Usually Monday would be reserved for monochrome photos, but yesterday some spring flowers were so vibrantly displaying their colors that an exception can easily be made for them. The tulips are from our garden, while the other two are plants we grow inside the house.
One afternoon, a Bald Eagle flew in and circled Colonial Lake several times looking for fish. It even dove toward the water once but still came up with no fish, but it provided good opportunities for photographing in the waning sun.
A few weeks ago, a Turkey Vulture was also soaring above Colonial Lake for several minutes, looking for carrion in the nearby woods, or perhaps for dead fish dropped by the eagles.
It came down low enough for me to take a shot looking at its back. I did not see it catch anything.
Then a Red-tailed Hawk (tentative identification) also made its appearance.
Goslings are now commonly seen at the refuge and are often the subjects of the cutest Spring scenes.
My internet connection has been very iffy these past two weeks, and it was only last night that it came back to normal and allowed me to read emails and access various sites, including WordPress. My apologies for not having been able to respond to your comments or visited your posts. I will try to catch up for sure.
Our Butterflies Magnolia tree is in full bloom, covered with flowers and hardly any leaf.
I planted the tree near the bird feeder, which is why many birds perch on its branches while waiting for their turn. They also tend to land on it as a place to break apart the sunflower seeds they pick out from the feeder.
Today I noticed some birds that resemble House Finches. Looking them up at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site, it turns out they are Purple Finches. These birds are losing out to the House Finches which came to the East Coast after they were brought to New York City in the 1950’s. Between 1966 and 2014, populations of Purple Finches have declined by 52%!
Here’s a photo of a House Finch on the same Magnolia tree.
Our yellow Magnolia tree flowers late, and has managed to attract Bluebirds for the second year in a row.
The Bluebird, or its partner, checked out one of the birdhouses I put up.
However, there is no sign yet that the birdhouse is occupied by any bird.
Meanwhile, during a walk around Colonial Lake, I saw an abandoned Canada Goose egg on the ground, near the water. It was quite big, but there was no Canada Geese around it.
One can see many Canada Geese at Colonial Lake, either swimming in the water or grazing onshore. I have no idea why this one egg was left out in the open with no mother goose tending it. Another mystery.
In answer to RyanPhotography challenge: https://ryanphotography.uk/2019/04/10/mid-week-monochrome-mwm-15-flowers/
We received a good soaking of rain yesterday, while temperatures soared into the 70’s (20’s Celsius). The Magnolias trees outdid each another to bloom and open up their flowers. We have two trees and together they have thousands of buds opening up today.
A Star Magnolia (Magnolia Stellata) is normally the first one to bloom, but this year it yielded to the above trees.
American Robins don’t migrate during the winter, merely keeping out of sight most of the time. They reappear with the coming of spring, when the ground is no longer too hard for them to try to pull out worms.
Flocks of Canada Geese flying overhead is another sign that the seasons are changing. However, I can’t figure out what they are doing since they seem to be flying in all directions.
Just a minute after the above shot, those Canada Geese reversed direction and flew over me again.
I thought that was the last of that flock and started walking toward the woods. Then they flew North and passed overhead once more.
Another sure sign of spring is the return of Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets. They appeared two weeks ago, then went away when the weather turned cold. Now they are back.
Finally the turtles are out sunning themselves. I think they are Diamondback Terrapins, but am not positive. They all jumped into the water as I tried to come closer to them to get a better look.
A few days ago, a flock of Sanderlings appeared to be still sleeping around 9 AM on several boulders near Barnegat Ligthouse.
Later on I saw a Tabby Cat in a wooded area not too far from where the Sanderlings were. I have seen him several times for the past three years, roaming among the trees and bushes, perhaps stalking for prey. However, the Sanderlings usually kept by the beach, so maybe the Tabby Cat was after smaller birds.