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.
Swamp Spreadwing: Sturbridge, MA, USA — We had the morning free before the wedding yesterday so we found a place for a hike. Trek Sturbridge maintains an extensive trail network, and the parking for the Leadmine Mountain sector was near our hotel. Around the pond on the Arbutus Park Trail, we found a few dragon and damsel flies. This Swamp Spreadwing was displaying nicely. Sony Rx10iv at 1200mm (2x Clear Image Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 125 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
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.
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. 🙂
Northern Crescent Butterfly: Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA — I frequently see dragonflies in a mating wheel in flight…mating butterflies less often. It amazes me that mating butterflies, joined as the are back to back, can fly at all, but they do. There were several pairs in the meadows at Emmon’s Preserve when I visited on Sunday. I managed this shot of one with the Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
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.
Louisiana Waterthrush: Sanford Lagoons, Sanford, Maine, USA — I have known about the Sanford Lagoons (Sanford Sewage Department) for many years…from word of mouth in the birding and dragonfly communities and occasional posts on the internet…but I have only ever visited once, before yesterday. One of the motivations for my switch to the recumbent trike, and then adding electric assist, was to be able to get a bit further out on my frequent explorations, without resorting to the car. The Lagoons are 15 miles from my door, almost exactly, and while I could have ridden the 30 miles round-trip on my upright ebike, those portions of my anatomy in contact with the bike…mostly my seat, wrists, and hands…would not have thanked me by the end of the ride…and it would have kept me off the bike for at least a day after. The recumbent makes it easy, and I still had half a battery charge left when I got home. 🙂 I did not get there until after noon, not the best birding time, but I saw some interesting dragonflies, and a few birds. This was the most unexpected. I was photographing some Cedar Waxwings moving through the tree line at the back of the lagoons when this cheerful bird popped up on a branch just in front of me. Waterthrush! I have only ever seen waterthrushes on very rare occasions…mostly in Ohio at Magee Marsh during spring migration…so it is pretty amazing that my mind supplied at least that much. As to whether it is a Louisiana or a Northern??? Louisiana is the only one on the York County Audubon bird list for Sanford Lagoons, and all 4 of my AI identification aids agree that this is a Louisiana…though I am not certain I could say for sure otherwise. I am sure I do not know the birds well enough to be confident where their range overlaps, as it does…just…here in Southern Maine. We are in the extreme northeast corner of the Louisiana’s range, and well with the range of Northern. All things considered I am calling it a Louisiana until someone who knows better convinces me it is not. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 640 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Drasteria moth (probably Shadowy Arches): Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Maine, USA — I found this little moth fluttering close to the ground along the foot trail at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area the other day. Some research this morning gets me as far as one of the Drasteria moths, possibly a Shadowy Arches, but I don’t know my moths well enough, or their ranges, to eliminate any of the other Drasterias. I think the Graphic Moth might be more common in Maine, but this one seems to have too much orange. 🙂 If anyone knows better, please leave a comment. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent from about 4 feet. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.