Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snow birds

So I spent hours sitting up in the spare bedroom during winter storm Jonas. I opened the window and rested my super lens on the sill. This is what I saw.

"Whoa! The diner is full!" Goldfinch stops in mid-air. On the feeder: two goldfinch, a junco, and a song sparrow. First pic taken through the back door, 2 layers of glass.

All getting along. From left to right: House finch, female cardinal, house sparrow, female cowbird and three more house sparrows.

Another pic a little later. Top: cowbird and mourning dove; lower level: Female cardinal, house finch, a couple more house sparrows and another cowbird.

Starling all puffed up, trying to keep warm. Just before I sent Mya out to chase the big bunch of starlings away.

Carolina chickadee with lunch.

House finch, also with lunch.

Dark-eyed junco, chowing down.

"George, is there something wrong with my hair?"
"No, dear, it looks fine."

Blue jays.

One of my best pictures of the day, the two blue jays. The reason we buy peanuts in 50-lb bags from the farm store.

Song sparrow, a regular in our yard, both summer and winter.

Tufted titmouse. I don't think it's possible for these guys to not be cute.

Beautiful male cardinal waiting for his turn at the feeder.

The star of the show! White-breasted nuthatch with snowflakes, one of which looks like a star. This is full frame, not cropped at all.

Catch of the day! A fox sparrow, mostly a woodsy bird, not usually found at backyard feeders. He stayed on the ground underneath the nyger feeder.

Downy woodpecker, male. 

Almost missed this one. She kept flying in, grabbing, and leaving before I could focus on her. Female red-bellied woodpecker.

I missed getting a decent picture of the grackle that swooped in and out, and am still waiting to catch the Carolina wren. But all in all, the snowstorm gave me a great bird day!

Photos all taken with Canon 7D Mark II with Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens. Most cropped and corrected with Photoshop "smart fix."

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ducks Galore!

Not only did we see lots of snow geese on our trip to Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge last week, but there were lots of ducks.

The first ones we saw were the American Black Ducks, squabbling and showing off.

"Don't crowd me, pal!"

"Look, ladies!"

And a lone American Black Duck, ducking for food. Is that why they call them ducks?


Then we saw the Northern Pintails, hanging out with the Snow Geese and constantly foraging for food.

Then, a first for me, Hooded Mergansers, male and female.

Of course there were Mallards.

Finally, as we were leaving, Mute Swans.

So many birds! I took over 500 pictures in order to get maybe 20 or so that I thought were good. That's the beauty of digital. You can just delete the ones that are out of focus, wrongly exposed, blurry, or that you don't like.

Love my birdies!

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

Friday, January 1, 2016

Snow Geese!

We took a drive down to Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Ocean, NJ on New Year's Eve day. I'd heard there were snow geese there and I'd never seen them before, so I was looking to get some pictures.

There were a lot of them!!

A snow goose lands in the wildlife refuge, surrounded by his kin.

Trio of snow geese in the water.

A juvenile follows an adult.

They kept dunking their heads to eat the underwater vegetation.

I got some good pictures, and even found an elusive "blue goose," the dark morph snow goose.

Dark morph snow goose, or "blue goose."

Marching to the beat of his own drummer.

They all were very peaceful, swimming around and eating.

Saw a lot of ducks, too, several different kinds. More on them in a few days.

What the flock? Northern Pintail ducks swam and fed among the snow geese.

What a great day!