Sunday, 13 December 2015

Hornet, Bee, caterpiller (201509 various) A hodgepodge of days around the house.

Well as September has rolled around and many of the migrant Warblers that appeared in the yard have already been posted. I Thought I would just do some high-lights- it might also allow me to get caught up finally:) It was late August and we were just leaving Len's place when we spotted this little Whitetail. I convinced the bride to make another pass by the area and I grab a few shots.
Our mystery flowers have started to bloom and they are amazing. Here is one of our local black Hornets on one of the flowers.
As it turns out the Bees just love them too. They are also quite fragrant.
A little later in the afternoon I spotted this guy crawling across the deck. Please be aware that this little caterpiller (American Dagger Moth) can be Quite a surprise. Please read this link to find out why you should be very careful.
Here is a shot of a rather light looking Dark-eyed Junco. It is sitting on our eaves trough. They go up there occasionally to get a little drink.
The grackles were visiting in full force today. It seems like fueling time for them, getting ready to migrate. Another very tough bird to shoot effectively.
A very tough lighting condition features this Blue Jay, I thought I would experiment a little. I don't know if I like it or not, but here it is.
And, another to show the blue on their back. These are very beautiful birds, even though they are a Corvid.
Here is another little caterpiller that I found out on one of my walks. It is a Spotted Tussock Moth aka Lophocampa maculata. It also is dangerous to handle as it has a toxin!
Well, that's enough for now. I will do another post soon and get all caught up. Remember to to get out and "put a little wild in your life" soon!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Magnolia and Black-throated Green Warbler (20150829) Another productive yard day.

I have been seeing something that looked like a flycatcher around the house for a while, but have been unable to capture it. I did today for the first time, and it is nothing more than an evidence shot. But here is my first Eastern Wood Pewee. Normally a first sighting demands two or three images, but no such luck today!
Next up is the ever beautiful Magnolia Warbler. This will be a bird that I search for now here on the East coast. They just look terrific.
It would seem that I have been neglecting one of my favourite Canadian birds, the Black-capped Chickadee. So here is an image to make up for my naughiness.
This is the first time that I have really had the chance to notice the yellow on the feet of the Black-throated Green Warbler. I watched as it chowed down on this poor defenseless caterpillar.
After the meal concluded, it took a couple of seconds and just scolded me with this look!
A little while later I was able to crab this very quick, very poor image of one of our local Ospreys.
Then Mr. Fancy Pants showed up to investigate the "scene". It is great having the family here to grab shots of all the time.
The morning ended at about 8:30 with our little hummer buddy on one of our "yet undetermined" flowers. We are anxiously awaiting to see what these stocks produce. Just look at those little feet!
Well that was today's encounters. Take some time, today or tomorrow, and put a little "wild" in your life!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Brown Creeper, Wilson's warbler (20150828) Some back yard birds and a Surprise in Annapolis

Another early morning and on the prowl for the locals and maybe some migrants as they are headed this way now. I believe this little beauty is actually a resident as I have seen them here in the yard before. One of my Nova Scotia favourites are the Black-and-whites.
These next two shots are of a bird that I would always would be happy to find in Alberta. I find them to be tough to photograph, although my buddy Jamie got an excellent image earlier this year, out that way. I have posted this bird from NS previously in Mom's yard. But this is the first time I have captured it here, in my own.
They move pretty quick and with its legs splayed quite far apart they are able to really hug the tree. I will be trying to get better images of these little innocuous critters in the coming years.
 I also found another yard first and that was a female American Redstart, but my images are quite poor. The local song sparrows were out-and-about this morning as well. With my brother Lloyd visiting the schedule was a trip out to see aunt Leah. I stayed at Len's mother-in-laws place and had a great time picking blackberries. I also found this beautiful Wilson's Warbler in her backyard.
It was great to be able to spot one of these favourites here in the "new land".
On the drive home we stopped and had the standard "fish and chips" and spotted three deer near the highway. No stopping though, so no images. That is it for today, but more coming tomorrow :) Maybe then you will be able to put a little "wild" in your life!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Common Yellowthroat, Hummer, Blue jay (20150825)A visit from Dave

I was puttering around the yard this morning when I received a call from Dave, one of Len's buddies that I have shot with before. I had been telling him about the success for warblers I have been having right off my back deck. So, if I was going to be home, he thought he would "pop" out for a bit. He was glad to have such close proximity to Humming birds so we grabbed a few shots of them.
This young male was willing to pose for us off and on through the morning.
Of course the Blue jays were always available for shots.
I was keeping a watchful eye on the big spruce and maples in the yard for signs of a Magnolia or even a Black-throated Green warbler, but nothing was presenting today. So we stuck with the perennials.
Then at the base of an eastern Maple I spotted a little movement. I don't think Dave was able to find this bird in the under brush, but I was very happy to find this little female Common Yellowthroat.
We were also visited by this lone juvenile Grackle. I thought it odd that it was all on its own.
All in all I think Dave spent about 90 minutes observing with me. He really loved the hummers and took a number of shots. Well, perhaps you should go and visit a buddy's back yard to put a little "wild" in your life!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Turkey Vulture, Ruby-throated, Moon (20150801) Around the house.

