Backyard photography

Happiness is…

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American Goldfinch

Happiness is… …watching the American Goldfinches turn yellow and play in your flowers :) … seeing the female Indigo Bunting from last weekend – she stuck around! … finally snapping a picture of the elusive Prairie Warbler who has been mocking you for the past three mornings, and as a bonus, getting to hear him sing! … watching the cardinals take a bath in the birdbath that you cleaned for them yesterday (it’s always nice when they appreciate your efforts!) … admiring the colors as your goldfinch poses in the shade while the background behind him is alight with color. …watching the Painted Bunting hop out onto the “waiting perch” as he considers a flight to the feeder. …laughing at the Palm Warbler as he finds every mealworm you’ve dropped under the feeder… …listening to the happy calls of the American Goldfinches as they circle your yard.  “Baby!”  “Potato chip!” …saying hello to the Brown Thrasher and realizing that since the pair of them have stopped visiting together, his mate must be busy sitting on eggs at a nest nearby. … laughing at the Red-winged Blackbirds who are so certain that they are missing something because they can’t get into the […]

Backyard photography

Backyard Birding from my Blind

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I have to make a confession.  I bribed some birds today. I had a few free hours (gasp!) and I decided to do some backyard birding.  I confess to waiting to refill the bird feeders until it was prime photography time – after the household chores were done, the camera was outside, and the light was right!  But the birds didn’t mind my manipulations.  They were just happy to see fresh birdseed. The first birds who noticed the refilled feeders were the goldfinches.  This scout flew into the yard and sounded a happy “Potato Chip!” to alert the neighborhood.  Free nyger!  Come and get it! Rich had noticed a goldfinch doing a tail-spread this morning.  I was surprised to photograph the same behavior.  The goldfinches are starting to get into their breeding plumage.  This one was sporting a yellow head and a starting-to-be-black forehead.  In a few weeks he’ll be all yellow and ready to impress his mate! It’s that time of the year when the Brown Thrasher pair shows up in the backyard.  I think they like the free birdseed while they are nesting.  Today I saw both of them scavenging in the mulch, and then they took turns in the […]

Backyard photography

Brown Thrashers in the Backyard

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Brown Thrasher

Thanks to everyone who notified me today that my website was down. I upgraded the hosting service today, so it took a while for the updates to go live. Hopefully the site will be faster now! The cats and I spent a pleasant hour on the porch this afternoon while I worked on the website. Whiskey and Squirt watched the White Ibis that were feeding in the backyard. It was hilarious to watch the cats peeking over the guard rail of the porch, trying not to move a muscle as they watched every move those birds made! Then I heard a noise in the side bed, and saw our resident Brown Thrasher throwing mulch around. We have a pair of thrashers that hang around our backyard only in the springtime. They are very good about distributing my mulch all over the yard, and into the neighbor’s yard as well (sorry, Peter!) But today I forgave Papa Thrasher, because he brought me his baby to see! Little Thrasher stood patiently as Dad went to find him bugs. I grabbed my camera and got a few quick shots. This is the first year I’ve seen their baby in my yard. Poor Little […]

Backyard photography

Brown Thrashers All Around

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There seem to be a bunch of active Brown Thrashers in the neighborhood right now.  We have at least one, maybe more, that come to our birdbath regularly.  The mulch in all my flower beds is re-arranged daily for me as they thrash it around, looking for worms.  Tonight there were several down by the pond, posing in the sunset light.  I wasn’t quite on the right angle but I liked the picture anyway…

Backyard photography

Lazy Saturday in the Backyard

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The windy weather forecast kept me at home this morning.  So Rich and the cats and I had a lazy morning.  It can be nice to stay at home and enjoy your backyard birds, too! I’m pretty sure there is a Brown Thrasher nest in the backyard.  I’ve been seeing Brown Thrashers in the yard regularly for the last two weeks, always near the back rose bed.  Last week I saw both birds together, but since then, I’ve only been seeing one at a time. Wouldn’t it be fun to see the baby thrashers learning how to fly?  It’d be as much fun as watching their father enjoy our birdbath… On our walk tonight we ran into a Cooper’s Hawk near Black Lake.  Better down there than up by our yard!  He sat on somebody’s roof and watched as I got closer and closer… The Bald Eagles continue to have a presence in the neighborhood.  I think they fly over Stoneybrook to Black Lake to gather food for their baby on the nest.  It’s quite convenient when they fly overhead in nice sunset light! We also found a pair of Black-Necked Stilts down at the “Surprise Pond” behind Lakehurst.  That’s […]

Backyard photography

Stoneybrook Signs of Spring

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I’m getting way behind in posting backyard spring pictures!  So here’s a nice collection of the birdie goings-on around Stoneybrook West… We have a pair of Brown Thrashers who have been making an appearance each afternoon in my back rose bed.  They are quite regular.  I wonder if they may have a nest in our viburnum?  I had thought that I would trim it after the Painted Buntings leave, but I’ve had so many birds moving in and out of the bushes that I think I may have to wait until after spring nesting season is over. The American Goldfinches continue to grace us with their sweet calls and cheerful presence.  I haven’t seen a male in the past few weeks.  (Males are distinguished by their bright black heads.)  The females continue to visit our niger feeder.  Their feathers are turning brighter by the day.  It’s going to be sad when they too leave us. The House Finches are bright red and they have started to sing as they attract their mates and begin to build their nests.  They’ve learned to appreciate the Painted Bunting feeder, which has a cage surrounding it to protect the little birds from being evicted […]