrubs in the side yard:

Warm rain melted all the snow, and this week we got to take our first walk along the lake in over a month. The ice was starting to break up, and the weather forecast was for cold but clear skies:

To our surprise, light snow fell that evening, but melted in the morning under bright sun:

There was a colorful sunset on February 4:

View from the porthole window:

This week's header: Sunset February 4

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to:

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Wild Bird Wednesday

My Corner of the World

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