I thought I would spend a little time in the yard this morning. We were headed over to Mom's for the day and I was up early. I caught this guy doing a little morning grooming before the strenuous events of his day were about to begin.
Next I was able to find and grab an image of this juvenile Dark-eyed Junco, one of four or five that reside in the neighbourhood.
Here is a shot of the hummer surveying his kingdom. He chases all the other hummers from the one feeder that is set up by the house.
While on the drive out to Mom's I had to get the bride to stop and pull over to the side of the road. Not the first time I have seen these birds in Nova Scotia, but probably my best photo opp so far. There were two of them scouring the highway and right of way for a morning meal.
Turkey Vultures are amazing flyers, their ability to float on the slightest of breezes is pretty unique. They kind of remind me of how slow a Canada Jay can fly with minimum effort at times.
We had a terrific day with Mom et al. Last night was a "blue moon", but as we were driving home the moon had a definite different tone to it. So here is a shot of what looks like a "blood moon".
That wraps up this post, for the first day of August. Tomorrow, put a little "wild" in your life!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Robins, Flicker, Blue Jays (20150726) The Pincherries are ripe!

Well yesterday morning I woke up and found a raccoon at the top of my largest Pin-cherry tree. I was too slow getting out there with the camera for a shot, but all day the birds were in and out feeding. So today I thought I would take some time and see who else was interested in the little fruit. Momma Robin was one of probably 10 or 15 of these birds feasting on the bounty.
The lighting was pretty terrible as I am shooting into the shady side of the tree. It was nice to see that Mom was teaching the youngsters where a good supply of food is available.
The Robin wasn't the only youngster around today. This is one of four or five young Juncos that visit the yard regularly.
Although I never actually witnessed this Northern Flicker "eat" the Pin-cherry, it certainly seemed interested enough to!
The local Chipmunks were also chowing down to these little red fruit.
Another keen observer was this Blue Jay. This is another bird that, while present, I didn't actually see eat any fruit.
I spent quite a long time following the Flicker around through the view finder. I find that they spend a lot of their time "squatting" with their apparently short legs.
So I will mark late July on the calendar as "Pin-cherry" ripening season and will continue to watch and learn what happens to the little red fruit. If you get even a chance today, try and put a little "wild" in your life!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Siskin, cardinal, flicker (20150711) Some of Mom's yard birds.

After spending some time at home on a beautiful morning, we headed over to visit Mom to see how she was enjoying the weather. We took the more relaxing route and road was uneventful. The yard at Mom's place seemed to be hopping though. We were greeted with gorgeous female American Golfinch in all her finery.
Next up I was able to whistle in her local male Cardinal. This is truly a bird that I missed while in Alberta, although I could usually capture images of them whenever we are in Toronto.
This next shot isn't as clear, I was shooting out through the sun room window. This mother Downy was out gathering food to feed her brood. A nice dark bug will have some protein!
Back outside a little later and I was able to track down this female Flicker as she called.
Out in front of the house, where the feeder is located, the Pine Siskins were chewing up Mom's seed.
And we wrapped the afternoon up with one of her few Mourning Doves. It was a super way to document some of her great birds.
So take some time today, and put a little "wild" in your life!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Vole, Mystery Butterfly, Whitetail (201507-early) A composite of several days.

As the title suggests this is a composite of several days that basically cover early to mid-July. Moving in still takes the vast majority of my time, but when I spot something I will try and grab an image. This little Dark-eyed Junco was shot on the front lawn. There are a few of them around and my knowledge of my "back yard" birds is increasing.
Later in the day Deb came home and told me about a "white" fawn she had just seen within 2 kilometers of the house. She said the mother was there too, but she was pretty excited about the white fawn, and knew I would be too. So I grabbed my camera and headed right out. All I could find was the doe. I didn't want to hang around and make her uncomfortable, figuring I would likely get a crack at the white one a separate time. As it turns out Len spotted the fawn about two weeks later. A couple of images can be seen on this post. Here is Mom.
About a week later we were headed out to visit Mom and I spent a little time in the back yard with my Blue jays.
This might be my best "blue jay whisker" shot yet!
I was also visited by the males of the local Hairy Woodpecker family. I first spotted Junior on one of the larger Maple trees. I really enjoy watching as their red feathers make their way towards the back of their heads as the summer progresses.
While Junior was quite a distance off, I managed to capture Dad much closer.
The next day I found this "new to me" butterfly. It is pretty small and pretty well camouflaged on the deck boards. 
So if anyone can identify it for me I would greatly appreciate knowing its proper name. From this view you can see that it is about 1 inch wide. 
Then a week later, we were getting ready to head out to a family reunion. I spotted some movement down in the ditch and foudn this local resident. With Meadow Voles around, will I find any owls?
So I'll wrap this post up here.  Quite a montage of different days, but then again, at this point everyday reveals something new at the house. Get outside and put some "wild" in your life!