This week I went to the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge again, after a 5-month hiatus. Greenhead flies were already out and I had to keep my car windows closed, except for brief moments to take a photo. Shots taken through the windows turned out badly. Here are some better ones taken with the window quickly open.
Since I was inside the car and not wearing a mask, a female Red-winged Blackbird could not resist acting like a Karen.
Following are photos taken recently at home of other birds.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been coming in greater numbers. Capturing their flight is usually a challenge, but here are some of the better shots.
Among our backyard birds, a couple of Eastern Bluebirds are setting up their nest in a birdhouse right in the back of our family room. Here are some shots of them, taken this past weekend.
There are other birds which come to the birdfeeder, sometimes landing on the Yellow Magnolia tree to wait for their turn.
Even though temperatures plunged and the wind was fierce, our area only got a dusting of snow. I filled the bird feeder beforehand, and for the past two days bird traffic picked up significantly, even while snow was falling. All the birds looked fluffier and bigger than in warmer months.
Today the sky was mostly cloudy and it was rather nippy outside. A lot of birds came to our bird feeder. At one time, as I walked by the patio door, I saw three bright red Northern Cardinals perched on the magnolia tree, waiting for their turn. I got my camera out and started shooting, first with the 1.4 extender attached to the lens.
Two hours later, they were still flying in and out. This time I did not use the 1.4 extender.
I prefer the shots taken without the 1.4 extender as they are noticeably sharper, which will come in handy with large-size prints for framing. However, the ones with the extender are really not too bad.
In 2018, some of my photos did not appear on this blog, normally because I didn’t want to have too many in any post. Now at year end, looking at them, some actually deserve to be shown, and here they are.
The following photos are some of the favorites that you, my WordPress readers, have either liked the posts where they were posted in, clicked on their images to see them in larger size, or mentioned them in your comments.
This evening, I tried to shoot more photos near the bird feeder, and surprised two birds, one full of color, the other blander.
A Northern Cardinal flew in and landed on a magnolia branch. It shook itself as if to get rid of some water, and that’s when I took this photo. He was one of the reddest Cardinals I have ever seen.
A young female House Finch did not see me until I took her picture.
I still have not ventured out since coming down with the flu. There may also be quite a few people similarly afflicted for the local pharmacy shelves have been laid bare of the more popular flu and cold medicines. The weather has not been cooperating either, being mostly cold, snowy at times, and windy almost always. This has given me time to cull through some recent shots of Blue Jays and other birds in our backyard.
Yesterday the blizzard started at 6 AM and ended a few minutes after 3 PM, after dumping about 5 inches (12 cm) in our area, but up to 17 inches (42 cm) in other counties closer to the ocean.
Once the snow stopped blowing around, I refilled the bird feeder. There were so many birds that the sunflower seeds were gone in a day as compared to 3-5 days normally.
With their brilliant colors, Northern Cardinals stood out against the snow, so I opened the patio door a crack and photographed several that came close to the feeder.
I had spilled some seeds on a table. A male Cardinal took his time eating those seeds.
A female Northern Cardinal waited patiently for her turn.
Not much snow fell, somewhat less than 2 in (5 cm), but the cold is staying with temperatures in the teens and twenties (-10 C to -5 C). Nothing is melting. Many birds came to our feeder, and I even saw a new one that was gray with black wings. It was too quick and only appears as a blur in a shot I took.
But Mr. Blue and Mr. Red were there of course and lingered long enough for me to photograph them leisurely.
Mr. Red especially took his time, even checking out the photographer several times.
A Tufted Titmouse patiently waited for its turn at the feeder.
The URL for this challenge is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/2017-favorites/
In early May 2017, I went to Barnegat Lighthouse Park and walked the short (0.2 mi) Maritime Forest Trail looking for birds to photograph. Suddenly a red bird, a male Northern Cardinal flew by with a seed in his bill. He went to a branch on which a female was already perched and began to feed her in a gesture of love and courtship, as you can see in the following shots.
The first one if not red all over, but the House Finch is one of the more dominant birds in our neighborhood. They are also not native to our area, but over the years have migrated from the West Coast to the East Coast.
A Northern Cardinal, all red except for some black patches around its beak, stands out especially well amid the whiteness of yesterday’s snow.
Today skies are mostly sunny and snow is melting at a good pace. I took the opportunity to photograph the various birds that come to our feeder all day long.
Finally, the one and the only Northern Cardinal, resplendent in colors rivaling its human counterparts in Rome.
Snow fell today in our region for the first time this winter. We did not get much, maybe 4 inches (10 cm), but the sky was gray all day and although many birds came to our feeder I did not try to take their pictures. So here are a couple shots of a Northern Cardinal from last year, under similar weather. The banner shot is also from last year.
Northern Cardinal. Same guy, different pose.
It was 101 °F (38 °C) when I got out of work this afternoon. The following photos of a handsome Northern Cardinal who has been coming to our bird feeder is illustrative of the red hot summer we have been enduring over these past few days.
Cooling rains are coming this weekend.
Lately our weather has been nothing but rain and clouds, so I have not gone out much, relying on the birds around our bird feeder to pose for photographs. They did not disappoint.
This last one is not a bird, although it would like to be one to get at the food.
Today, temperatures rose to 64oF (18oC) which made it feel like Spring. I went to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge opposite Philadelphia International Airport on the other side of I-95. Vegetation still looked drab and dull, but among the light brown reeds I saw a flash of brilliant red. It was a male Northern Cardinal. He kept foraging for food in the same area for several long minutes. I took a series of shots and the following turned out to be the better ones.
More snow is forecasted for several days next week, but today the snow that felt two weeks ago has melted almost completely. To help out our backyard feathered friends, I put out sunflower seeds and roasted peanuts for them. Many came out, and they did not mind me taking their pictures, even with the patio door partially open.
A pair of Blue Jays flew in, each grabbing several peanuts at a time.
Within less than an hour, the birds had finished half a box of peanuts!