Posts in Category: yard

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch, Kennebunk, Maine USA

The Goldfinches come to the feeder a few times a day. I have thistle out for them, but they also visit the mixed seed feeders. They are skitterish and I had to wait a long time on the deck to get this one to come in while I was there. This, I think, is a spring male, perhaps last years juvenile just coming into its summer plumage. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Acrobatic Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch, Kennebunk, Maine, USA. Nuthatches are notorious for feeding upside down…so this one was right in its element hanging off the bottom of our squirrel-proof suet feeder. It might look difficult, and would be for us, but it is all in a day’s work for the nuthatch. 🙂 And certainly a lesson we might want to learn, in our pandemic “turned upside down” world. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Another Chickadee on the Back Deck

Black-capped Chickadee, Kennebunk, Maine, USA. Still having fun watching birds and taking photos under the back deck feeders while we wait out the pandemic. I have ordered a pop-up photo blind and some more feeders for a photo station out under the trees in our backyard, but until they come and I get that set up, I am just being as patient and as still as I can on the back deck. The chickadees, are always cooperative. My goal with Black-capped Chickadees is to expose so that you can see the eye in the dark mask. Not always easy. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Male Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker, Kennebunk, Maine, USA. This is the male Downy Woodpecker from the pair that frequent our backyard. The Downy’s are, surprisingly, even bolder than the Chickadees. They will come down from the trees even when they have seen me. I know they see me, because they sit on a branch above me and watch me, often hoping to other branches for a better view, for several moments before diving down. 🙂 That little patch of red really stands out in the sun. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird, Kennebunk, Maine, USA. Sitting under the feeders during our pandemic isolation here in Kennebunk, the Bluebirds did eventually come in close. This is the female. I am still waiting for a photo of the male of this pair. They do not nest in our yard…though we have invited them by putting up a box…but I think I have found the box where they do next, about 2 blocks away. They come for the meal worms I put out, and they will bring their chicks when they fledge, later this summer. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Downy Woodpecker

Another shot from my back deck feeder watch. A female Downy Woodpecker, attracted to my suet feeder and taking a rest after eating on one of my perches. Too close to fit the whole bird in a 600mm equivalent frame. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch, Kennebunk, Maine, USA. Another bird from our back deck feeding station. We have a suet feeder in a cage to defeat the squirrels. It took the birds a while to figure it out, but they did. And it does keep the squirrels out of the suet and saves a lot more for the birds. 🙂 Both woodpeckers and White-breasted Nuthatches hang from the bottom of the feeder to get at the suet. Red-breasted Nuthatches, Chickadees, and Titmice go through the outer cage and use the suet feeder inside just as they would if it were free hanging. It is raining today, but I will still try to sit out under the feeders for a while, in all my rain gear and with camera in its rain jacket, just to continue convincing the birds that I am harmless. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Sometimes they come to you…

My wife Carol came into the bedroom where I was writing and said there was a dragonfly on our back deck near the bird feeders. It had, of course, moved by the time I got my camera and got there, but it was still sitting on the bow of one of the feeder poles. I got a few shots before a Woodpecker came and scared it off for good. This is a Painted Skimmer, one of the most abundant dragons on the wing right now in Southern Maine. Sometimes they come to you 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 600mm optical equivalent, plus 2x Clear Image Zoom. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Gold Finch

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.

In our backyard…

We interrupt this parade of the birds of Magee Marsh and Ohio with breaking news from the backyard! Carol first noticed the hummingbirds coming to our ornamental cherry tree blossoms a week ago, just as the last light was fading. I had to run for my binoculars to see for sure that they were Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (the only likely hummer we have here in Maine, but never, considering the nature of hummingbirds, the only possible hummingbird 🙂 When we saw them again around the pansies on the back deck, we dug out the hummingbird feeder and I mixed up a new batch of juice and hung it on its hook in one corner of the deck. We have had occasional hummingbird activity in the yard in the past (enough to have invested in the feeder and some hummingbird juice mix) but this year we have two pairs of Ruby-throats…two bright males and two clean females…coming to the feeder every few minutes all day long. At first both males tried to defend the feeder…keeping even rival females away…but now they have settled in to more or less tolerate each other. The females often feed at the same time, and I have seen both males on the feeder during the warmest part of the day. As it cooled yesterday, they got fiesty again, pushing each other from feeding hole to feeding hole around the feeder, but they still managed to share the resource. I have seen the males displaying for the females, and have some hope one or the other pair will nest in the big pines along the edge of our yard. The shot above was taken just before sunset, with no direct sun, and does not show the deep ruby of the gorget. Still I was happy to get what I could, standing in the open back door. There is a bit of heat distortion due to the differential between the warm house and the cooling deck, but I did not dare to step further out for fear the bird would fly. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.