Friday, May 30, 2014

Yellow-billed Cuckoo in a Cherry Tree




I learn something new each time I go for a walk.  This is particularly true if people who know things are nearby.  For instance, this is a Cherry Tree.  This Yellow-billed Cuckoo sat in this tree all day.  They are particularly fond of tent caterpillars who are fond of cherry trees.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Northern Flicker




Since I have a bit of a woodpecker theme going it seems a good time to share these Northern Flicker (yellow shafted) photos from this spring.  Generally the flickers are a bit skittish but it must have been time to strut their stuff because I got pretty close to a couple of them.  This guy was putting on a beautiful display, unfortunately it was not completely unobstructed. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Variations on a Theme


This is a male Pileated Woodpecker in Florida.  Note the red "moustache" and the red crest reaching down to the bill (the female has a black "forehead".)  It's a bit easier to get them in the sunshine in Florida.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More Pileated




You may think one post of my Pileated Woodpecker is enough.  Nope.  It's not.  The last time I got shots of this bird at home I had my old camera and short lens.  I've been dying to get some shots with the 300mm lens.  These birds like the big trees and no matter how bright it is outside they are in the dark.  You can see the rather large bug she drew out of the tree in the first photo.  I'm pretty sure she took that to her young.  Hopefully!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pileated Woodpecker





I've been hearing this woodpecker about the house but hadn't had any luck tracking it down.  Today Matt and I got into the car to head off to the Memorial Day parade and there she was.  There may be a nest.  She spent a few minutes at a hole in the tree.  Something to keep an eye on for future encounters.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Under Attack





I caught this hummingbird harassing this Great Crested Flycatcher yesterday morning.  I looked for a nest at the time but couldn't find it.  Once I got home however, I found it.  Second photo far right.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Big Guy



This guy was too big and too close to fit in the frame.  Way too close.  But there were a few people in front of me so I wasn't too worried.  Yikes.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Willets



For the past month I've been making paintings of this flock of Willets I photographed on Sanibel.  I needed something to work on as I transitioned from teaching to summer and this felt like the perfect project.  In the mean time an incredible amount of activity has occurred including three trips down to Virginia for my show, Range, at the Arlington Arts Center which will be open until June 29th. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Expressive Little Owls





While Matt was away at a meeting I drove out on my own to Marco Island, Florida.  My mission was to find a Burrowing Owl.  I found one intersection online with lots of indication that the nests were both prevalent and surrounded by caution tape.  My initial nest came up empty and I felt a bit conspicuous standing around a quiet neighborhood with my 300mm zoom lens.  So after a short wait I got back in the car planning to find a rest room and then return to scout the nest.  I turned the block and found two nests!  Both had owls hanging out.  I took many photos of both and decided to drive to Tigertail Beach.  On the way to the beach I encountered two more nests.  The above photos are of three different owls.  Each seemed to have his own character.  The last appears to be making up for his small stature with a very intense glare.  I'm pretty sure he was saying "Piss off." 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Warblers Day Two










It was a beautiful, bright, sunny Mother's Day and a very excellent day in the woods.  These are just a few of the warblers and one of the two Scarlet Tanagers I saw today.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Warbler Woods









It was an amazing day for birds at the Refuge.  I saw 16 different warbler species, at least two vireo, and possibly three flycatchers.  The light was a bit rough so I had to keep the camera at 1600 ISO which means that I took almost 2000 photos to get just a few decent ones.  On the other hand I've got just what I need for my bird project which is moving slowly along.