Wild Turkey: Near Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA — I detailed this experience in yesterday’s Day Poem, but essentially I stoped on my eTadpole recumbent trike to look at a dragonfly in a ditch and there were two turkeys sheltering in the tall grass and flowers on the far side. This one poked its head up to see what I was up to and I managed a few shots (once I got my camera untangled from the bag where rides between my legs on the trike). There were not completely open lines-of-sight as the hay was just about as tall as the turkey, but it is at least an evocative shot. It was a very hot day for southern Maine and the Turkeys were struggling with the heat. Nikon B700 at 1400mm equivalent. Program mode. -/3 EV. Spot focus. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Great and Snowy Egrets: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — For Kennebunk in southern Maine, this is a good sized concentration of Egrets. It is not like Florida in the winter, but in August we get Egrets, both Great and Snow, staging their way south, and stopping over in the marshes along the coastal rivers for a few weeks. The top panel is at 228mm equivalent on the Nikon B700, and the bottom panel is from the same spot at 1440mm equivalent. Both shots are somewhat limited by the light haze of smoke from the western fires which has reached Maine in the past few days. Nikon B700 in Program mode. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic.
Brown Creeper: Alwive Pond Preserve, W. Kennebunk, Maine, USA — A couple of grab shots of a Brown Creeper I encountered on the tail in to Alwive Pond. Grab shots are about all I seem to get of this hyperactive bird. This must be a fresh bird…either this year’s fledgling or a bird with brand new tail feathers. The tail feathers of our New England creepers are generally very worn and tattered, and considerably shorter by the time I see them. It is also particularly “brown” for an Eastern Brown Creeper. 🙂 Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Northern Cardinal: For a week or so we have had the neighborhood male Cardinal visit our feeding station early in the morning, just about sun-up. Yesterday both the male and the female came. They don’t let me get even right up to the inside of the deck door…if so much as a shadow of me shows they are off, so this was taken from well inside through the double-glazed door. Still a handsome bird! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 4000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Green Heron: Evidently this Green Heron has made the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Health Care part of its territory. It has been at the ponds on my last several visits. When it flies off it goes into the woods south of the pond along the outflow…but it is soon back so it does not go far. It is relatively tolerant of humans. It sat on the posts of the little footbridge over the outflow for a long time while I hunted dragonflies on the other side of the pond. A handsome bird. 🙂 Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/125th @ f6.5 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Northern Black Racer: Kennebunk Plains, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The Northern Black Racer reaches the northern limits of its range here in York County, Maine. It is on the Maine State Endangered Species List, and is a Species High Concern. There is a monitored population on the Kennebunk Plains Reserve, which is managed by the Nature Conservancy in cooperation with the state wildlife agency. It is, in fact, one of the species, along with the Northern Blazing Star plant, Upland Sandpiper, and Grasshopper Sparrow populations, and a few other endangered or threatened species, which prompted the Nature Conservancy, the Kennebunk Land Trust, and the state of Maine to preserve the Plains. Black Racers are not easy to see…they are secretive and keep under cover much of their lives. Wildlife and Inland Fisheries has a radio tagging study on the Kennebunk Plains, and I have bumped into the researchers a few times. Even with radio tags the snakes are hard to find. I did not find this one. I just happened to be there when a gentleman…and amateur herpetologist…was releasing this snake where he had captured it the day before. He had taken it home to treat some wounds on its belly (perhaps from a hawk encounter) and to show it to his son, who had never seen one. I am not condoning this behavior…it is both illegal and in my opinion unwise (especially when it comes to endangered species)…something this gentleman was well aware of. To be fair, he was very conscientious about handling the snake with care…and the snake did not seem to be any worse for the experience. And, since I don’t go around turning over logs on the Plains (or anywhere for that matter) I would not have seen this snake any other way. (I have seen one Black Racer before on the Plains…but that was a chance encounter…and once out of many hundreds of visits to the Plains over the past 20 years.) This was not a big racer…though compared to the size of the head (about the size of my thumb) it was a very long snake (likely five feet or more). Like most constrictors its body, with it smooth scales, just exudes power. And, once sure of its footing after release, it demonstrated how apt its name is by racing, about as fast as my eye could follow, for the deep cover of a low stand of dense brush. Nikon B700 at 370mm, 140mm, and 445mm to frame the snake. Shutter program at 1/640th. ISO 220. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Eastern Painted Turtle: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — There are seven or eight species of turtles in Maine, depending on what authority you check. By far the most common is the Eastern Painted Turtle, which is found in ponds all over the state. They tend, in my experience, to be relatively shy…sliding into the water at any approach. I rarely get as close to them as I would like for photography. These live in the little drainage pond at the back of the Southern Maine Health Care parking lot, and seem especially brightly painted. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter program at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Grey Catbird: Sturbridge, Mass, USA — My daughter is celebrating her wedding today…they got married in Denver during when the pandemic restrictions prevented any gatherings…so here we are in the southern Massachusetts at venue near Sturbridge to do the whole walking down the aisle in front of a hundred friends and relations thing. So yesterday when we got back to our hotel, I stepped out with my camera to see if I could find a Pic for today. 🙂 This Grey Catbird popped up in the deep undergrowth along the edge of the hotel parking and sat just long enough for a few photos. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Not a bad shot considering the ISO is 3200 (f4 @ 1/500th). Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Red Squirrel: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Another pose of our visiting Red Squirrel. I told the story yesterday. I took about 120 frames and saved a dozen or so, of the different poses. This fists up pose is his defensive, or maybe aggressive, posture when he was attempting to dispute the ownership of our back deck with me. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 418mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Red Squirrel: Kennbunk, Maine, USA — We had a Red Squirrel visiting yesterday…probably the same one that visited a month ago…but it is really hard to tell. This time I decided not to be satisfied with photos through the thermal glass deck door. I opened the door gently and, when the squirrel did not take much notice, I stepped out on the deck. For the next half hour I watched and photographed as the squirrel continued to explore and enjoy the feeding station. As I noted in the last Red Squirrel post, he (or she) can get into all the feeders…even squeezing through the outer cage around our double cage suet feeder. Once inside it climbs up on top of the inner cage where the suet is and eats its full…if indeed it understands the concept of “full”. I suspect it would eat the whole block. If I went right over to the cage while it was in it…it would scamper out…but it did not leave the deck. This is a bold Red Squirrel indeed. It would sit on the rail, staring at me, and chattering, laying its claim to the deck and all the feeders. It came back several times during the morning, but I did not see it after that, and it has not appeared this morning yet, so I suspect it has moved on to another yard, or returned to its own territory in whichever of the surrounding stands of trees it calls home. And to be honest, while I enjoy its visits, I would not want a family of them making a home in the yard. They get into everything. It was another “dark” day yesterday…very like the last visit…with heavy overcast and some mist in the air, but being able to photograph without the glass between us made for much more satisfying shots. Sony Rx10iv. This particular shot at 380mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1600 @ 1/500th @ f4.