Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Banished's Birds (Of The Backyard)

Laptop issues are still delaying my posting and so all that snow that fell last week has melted before I get to post pictures. But there were a few pictures of backyard birds that came out well enough to make worthwhile. The wasteage rate was awfully high though. I'm thinking the camera and lenses are going to need a very serious clean-up before bug season comes around.

Above is the Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

Then the Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis). These last two filling the niches (and the photofits) of the the Crested Tit and the Great Tit while not being especially closely related.

The same could be said for the Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) though its not so richly coloured as the European version, in my humble opinion.

With 6 plus inches of snow on the ground the feeders were busy. In this shot featured (left to right)

Northern Cardinal (male), Chipping Sparrow, Dark-Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) and disappearing out of frame at the bottom the female Cardinal.

The pond froze for the first time this year too though there was clear water in the middle for the Canada Geese

The ice pushes the ducks too into the middle of the pond and out of reasonable range for my long lens so the Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads and American Widgeon escaped me yet again.

But, as the sun went down... Well didn't it go down with a vengeance?


  1. Hello Sir Banished, What beautiful startlingly clear photographs of these backyard birds. These lovely pics remind me of my bird watching glory days in SW Virginia. The first time I saw a female cardinal I thought,"Oooo! Look at that clown bird, that is SO SPECIAL! What kinda bird is THAT!" I don't do much birding up here in Vermont, perhaps becuase flinty cold New England lacks the breathtaking fecundity of SW Virginia?

  2. Of course, here in coastal SE Va 'fecund' is another word for mosquito infested. I do enjoy the numbers of birds though. I never expected to see Pelicans every day as I drove to work. And then there are the egrets on the pond, the multiple species of Woodpecker in the yard, the hummingbirds, the Ospreys nesting on the HS floodlight pylons. The osprey is the rarest breeding bird in Britain, it fishes the neighborhood pond here.

    But for me its mostly the dragonflies. Always my speciality the numbers here are staggering. But its not just a Va. thing. The entire UK had a total of 37 species of dragonflies & damselfies combined. Even in the 'flinty' cold of Vermont you have 98 species of dragonfly alone never mind the damsels.
    And as for flinty cold then we intend one of these days to get the heck out of sweaty Va and up the the flintier cold of Maine! Where we'll be vacationing again this summer.

  3. Dragonflies are wonderful, it's true. I have had multiple dazzling dragonfly experiences, in the Adirondacks of NY and here in Vermont and in SW Virginia, as well. I like them hovering around me in the garden eating the bugs that eat humans. Once in the Adirondacks, after a 3 mile paddle and a one mile hike UP, being eaten alive by SWARMS of deer flies (GODAWFULBASTARD BUGS!!!) I came to at a small remote wilderness lake. There was not a single deer fly there, just swarms of dragonflies of all colors. It was magical and remarkably peaceful after all swatting and cursing that had taken place while getting there.

    Sure, Maine is special in the summer... but are you prepared for a Maine WINTER? Here in Vermont, on March 22, we are still firmly in the grips of winter -- snow, cold, snow snow, cold cold cold, more snow, bad attitudes, ice, bitter longing, emotional defeat, more cold. OSM says spring is inevitable, but our faith is tested EVERY YEAR by the slowness of spring's arrival in Vermont.