Friday, April 25, 2008

Best Day of my Life...

First of all when I say the Best Day of my Life, it does NOT of course
compare to the birth of my daughter and when she came home on Christmas
Eve.......or When I sang at my Son's wedding and didn't faint or die....
But a close second to events of that nature! Everything I did today
afforded me a 'photographic moment' and I will post each event one by one
so as not to confuse and overwhelm you.
The first one in the 'Best Day of my Life' started when I went to work.
I work in a small town, with streets, houses, small business district, but
NO streams, NO fields, NO open areas, nothing that would
attract what I saw in the tall tree you see below across from the
building where I work.

I had been seeing a bird in this same tree all week so I took
my camera to see if I could capture it.

I took a few shots through the upstairs office window.
A little blurry. Still not sure what it was.

Took a few more with the window open and leaning out.
I knew it was some kind of hawk...but just not sure what.

By now I had taken 50 or so and was reviewing them
with a puzzled look on my face.
I called my friend and she stopped over and she identified
it as a female American Kestrel. Well, I was in shock as to
why it would be here in a tree in town. The only place I
ever see these birds is outside of town on the lines above
fields or near streams. And I can NEVER get a shot worth
posting when I do see them.

As I was reviewing the pictures I noticed that she was actually
eating some kind of rodent. If you double click you can see it
hanging from her mouth.

I certainly didn't see that through my lens. Sometimes it is
a big surprise when you bring your pictures into the computer.

All day in between answering the phone, typing some letters,
and business stuff I was taking pictures of this bird in the tree.
It stayed there for 5 hours straight.

Moving from window to window and stepping outside
when I could manage it. Towards the end of the day I was
determined to get a better view. So I went out into the parking
lot and was trying to focus on the bird..........

Talk about luck, being in the right spot at the right time,
karma, or whatever you want to call it...
Like a flash I saw another bird fly into the picture I was taking.

Right there before my eyes I was seeing two American Kestrels
doing the wild thing!!!! One second

Two second.......three second
Four and all done!!

Now two 'sparrow hawks' as they are sometimes called
are just sitting on the branch as if nothing ever happened. I
wouldn't have believed it either if I hadn't just captured it!

They hung out for awhile and I continued to snap pictures.
More than any sane person should take.

A car came thundering into the parking lot and the female
flew away first, and then the male left also.

I'm almost sad tomorrow is Saturday and I don't have to
go to work. How exciting to capture these cool little falcons right
in my back yard (or should I say parking lot)

I know there is a nest somewhere in this, but where???

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Great Day of Sightings!

From its perch upon a pole, a bird calls to his friends to come see the humans playing their silly games.

I had not seen the hawks at the Veterans Home for a couple
weeks until this morning. One was close the road so I pulled over and
got a few shots.

The Red Tail was watching me 'like a hawk' as I shot through
the passenger side open window.

The light was just about perfect and I took way too many
pictures I will only post a few in different positions.
It was not raining so he must have been hunting in
the creek below to be so wet.
He turns his head to look the other way.

Each pose he looks so different from the one before.

His foot comes out .....

And then he pivots showing his red tail feathers
and off he flew.

The pole he flew to was just too far away to try for shots...
althought I must admit I took about ten. It looked like
he was preening.

I headed home to do some yard work.
The White-throated Sparrow was there to greet me.

Playing peek-a-boo in the forsythia bush.
On a previous Post I wrote about the Carolina Wren building
a nest in the top of my gas tank.
Here's an update!
I came home yesterday to a packet hanging from my door
that the gas man had filled the tank. He wasn't supposed to
come until July!!! I just knew he had
thrown out the nest and all was lost. I quickly ran around
the side of house and looked to see nothing on the ground.
I abruptly opened the cover and Mrs. Wren flew out lickety split!!
I was so upset to have scared her I closed it up and went inside.
Here she is on the side of the tank from last week's post.

The nest last week.

Tonight I got the nerve to open the lid once more and
could not see much, so I used my flash and took a couple
pictures. Imagine how happy I was when I saw eggs!!

If I count correctly - 5 eggs. Yippee!! I can't wait to see what
happens next.

Yesterday took flight, but tomorrow is waiting to be hatched.
To God be the Glory, Great things he hath done.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Few of my Favorite Backyard Birds

The word Spring is a perfumed word. It means youth,
love, song and all that is beautiful in life.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And although I'm all for 'Longfellow' don't kid yourself...
Spring with it's grass a growing, leaves unfurling, buds bursting,
and the leavings of winter on the ground also means work!
I spent all week end in my yard and have many more days
until I will be happy with the results of my labors.
While out there it was a perfect opportunity to see a few
of my favorite friends..... birds.

The White-throated Sparrow looked pretty perched on the
newly sprouted leaves of a bush in my yard.

And in this close up he is rather beautiful, if I must
say so myself.

I saw no activity from the wrens in building the nest
in the tank out back, but they were claiming there
right to the new feeder I put out.

King of the log!

Singing his little heart out.

Red-belly was eating up the suet. A BIG ole mouth-full!

Not sure what this White-breasted Nuthatch was doing, but it
looked like he was screaming at me!
Not a bird, but what would a day be without a 'tree rat'
At one point I looked up into the Oak tree and caught this
young squirrel eating the newly sprouted buds. In the Spring
food is hard for them to find, the nuts they hid are sprouting
and other sources are not available yet, so they eat buds of trees.

He actually came from the vicinity of this nest, although
I can't believe it is a baby from this year...

Two Eastern Towhees have been hanging around. I managed
to get some close up shots and you can see the red eye of the male.

Lots of Robins were around. I love this 'listening' pose when
they are hunting for worms.

I thought this was a female with what looked like white eyeliner
above her pretty little eye!

The Flickers were loudly calling to each other, and I
caught a glimpse of this female high up in a tree.

I will tell you it's hard carrying around a camera with a rake
in one hand and a shovel in the other!!
But worth every minute of it!

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