Monday, December 7, 2015


I drive by an eagle's nest every time I go to the gym, and now that the leaves are off the trees, you can see it from the road. Today there was an eagle sitting up there near the nest! First time I've seen one there. So excited I stopped in the road and made traffic go around me so I could get my picture!

Very far away, through lots of branches. Not the greatest, but it's the closest I've ever been to an eagle.

Taken with pocket camera, Canon PowerShot Elph 530HS, fully zoomed (12x optical). Heavily cropped and Photoshop "smart fix"ed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Turkeys on the Tracks

It's taken me a while, but here are the turkeys I saw back in October. Photos taken from the car window in Midlantic Park, on the way home from West Deptford Park.

"It's coming from that way."
"No, that way."

"Can I get a little privacy here?"

"Where's that train? We've gotta get out of town fast!"

Taken 10/10/15, Canon 7D Mark II with Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens, at about 200-300mm. Leaning on my car window for stability. Cropped and corrected with Photoshop "smart fix."

Monday, October 12, 2015


The other day I took a walk around the neighborhood, including around the middle school. I got over there around 6 p.m. and was shocked to see about 8 killdeer in the grass of the athletic field there.

Of course I didn't have a camera, just my phone. I took a lot of pictures, but none of them were good enough to get a positive ID. Here's the best one:

So I went back over in my car the next day at about the same time. Nothing. Disappointed, I drove around the school and then decided to give it one more go.

Just two of them, but I got some awesome pictures!

The setting sun highlighted them perfectly!

I love that you can see their golden eyes!

Such cool birds!

I saw some turkeys that evening, too. Some of those pictures another day.

Canon 7D Mark II with Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens. All at 600 mm leaning on my car window. Cropped, sharpened and corrected with Photoshop "smart fix."

Friday, October 9, 2015

Burning question

I grew up in Northern NY State, and we always had bird feeders. One of our more common visitors was the Black-Capped Chickadee.

So when we moved to South Jersey, set up our feeders and the chickadees came, it never occurred to me that they weren't the black-capped variety. But they aren't!

Even though they look almost exactly alike, and I can't tell them apart at all, apparently our chickadees are the Carolina type.

Here's the Sibley guide to telling them apart: . It doesn't help.

All my pics are Carolina Chickadees.

Who knew?

Canon 7D Mark II with Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens. Taken at 250-350mm on a tripod. Cropped but otherwise uncorrected.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


From our trip last week to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island, Massachusetts:

We were at the Hellcat Wildlife Observation area, and I was taking pictures of a greater yellowlegs taking a bath across the water. Bathing yellowlegs on the left, but look at the right side of the picture.

When I got home and blew up the pictures, I found a plover was there, too! A first for me.

I love my new lens!!

Canon 7D Mark II with Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens. All at 600 mm on a tripod. Cropped and corrected with Photoshop "smart fix."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Are you lookin' at me?

Got a new lens for my camera, and it's great! Tamron 150-600mm zoom telephoto. Used it yesterday on a great blue heron at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island, Massachusetts.

So here are some of my first shots, for the bird group theme, "Eye Contact."

Awesome, eh?

Canon 7D Mark II with Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens. All at 600 mm on a tripod. Cropped, but otherwise uncorrected.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Swoop and grab

It took weeks, but the blue jays have finally discovered the peanut feeder. What appears to be a family of three has been visiting.

It's been hard to get pictures of them, though. They seem to be masters of the "swoop and grab" move. Finally I had my camera on the tripod when one landed in the burning bush and worked his way over to the feeder.

"Wow, look at all those peanuts! I really could use a snack."

"Okay, almost there. Boy, is my tummy rumbling for a peanut!"

Swoop... grab... "Bye bye!"

Now instead of waking up to the loud but melodious song of the house wren, we hear the raucous "jay jay jay" call in our backyard.

Oh well, can't win 'em all. :)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Almost Independent

I spent some time watching our resident house wren feed its baby last week.

Look closely. You can just barely see that open mouth inside the house.

The baby was getting brave, poking its head out into the world.

The next day... gone! Independence!

Canon 7D Mark II with a Canon 75-300mm zoom lens. All at 300 mm on a tripod. Cropped and auto-corrected.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day

Independence is scary!

This recently fledged young robin got onto our front porch railing and was afraid to move. I walk past it several times, carefully, and put up the sign so the girls wouldn't scare it when they came home from school.

The next day it was gone. Bye bye, birdie!

Scanned from the prehistoric times before digital cameras. Taken with my old Nikkormat FT-2 with Nikon 55mm lens.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Drat! Foiled again!

A month or so ago we bought a peanut feeder. We've never had one, but we thought it might attract blue jays and woodpeckers to our yard.

We watched it for weeks, but no activity. Last week, FINALLY, it had some activity from an unexpected visitor. Pictures at 300mm handheld, so they're not real clear, but the story is worth it.

Me: There's something back at the peanut feeder!

Davey: No way I can see what kind it is way back there.

Me, looking through the telephoto lens: It's a tufted titmouse!

Continuing to snap pictures: Never expected to see a tufted titmouse eating peanuts!

He was having a very hard time getting a peanut, but he didn't give up.

Peck, peck... Yank, yank...

Finally got one, but oops! Where'd it go?

So now it's a little easier, but oops, there goes that one, too.

This one is sticking out. Should be easier to get.

Okay, great! Now I can get it!

But how do I eat it? Oops, there it goes!

Down on the ground below the feeder... Where is it? It's gotta be down here somewhere.

Ah, here it is! He prepares to feast, but...

OMG, what's that? A dog! I'm outa here!

Five minutes later, guess who gets the peanut!

Goodbye peanut. Au revoir, cardinal. So long, tuftie!

Canon 7D Mark II with a Canon 75-300mm zoom lens. All at 300 mm handheld. Cropped and corrected with Photoshop "smart fix."

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mrs. Robin Takes a Shower

The theme for my bird group this week is birds bathing, and I just happened to take about 50 or 60 pictures of a robin bathing in the waterfall of our pond last week.

Here's an overview of the pond and waterfall. It's pretty big! Lots of water flowing there!

So Mrs. Robin, at least I'm pretty sure it's a female, first does a test fly-by, perhaps checking the temperature or flow of the water.

She lands on the waterfall's top cover, looking the situation over.

Looks okay, she thinks, so she hops down closer.

Looking good, so in she goes!

Mr. Robin, her husband, perhaps, just has to get a closer look. You know how guys love to watch us bathe, right, ladies?

It was a hot day, and I bet that water felt great!

She swivels her head to make sure her face gets the full beauty treatment.

And she fluffs up her feathers so they dry nicely.

Well, maybe one more quick rinse.

And that's Mrs. Robin's bath.

What a lovely lady! And what a fun series of pictures to take!

Canon 7D Mark II with a Canon 75-300mm zoom lens. All at 250 mm handheld. Cropped but otherwise uncorrected.