Chipmunks are always cute, but they are cuter out in the wild, well away from my bird-feeders. 🙂 This one was teasing me from the shelter of the brush around the base of a big tree on the shore of Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area in West Kennebunk. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
We put up a new feeder pole on the other corner of the deck this week, along with a branch I saved from pruning the cherry tree last fall. The birds started using it immediately. I also added one of those metal screen thistle feeders to replace the thistle sock, which never, in the past three years, attracted a single Finch. That too was a success. The Goldfinches, which came to the Black-oil Sunflower Seed feeders even if they did not come to the thistle sock, started using the screen thistle feeder on the second day. They also like the cherry tree branch, which is straight in line with the deck door and easily visible from the breakfast table…if I am careful I can get the door open a crack before the birds fly, hence this shot of a Gold Finch at close range. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
More shots of the acrobatic Red-winged Blackbird from a few days ago at the drainage pond at Southern Maine Medical Center in Kennebunk. Endlessly entertaining…unless they are at your feeder :). (And maybe even then, depending on your tolerance.) Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr. Assembled in Framemagic.
The other day, while out on a photoprowl on my ebike, I happened on two large flocks of Wild Turkeys…or maybe it was one huge flock and I just saw both ends of it while it was spread out over 600 yards or so…along the road into our local beach. There were two big handsome Toms at the very far end of the two groups, feeding in tall grass. When I stopped my bike one of them decided to disappear so it sat down in the grass with only its head sticking up. As though that bright red head would be inconspicuous in the green grass. 🙂 600mm and 1200mm equivalents (1200 with 2x Clear Image Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.
While dragonfly hunting the other day, out on my ebike, the Red-winged Blackbirds entertained me around the little drainage pond at Southern Maine Medical Center here in Kennebunk. The males were super vocal. I am not sure if they were responding to each other or to me being at their pond! This one hopped from cattail reed to cattail reed about 30 feet from me for as long as I wanted to watch, yelling at the top of his lungs. Though they are common, Red-winged Blackbirds are not easy to photograph. It took some careful post-processing to being out the subtle plumage details in the black on black bird. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
The early Odes are finally emerging (or arriving) in southern Maine. This is somewhat worn (so migrant) male Painted Skimmer from Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area in West Kennebunk. I saw it over the pond first, with its wings flashing orange in the sun, and tracked it down to the shallow end of the pond to find its perch. I waited it out through several hunting sorties out over the pond but it came back to the same twig and I worked my way closer until I got this shot at 840mm equivalent (1.4x Smart Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
They have put up two new Wood Duck boxes at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, complete with sheet metal shields below to protect the nests from predators…but as you might expect, the Tree Swallows have taken both. Hopefully, if Wood Ducks decided to nest there, they will evict the swallows. 🙂 In the meantime the swallows seem happy with their new accommodations. The nice big door/window makes an ideal perch to survey the world. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
I went out for a photoprowl on my ebike to Emmon’s Preserve (Kennebunkport Conservation Trust), mainly to see if there were any River Jewelwings (damselflies) flying. I have seen River Jewelwings only once in my life, and that was in June at Emmon’s Preserve. Not yesterday. One of my goals for this summer is to photograph more dragonflies…and damselflies…odonata in general. My fascination with the form and function…the odd beauty of odonata, continues. Yesterday there was a medium sized dragonfly hunting in one of the little alcoves off the trail around the big meadow. These alcoves, sheltered from the wind on three sides, are often great spots for dragons. It looked, and acted, like a baskettail to me, in flight, and I waited ten minutes to see if it would perch (I have waited on baskettails before with no success.) This one, however, eventually did perch and I got a few shots. So of course I spent 30 minutes there waiting for it to perch again…and it did, twice more. I am never quite sure of my dragonfly ids…we have over 130 species recorded in York County Maine…and, even if a baskettail, there are quite a few baskettails it could have been. I am definitely a novice and I have no experience of iding dragons in the hand. This made an ideal trial for a new app I recently downloaded. Odes by Fieldguides.ai The Fieldguides series of apps (Everything, Odes, Leps, Birds, Plants, and Fungi) is a crowd sourced identification app. Folks submit photos and details, and when you submit a photo the ai engine attempts to identify whatever you submitted. I submitted my photo and the app suggested Beaverpond Baskettail. I was able to study several dozen other photos ided as Beaverpond, and concluded that the app was correct. A quick check with my DragonFly ID app pretty much confirmed it. I could still be wrong, but I have a fair degree of confidence that this is indeed a Beaverpond Baskettail (until someone who knows better tells me otherwise). Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
A second shot from the sequence of the Red-tailed Hawk at Laudholm Farms on Thursday. Such a handsome bird! Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
Despite my still healing bruised tailbone, I am getting out for photoprowls on my ebike most days when it does not rain all day. Yesterday, after the rain stopped, I rode down to the Bridal Path to check for dragonflies (not yet) and to Rachel Carson to see if the huge Jack-in-the-pulpits were opened out (not yet), and then to finish the circuit rode into the Laudholm Farms parking area before looping back around on Rt. 1 to home (just over 10 miles). I was headed out of the Laudholm parking lot when I caught the hawk on the bluebird boxes behind the hedge at corner. I was able to get off the bike, get my camera out of the rear rack pack, and approach as close as the hedge would allow without the hawk taking alarm, so I got a whole series of photos. It turned out to be an immature Red-tailed Hawk, perhaps drying from the rains in the sun on its handy perch and not in any hurry to go anywhere. Though it might look like it is about to take flight here, anyone who has watched sitting hawks very long knows what comes next…and I have a great photo of the white-wash stream to prove it. They do often fly right after, but this one settled down and remained on the perch until I decided it was time to finish my ride. Sony RX10iv at 840mm equivalent (1.4x Smart Zoom…in-camera crop). Processed in Polarr.