Photographs by Frank

21 September 2016

Two from Today

Filed under: Birds,Early Fall,Monadnock Region,Odontates,Wildlife — Tags: , , — Frank @ 9:30 PM

Today was a glorious day weather-wise.  The temperature was in the high 70s F, the humidity was low and the skies mostly clear.

While we ate lunch on the deck, we were entertained by the birds at the feeder and by a couple of male autumn meadowhawks perching on the dead flowers nearby. After watching the odes for some time, I finally gave in and got the camera.

Later in the afternoon, Joan headed out for a kayak ride. She called from the beach parking lot to say that there were “brown headed ducks” down by the bridge but that she did not have her binoculars with her so that she did not get a good look at them. I stashed Big Bertha in the passenger seat, threw the tripod in the bed of the truck and headed down the road the mile to the bridge.

Those “brown-headed”ducks turned out to be a family of mallards. I watched and photographed them for about an hour.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Autumn Meadowhawk (male)
Autumn Meadowhawk (male)
Mallards - youngster, female, male (l-r)
Mallards - youngster, female, male (l-r)

 

26 August 2016

Backyard Birds

Filed under: Birds,Summer,The Yard,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 10:00 PM

Yesterday (i.e Thursday, 25 August), I spent a few hours watching the birds in our backyard. Along with the usual suspects* for this time of year, a few rarer (at least in our yard) birds made their appearances.

At least one red-breasted nuthatch has been making regular visits to the feeders, usually to the sunflower seeds, but occasionally to the suet. Because of the frequency of the visits and the fact that it seems to fly off in the same direction after each brief visit, I suspect that there might actually be a pair of adults attending to young birds in a nest.

I also watched a black and white warbler hunting for insects in the trees near  the feeders; it never approached the feeders. This is the third time in recent days that I have seen this species in our yard and this is the first summer that we have observed them here.

Additionally, a sparrow (of some sort other than a chipping sparrow) made a short appearance near the sunflower seed feeder but it did not approach it.

The hummingbirds have provided some great entertainment over the past week or so, there are four or five individuals (a family consisting of an adult pair and two or three juveniles, I think), they frequent both the feeder and a nearby butterfly bush. Their incredible speed and agility in flight as they chase each other around the yard, makes them great fun to watch. I only try to photograph them when they stop to perch nearby.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Goldfinch
Goldfinch
Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Chipping Sparrow (male)
Chipping Sparrow (male)
Black and White Warbler
Black and White Warbler
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Sparrow
Sparrow
Goldfinch (juvenile?)
Goldfinch (juvenile?)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (juvenile)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (juvenile)

* Two types of woodpeckers (downy and hairy; we’ve seen only one red-bellied in the past few weeks), titmice, chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, goldfinches, mourning doves, chipping sparrows and hummingbirds.


 

13 August 2016

Other Birds

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,Summer,The Yard,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 11:59 PM

Although I spent the majority of my time today with the camera pointed at the humming bird feeder, I did, occasionally, point it elsewhere.

Goldfinches and tufted titmice are the most common birds around the feeders these days. Woodpeckers (both downy and hairy) were also common; I did not see a red-bellied woodpecker today. A variety of other birds appeared in small numbers. In addition to the phoebe and the mourning dove I made photographs of, I also observed a couple of blue jays and a number of chickadees.

I think that the chickadees are a sign that autumn is coming. We have lots of chickadees at the feeder all winter and early spring. However, at some point in the spring, they disappear. I am guessing that they must not breed nearby the house. Over the past few weeks small numbers of chickadees are reappearing at the feeder. Maybe because their breeding season is over?

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Tufted Titmouse #1
Tufted Titmouse #1
Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
American Goldfinch (male)
American Goldfinch (male)
American Goldfinch (female)
American Goldfinch (female)
Hairy Woodpecker (juvenile male)
Hairy Woodpecker (juvenile male)
Eastern Phoebe (juvenile)
Eastern Phoebe (juvenile)
Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove
American Goldfinch (female) with Seed
American Goldfinch (female) with Seed
Tufted Titmouse #2
Tufted Titmouse #2

 

22 June 2016

Olive-sided Flycatchers

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,Summer — Tags: — Frank @ 6:00 PM

Joan’s cousin Suzy arrived at her summer place to find an olive-sided flycatcher nest on the beams that support her deck.

I took the opportunity to make a few photos of the adults as they came and went from the nest.

I only spent ten minutes on this “stakeout” since the adults seemed to delay going to the nest even though I was twenty-five or thirty feet away from the nest and the adults.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Olive-sided Flycatcher #1
Olive-sided Flycatcher #1
Olive-sided Flycatcher #2
Olive-sided Flycatcher #2
Olive-sided Flycatcher #3
Olive-sided Flycatcher #3

 

12 June 2016

A Cool and Cloudy Afternoon

Filed under: Amphibians,Birds,Mammals,Summer,The Yard,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 1:58 PM

Yesterday was cool (it never reached 60 deg. F), cloudy and damp (there were sporadic showers in the morning)… in other words the odes were not flying. Thus, I turned my attention (and lens) to birds and I staked out the feeders for a few hours in the afternoon.

