Posts in Category: yard

How does this thing work? Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird (female), Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I am having a lot of fun watching the birds try to figure out how to get a drink from the pump and bucket water feature I have near my backyard photo blind. This Brown-headed Cowbird spent about 10 minutes at it before she managed to get a drink. Now that she has it down, she will be back. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Thirsty bird: Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — As the weather gets warmer the water features of my backyard photo blind feeding station become every more popular. I have a hanging water feeder, a hanging bird bath, and a recirculating waterfall pump and bucket thing. The birds (and chipmunks) are just figuring out the waterfall, but they have been using the birdbath all along, and individual Goldfinches, Chickadees, and one female Bluebird have figured out how to use the hanging water feeder. The male Bluebird, however, continues to prefer the hanging bird bath. My line of sight to the bird bath is getting more limited as the leaves come in. I may have to move it soon, as I will not be trimming back the vegetation. These shots of the Bluebird getting a drink of typical of what I see these days. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Make a wing…

Eastern Bluebird, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — While watching the fledgling Eastern Bluebird the other day, it did some practice wing stretching and I managed to catch the wing at full extension. Not great light, but still impressive. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Feeding time. Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Ma and Pa Bluebird parked their fledgling above the feeders near my backyard photo blind yesterday afternoon, and I got to spend an hour or more with the youngster, watching it explore, and especially watching as it try to figure out the flowing water feature I have installed. The bird clearly wanted a drink but had no idea how to go about getting one. Eventually it figured it out (see today’s poem: https://day-poems.tumblr.com/post/619629866684448768/531-i-have-made-my-pump-and-bucket-recirculating). While watching, the male Bluebird came three times to feed the fledgling. The first time I saw the begging action and knew one of the adults was coming, but did not get the camera fired up in time. After that I paid more attention and got ready as soon as I saw the first sign of begging and managed to get two sequences of the actual feeding. The male was bring dried mealworms from the feeder on our deck. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — A new bird for the yard and the backyard photo blind. This Red-eyed Vireo flew in behind the feeders for just a moment…just long enough for a burst. The light was not great, just as I was thinking of going in, but you can just barely make out the red in the eye. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Eastern Bluebird portrait

Eastern Bluebird, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I have way too many photos of the Eastern Bluebird at the mealworm feeder…in all kinds of poses and all kinds of light…but he rarely sits long enough away from the feeder (and near the blind) for me to get an memorable image. This time he did. Late day sun. Perfect background. Great pose. What more can any photographer ask…at least for a portrait shot. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. You can drill in on this quite a ways before you run out of feather detail. (One of these days I am going to make a collage of all the mealworm feeder shots, just for fun.)

Catbird comes calling

Grey Catbird, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — We had a few Baltimore Orioles come through last week, so I have oranges out in hopes of enticing they to hang around…much to the delight of the Catbirds, who are, apparently, hanging around. We have not seen the Orioles in several days, but the Catbirds come for the oranges every day. They are dainty about it. It takes them a long time of finish off a slice of orange. (And they do get help out by my photo blind under the pines, from our one bold chipmunk kit who as decided he/she also likes orange.) The Catbird can be a good study in plumage detail without lots of garish color to distract you…but it is nice to catch the red under the tail. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Point blank range here, at only about 8 feet from my blind. This is almost a full frame. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Cardinal comes to visit

Northern Cardinal, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Any day when the Cardinal comes to visit is a good day…actually, of course, he comes most days, and I sometimes see him from the back deck windows, but he only comes occasionally when I am actually out in the blind and ready for him. 🙂 I have to be quick as he does on hang around long, and he is a habitual skulker, so unobstructed shots are even more rare than his visits, but it is still fun to try. This shot is through a tiny window in the brambles and bittersweet vines, and even when he turned around on his perch, he was then partially blocked. I will settle for the back view. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The Downy Woodpeckers are with us all year long, and active around the feeders. I have my suet in squirrel proof cages, but the Downies learned to use them very quickly…sometimes going inside the cage but mostly hanging off the bottom. From my backyard photo blind I like to catch them coming and going from the suet, as they perch on the pine or on this massive bittersweet vine. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. The afternoon light in the eye is very attractive, I think.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — We had a brief stop-over sighting of a female Baltimore Oriole high in our pines the day before yesterday, so I knew they were back, and I have seen photos of them already settled in at feeders north of us in Maine (not unusual as many of the migrants seem to leave the coast south of here and fly directly north across the Gulf of Maine to their summer homes, before they find their way to our little western costal nook). I put out a piece of an orange I bought on my last shopping trip just to have ready for the Orioles. Yesterday we woke to two males and a female on the suet feeders on the deck. I immediately put out more oranges. They hung around all day, making frequent visits to both the suet and the oranges and they were back again early this morning. I am hoping to entice a pair to stay for the summer. 🙂 It was late in the day before I caught one close enough to my backyard photo blind for a series of shots. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.