It’s been snowing since early this morning and will not stop until late tonight. So far, eight hours into our fourth Nor’Easter only about 5 inches of snow fell, but the forecast is calling for at least double that by the time the storm ends.
As usual, I cleaned and stocked the bird feeder with sunflower seeds and all the usual birds came, emptying half of the feeder by the end of the day. I did not miss the opportunity to take some photos as they posed among the magnolia branches.
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.
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.
In the end we only got 4 inches (10 cm) of snow as it was too warm and the storm started out as rain spattering on our roof in the middle of the night. Our feathered friends gathered around the feeder and tried to make the best of it.
Saturday was a cold and snowy day. Only one inch of snow was forecasted, but it kept snowing most of the day and in the end we got at least 3 inches. The poor birds sheltered among our magnolia branches, but only because they know I usually stock our feeder with sunflower seeds to the brim.
After it stopped snowing, as a special treat, I put out a tray of roasted peanuts to provide them with some energy food. Within a few minutes, Blue Jays appeared and swooped down to literally gorge themselves.
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!
The blizzard of 2016, Jonas, turned out to be one for the records. The amount of snow dumped on our region approached or even exceeded all-time records dating back to the 19th century. I did not measure it at our house, but it took us three and a half hours to clear our driveway, even with a snowblower and three of us working.
Here are a few photos of some of the birds that came to our backyard during the blizzard, with all photos taken through the patio glass door, not an optimal setting.
Finally, another shot of that cute Blue Jay.
Throughout most of this year I have been neglecting the small birds that live in the woods behind our house and frequent our bird feeder. They have become regulars, at least as long as I remember to refill when the feeder is empty. Today, the last day of 2015, I put out a tray of roasted peanuts as a special treat for them. They seemed to love it. As of two hours ago all the peanuts were gone. However, photos of the birds remain for us to enjoy.
Woodpeckers also showed up, but the following female ignored the peanuts and climbed up toward the regular bird feeder.
Happy New Year and the best of everything to all of you in 2016!
The link for this challenge is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/eye-spy/
When I photograph birds and animals, I try to get a good eye expression, or at least get their eyes in clear focus. Here are my entries for the challenge, all from photos taken this year, some as recently as yesterday.
Yesterday it rained almost all day, and it didn’t stop until this morning. More and more birds kept coming to the bird feeder even in the pouring rain. It wasn’t until this morning that the sky cleared and sunlight came out. The air was pure and clear, perfect for shooting the following photos of birds that were born this year and looked very young and innocent.
The Tufted Titmouse is a regular visitor to our bird feeder all year round. They look very cute with their big eyes and serene disposition, and they don’t fight like Juncos always do. This year I was able to get some close shots as shown below.
Once a Tufted Titmouse grabs a sunflower seed from the feeder, he or she (I can’t tell) takes it to the nearby magnolia tree and spends a few minutes trying to open it with their small bill as you can see in the following photo.
This weekend promises record low temperatures, and our bird feeder has been the scene of intense activity. One of the main actors is the Tufted Titmouse with big eyes that make it stand out among the birds. They flit in and out, carrying seeds away to crack them at the nearby magnolia tree. Then they carry the shelled seeds to hoard them somewhere else.
For a photographer, taking pictures of birds in flight (BIF) is probably the ultimate challenge. Birds fly very fast, they won’t wait for you, and you have little control on such matters as lighting and angles. You must shoot at very high speed, bump up the ISO, and just hope that your camera can meet those critical demands.
I have started to do BIF with the small birds around our bird feeder, as you can see in the following photos.