The damp weather brings out the red efts and yesterday was no exception. There were half a dozen in the small patch of lawn behind the house.  As usual there were chipmunks and squirrels scavenging what they could from the bird feeders.

The usual feeder birds were present, among them were a female rose-breasted grosbeak, a male goldfinch and a number of tufted titmice. None of which presented themselves well for photography.

Also present (and photographed) were what seem to be a pair of downy woodpeckers, a hairy woodpecker, at least one male ruby-throated hummingbird and a lone turkey.

The turkey has been a regular visitor to our yard for the past few weeks. I’m no expert, but I would hazard a guess that it is either a female that did not nest or a immature male looking for a territory.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Red Eft
Red Eft
Eastern Chipmunck
Eastern Chipmunck
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (male)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (male)

 

16 May 2016

Mid-May Bird Report

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,Spring — Tags: — Frank @ 4:00 PM

Spring birds continue to arrive.

Along with the year-round residents (chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, etc.) and the early arrivals (goldfinches and purple finches), we have had rose-breasted grosbeaks at the feeders for roughly ten days. The males seemed to appear about four or five days before the females.

On Saturday (14 May) we observed our first hummingbird of the season (a male; we’ve seen no females yet).

We also saw a single Baltimore oriole on each day of the weekend. We’ve not had orioles around the house before. Hopefully the feeder I bought and hung out this morning will entice them to stay.

Other folks in the “neighborhood” (the closest about a mile and a half away) have said that they have had indigo buntings at their feeders. Alas, we have not seen any in our yard.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female)
Bluejay
Bluejay
American Goldfinch (female)
American Goldfinch (female)
Purple Finch (male)
Purple Finch (male)
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee

 

20 April 2016

Spring Birds

Filed under: Birds,Spring,The Yard,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 12:00 PM

Monday (18 Apr) afternoon was warm and sunny. I spent a few hours watching (and photographing) the backyard birds.

In addition to the year-rounders (nuthatches, chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers) a number of returning migrants have appeared. There were good numbers of American goldfinches, sometimes as many as a dozen or so at one time. I am always amazed at the brilliance of the yellow coloring of the males at this time of year. Smaller numbers of purple finches were also present.

Small flocks of juncos (eight or ten) came and went all afternoon. I am unable to get a sense of what stimulates the entire flock to make an exodus. When they leave en mass they seem to startle everyone else (including me!) and often cause all of the finches to flee as well.

Lastly, I saw two singletons… a red-breasted nuthatch (which I did not photograph) and a chipping sparrow.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Purple Finch (male)
Purple Finch (male)
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Purple Finch (female)
Purple Finch (female)
Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee
American Goldfinch (female)
American Goldfinch (female)
White-breasted Nuthatch#2
White-breasted Nuthatch#2
Purple Finch (male) #2
Purple Finch (male) #2
Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco
Chipping Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow

 

9 March 2016

Spring Training

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,The Yard — Tags: — Frank @ 10:15 PM

Just like baseball players, the skills of small bird photographers get rusty over the winter. Thus for the past two days, in anticipation of spring bird action,  I headed about twenty feet out the back door for a bit of spring training.

Even though it was 70 degrees F this afternoon, the tufted titmice and the chickadees still seem to be in their winter mixed-flock mode. At times, there were seven birds at the feeder (with nine feeding ports). Also present were white-breasted nuthatches  and downy woodpeckers. A single red-bellied woodpecker made a brief appearance as well. There were also blue jays and crows present nearby but, as is usual,  neither species showed much interest in the feeders*.

All of these species spend the winter in our neighborhood and there was no sign of any spring birds these past two days. We did, however, catch a glimpse of a purple finch at the seed feeder a few days ago. I also heard the call of a pheobe this afternoon on a number of occasions.

Spring can not be too far away.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
White-breasted Nuthatch #1
White-breasted Nuthatch #1
Tufted Titmouse (doing a Nuthatch impression)
Tufted Titmouse (doing a Nuthatch impression)
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse
Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee
Downy Woodpecker #1
Downy Woodpecker #1
Tufted Titmouse #2
Tufted Titmouse #2
Downy Woodpecker #2
Downy Woodpecker #2
White-breasted Nuthatch #2
White-breasted Nuthatch #2

* In the depths of winter we will get an occasional blue jay on the suet, but not when the ground is bare.


 

24 October 2015

Sachuest Point & Second Beach

Filed under: Autumn,Birds,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 11:30 AM

Last Wednesday evening I judged the nature competition at the Hockomock Digital Photographers club. I left the house early that morning and headed for the Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown, Rhode Island.

