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.
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.
Large Lace Border Moth: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — When I got back from my trike ride the other day, this lovely little moth was waiting for me in the ground cover along the foundation of our home. It was settled there, and I was able to put the camera in Macro mode and take this full frame close up at about 108mm equivalent. I did not know what the moth was, so I used the AI identification feature of my FieldGuides Leps app. I was not at all surprised at the name…it is what I would called this moth if I had the naming to do 🙂 Though it is the “large” lace border moth, it is only about an inch wing tip to wing tip. Nikon B700 as above. Shutter program with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Eastern Bluebird: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Not a great photo technically, as it was early and overcast. Both I and the camera would have liked more light, but I could not resist trying to capture a little of the interaction between our fledgling bluebirds and the diligent male who is trying to keep them happy and growing. They sit near the mealworm feeder and he ferries mealworms over to them. He is working as hard as he can, but the fledglings are certainly impatient. Every parent can identify! 🙂 Nikon B700 at 460mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Red-bellied Woodpecker: I know there are Red-bellied Woodpeckers around here in Kennebunk, because we get them at the feeder a few times each year. They could be just passing through, of course, but the timing makes me suspect that they nest somewhere in the area. We are having a few cool (cold for a Maine summer), and very wet days in a row and for the past several days we have had a Red-bellied Woodpecker at the suet feeder at least once an hour all day. This may be a young bird, as it is not quite as “flighty” as the Red-bellieds I am used to…which are among the most difficult birds for me to photograph. If I move, say to go get my camera, even well inside the house behind the double-glazed doors to the deck, where the most they could see is a subtle change in the density of the shadows, they are off and away into the trees. This one allowed me, on two separate occasions, to get the camera and get a few shots through the thermal glass. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 6400 @ f4 @ 1/500th. (I am pretty happy with this at ISO 6400, though it did require some additional noise reduction in post. 🙂
Carol called me from the bedroom where I was setting up for my morning qi gong. I thought she said “I think there is a dead squirrel here…” so I came to look…turns out she said “I think there is a Red Squirrel here…” and, indeed, there was. A highly caffeinated Red Squirrel at that. In the 10 minutes or so it was on our deck, it was everywhere, and into everything…all very rapid…a lightning raid before it scampered off. Red Squirrels must live in the surrounding woodlands, but they only appear in our yard once or twice a year, at least while we are looking. Just as well too, since nothing is safe from a Red Squirrel…we have come to an uneasy truce with our resident Grey Squirrels and Chipmunks (we are host to at least 4 squirrels and what sometimes seems to the hundreds, but is more likely dozens of Eastern Chipmunks), but the Red Squirrel is another beast altogether and no “squirrel proof” feeding solution will even mildly discourage them. Still, they are undeneighably cute with their rusty tail, little round ears and big round eyes…and those little paws…and it was fun to watch one scamper all over our deck and feeders…for a change…once in a great while. Sony Rx10iv at 500-600mm equivalent…through the thermopane glass of our deck door. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. And, of course, before full sun-up so the light was a problem.
Northern Cardinal: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Our neighborhood pair of Northern Cardinals come to our feeders once or twice a day…generally to the feeders out under the pines, but recently more often to the deck right outside our back sliding doors. They are, most often, foraging for spilled seed on the deck and deck rails, but on rare occasions they will settle on the sunflower feeder for long enough for me to get my camera…as in this shot. They will not, of course, allow me to open the door, or even get close to the glass, but if I am careful, again as in this shot, I can have some success shooting through the double pane glass. And of course this was before full sun-up so the light was not the best. With Cardinals I am happy to take what I can get. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 3200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Eastern Bluebirds: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Bluebirds raise two (at least) broods a summer, so it is the male who feeds the young of the first brood while the female is already on the eggs. The past two days have been cool and rainy, adding to the stress on the male, so we have had the fledglings on the deck most of the day. The male returns often with grubs…but he feeds them mealworms between grub runs. The female comes only occasionally, but does not take time to feed the young. She is just after a quick snack before getting back to the eggs. This is not a great shot…as it was early morning in the rain and not much light yet at all, but it is a good portrait of both the male and one of the fledglings. The fledglings are almost big enough to fend for themselves. I have seen one of them on the mealworm feeder, but he has not figured out now to get the mealworms out. And, besides, it is easier to just sit there and let dad drop them into his mouth. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at about 400mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 320 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Lincoln’s Sparrow: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — you have to be alert or lucky…or even better, alert AND lucky…to catch a Lincoln’s Sparrow passing through Kennebunk on its way north. The past two springs we have had a few (only one this year) for a few days. And, of course, they are not easy to photograph as they are “skulkers”…always low in the brush and half buried in leaves. Still, it is fun to try! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent from my backyard photo blind. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 800, 250, 250, 640, and 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.