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New Yard Bird

How many more yard birds would one expect by living in a normal suburban neighborhood? I think having over 70 birds for a yard list is quite substantial, however I guess there’s always room for another one. So last evening about 30 minutes after sun down while sitting on the front porch I heard a bird call from the wooded lot across the street. The Fun-In-Laws were visiting and with the general conversations that was going on I really perked up when I heard the bird call again. I hushed the noise down so I could really listen. Several minutes later it called again. A Whip-Poor-Will is a unmistakable bird when it calls, and a great addition to my yard list. Now if it will only Hang around for a while so I can really enjoy my evenings on the front porch.

New Bird Stamps

For those of you who still use postage stamps, or for those who don’t, a trip to your local post office was greatly rewarded for myself the other day. Not being able to find any stamps in the house I made my way to the post office to pick up a book so I could mail off the check for the traffic violation when I had my accident. Well when the clerk handed over these awesome stamps it made my day just a little bit better. So pick up a book or two, and maybe it will help your disposition as well if your in a funk.

I think I’m buying another book and framing them.

And another awesome thing about these stamps is that all the birds listed I’ve seen.

I’m In A Funk

It seems like forever since I’ve been birding. Some family issues has kept myself and Kathy close to home, and just when I was ready to do some birding today with Jon and a group from the Cincinnati Bird Club. I have a fender bender with my new bird-mobile. It happened yesterday while the family was out celebrating our youngest son’s 22nd birthday. This put me into a terrible funk. So not wanting to subject Jon to my foul mood, I decided to cancel and stay home, despite the fact that I can’t even stand to be with myself. I needed to snap out of it so I staked out the front porch hummingbird feeders to catch some action. I figured if hummingbirds can’t cheer me up, then nothing would.

IMG_1108One of my better stop-the-action shots.

IMG_1122

IMG_1115A satisfactory shot of the male.

IMG_1135Then I caught him perched and had to really zoom in to capture him in the shade.

IMG_1139Then he turned his head to show of the ruby color of his throat. And considering the high ISO and using digital zoom this isn’t the clearest picture, but it will have to do.

IMG_1091Eventually he finally settled onto one of the feeders for this pretty nice still shot.

Local Hummers

Back in January 2010, “Nature”, that marvelous show that airs on your local PBS station premiered “Hummingbirds: Magic In The Air”. For anyone who loves birds this particular episode was an absolute joy to watch. Besides all the different species found all over the world and the science behind the evolution of the hummingbirds, what I enjoyed the most was the the slow motion video of the birds. It was the kind of photography that would make any amateur photographer envious. But there was this one particular segment during the show that intrigued me the most. It was a laboratory setting where they had some hummingbirds confined in a enclosed setting with slow motion video recording them as they consumed very small, gnat type of insects. And as they filmed them you could see as they opened their beak and ate the insect in super slow motion. It was impressive video because we who love hummingbirds either as a bird watcher or not probably have never seen this behavior before. We normally see them as they buzz us while we’re out in the field. or as they sit perched. I’m sure the majority of us have watched as they feed on flowers or feeders we’ve hung up, never eat a bug considering how fast they move.

Well a few days ago while I was sitting on my front porch, with my camera, a hummingbird shows up by one of my hanging baskets on my front porch.

IMG_0944

So I raise my camera and get focused in on the bird and fire off several shots in succession in an attempt to freeze the bird and it’s wing beats. Later when I’m downloading the pictures onto my computer for some post-processing I see this picture.

IMG_0946The same behavior I saw the hummingbirds on “Nature” as they went for the gnats, just happened before my own camera. And if you look real close between the hanging basket and the birds open mouth you’ll see the very small insect it’s going for. What a very cool picture!

View From My Front Porch

Since the purchase of my new camera, and the return of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, I’ve spent countless hours patiently watching and waiting for some good photo-ops of these birds. I’ve gotten some good one, and I’ve also taken crap. It’s something about fast moving objects that make getting a clear picture difficult. And to capture one as they’re hovering, and stopping the wing beats with a fast shutter speed is ridiculously hard. So for now I’ll settle for some stationary hummers.

IMG_0823The male

IMG_0829The female

July 100 Species Challenge Update

Despite the inclement at the time I left the house, I was hoping for a break in the rain as I made my way to Gilmore to pad my July 100 list this evening. I was hoping to add just a couple new birds for the month and with the news of breeding Great Egrets at Gilmore Ponds I naturally thought this place is so much more closer than the Oxbow, that I might as well give it a try.

So as of right now I stand at 78 birds with the addition tonight of

  • Great Egret
  • Willow Flycatcher
  • Blue-winged Teal

Tomorrow I’m off to Spring Valley and Caesar Creek. Time is ticking and it’s the 18th already.