I was hoping (but not expecting, since it is early in the season) to photograph diving ducks (including Harlequins) that winter in the waters off Sachuest Point. There were surprisingly few ducks. I saw a single female Common Eider and a single American Black Duck; that was it. The ledges off the east side of the point held a couple of dozen double-crested cormorants. And, of course,  gulls, mostly herring gulls, were ever present.

On land, the most common bird, by far, were migrating yellow-rump warblers; there were dozens of them. Two different types of sparrows (also migrants?) were also common along the edges of the walking paths.

I had seen groups of small birds at the surf’s edge on Second Beach on my way out to the point. They were still there when I stopped after spending a few hours at the NWR. I spent more than an hour photographing sandpipers as they foraged at the waters edge.

These birds are a never-ending source of entertainment as they scurry about trying to avoid the waves, dogs and people while pausing intermittently to forage for a morsel of food.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Yellow Rumped Warbler #1
Yellow Rumped Warbler #1
Yellow Rumped Warbler #2
Yellow Rumped Warbler #2
Yellow Rumped Warbler #3
Yellow Rumped Warbler #3
Sparrow
Sparrow
Semipalmated Sandpiper #1
Semipalmated Sandpiper #1
Semipalmated Sandpiper #2
Semipalmated Sandpiper #2
Semipalmated Sandpiper #3
Semipalmated Sandpiper #3
Semipalmated Sandpiper #4
Semipalmated Sandpiper #4
Semipalmated Sandpiper #5
Semipalmated Sandpiper #5
Semipalmated Sandpiper #6
Semipalmated Sandpiper #6
Semipalmated Sandpiper #7
Semipalmated Sandpiper #7
Semipalmated Sandpipers
Semipalmated Sandpipers

 

29 September 2015

A Long Weekend at Star Island

Filed under: Autumn,Birds,Landscapes — Tags: , , , , — Frank @ 11:00 PM

Last Friday afternoon we boarded the M/V Thomas Leighton and headed to Star Island for a birding weekend organized by Eric Masterson. This trip is timed to be able to see southward migrating birds, especially warblers*. We arrived back on the mainland about 3:30 PM on Sunday.

Saturday dawned blustery and although there were birds present, they were pretty much hunkered down inside the brush and therefore impossible to photograph. The wind died down on Saturday evening and Sunday was much calmer and the photography more productive.

I discovered that (compared to the spring time) photography was much more difficult since most of the plants which were bare in the spring were still more-or-less fully leafed out. Thus getting clear views of small birds was difficult.

The most common warbler we saw, by far, was the yellow-rumped. In addition we observed two rarities for New Hampshire… a lark sparrow and a lazuli bunting; both are western birds. The bunting is the first sighting of this species in NH (if it is accepted by the Rare Bird Committee).

Anyway, without further excuses or ado, here are the photos:

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Pine Warbler
Pine Warbler
ID Needed
ID Needed
Immature American Robin
Immature American Robin
Yellow-rumped Warbler #1
Yellow-rumped Warbler #1
Yellow-rumped Warbler #2
Yellow-rumped Warbler #2
Grey Catbird
Grey Catbird
Lark Sparrow #1
Lark Sparrow #1
Song Sparrow #1
Song Sparrow #1
Lark Sparrow #2
Lark Sparrow #2
Song Sparrow #2
Song Sparrow #2
Blackpoll Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker

Another difference between our spring trip and this one, was the number of people. The spring trip occurred before the official opening of the season so the only people on the island were the maintenance staff and a couple of dozen birders. This past weekend us birders shared the island with at least three other groups… the Star Island board of directors, sailors participating in the Gosport Regatta and a group of kite fliers.

I took time away from birding on Saturday afternoon to photograph the sailboats as they neared Star Island (both the windward mark and the finish line were close by).

Here are the sailing photos:

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
J Boats in Close Quarters #1
J Boats in Close Quarters #1
Neck in Neck
Neck in Neck
Headed for the Home Stretch
Headed for the Home Stretch
Taking on a Big "Guy"
Taking on a Big
Rounding the Windward Mark #1
Rounding the Windward Mark #1
Headed for the Finish Line
Headed for the Finish Line
Rounding the Windward Mark #2
Rounding the Windward Mark #2

The sunset on Friday night was spectacular. Here are a few photos of that and a mishmash of other subjects:

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Star Island Sunset
Star Island Sunset
Sunset with Photographer
Sunset with Photographer
Summer House Sunset
Summer House Sunset
Star Island Kites
Star Island Kites
Gosport Chapel, Star Island
Gosport Chapel, Star Island
Art Barn (detail), Star Island
Art Barn (detail), Star Island
White Island Light at Dawn
White Island Light at Dawn

* We participated in a similar trip, timed for the spring migration, in May of 2014; see this post and this one for the details.

 

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress