Help Please

I am bewildered–unable to identify the birds that feed on bugs in our lawn.  They look like this.

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They come down in large flocks to feed on the ground.  They move around in erratic patterns, sometimes running and sometimes leaping into the air to snatch a bug on the wing.  Here another image that was taken in full sun.

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Do you have any idea what these birds might be?

At Sunset

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As the sun set last evening I stood on the front deck with camera in hand.  It was one of those “perfect” moments.  The sun was going down in a glorious way.  The air was pleasantly refreshing with just the slightest hint of a breeze.  Then I heard a cardinal calling.  I looked back over my right shoulder and saw him sitting high on my tower.

I looked back toward the west and then I heard a second cardinal calling–this time from my left.  This one was farther away.  I was enjoying the enchantment of the unfolding scene.

Then I spotted a fawn running on the hay field just beyond our lawn.  Soon I saw the doe, but only one fawn.  Where was the sibling?  As I watched mom grazing and the young one playing, it became obvious this was not the doe with the twin fawns.

A few minutes later, mom and the twins came out as they frequently do around sunset.  That was the first time I’ve seen the two does and three fawns together.  It gives me pleasure to watch those fawns play just for the pure joy and exultation of running, turning and leaping.  (Wouldn’t it be nice to do that again?)

I found myself wishing that our granddaughter was there to share in the moment.  I came back in the house, took my camera to the office and sat down at the computer.  There was an e-mail from Briana.  That made my day complete.

Visitors

It was Monday late afternoon.  I stepped out of the house and onto the end deck on my to the garden.  That’s when the aerobatic show caught my eyes.  They were swallows, but not the barn swallows that come out and “dance” with me when I mow the lawn.  (The barn swallows love to go after the insects that the tractor stirs up when I mow.  I enjoy watching their moves to gather in their treats on wings.)

These birds fly in a different pattern.  They look different in color and body shape.  Yet they are obviously swallows.

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It’s a tree swallow.  There were a few dozen of them and they loved to light on my antenna at 75 feet in the air.

By sunset, they were gone.  I haven’t seen them since Monday.  I will, however, keep watch for these delightful little creatures.  They put on a good show

Harvest

I’ve recently had some troubles posting to this blog.  The problems seem to be solved, so here goes.

My most recent post (a week ago) featured a photo of Sylvia in the garden.  She was harvesting zucchini.  A couple of days later, I harvested six zucchinis and two jalapeños.  Two days after that, Sylvia brought these in.

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We’ve been wanting some poppers, so a trip to the store for bacon was next.  We enjoyed immensely our first jalapeño poppers of the year.

A couple of days passed and Sylvia went out to the garden to “check on things.”  She was gone a long time.  When she did come back in, she brought these with her.

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She also had a plastic shopping bag half full of green beans, some broccoli, an onion, some beets, and a cabbage as big as your head.  That first coleslaw of the season was super good.

We had to prune the butternut squash vines before they took over the entire garden.  Could it be the 15 loads of manure that we put on the garden last fall?

As I look out the window I see day lilies in blossom.  Beside them, the large hosta is also in blossom and an American gold finch visits to check out the blooms.  An earlier visitor was a humming bird–always fun to watch.

 

Excitement

I was mowing the lawn when I noticed several vultures circling over the neighbor’s field.  It is not unusual to see a vulture or two–a pair nests in a hollow oak tree a short way from here.  This time, I easily counted a dozen and more were on the ground.  I parked the tractor and went into the office and opened a window.  With camera in hand, I tried to capture the action.  (Note to self: Next time try video.  Stills don’t capture the dynamics of this action.)

The vultures were doing horizontal circles above the field.  A couple of American kestrels would swoop down vertically and pull out of their dive just above the ground.  It was great to see.

I did capture one usable image of turkey vultures on the ground.

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I think the spread wings are to promote cooling.  At one time, four of them were in this same pose.

Speculation leans toward an unsuccessful raider of the neighbor’s hen house.  I’m sure he’d see that as a fitting end to the failed attempt.

Tree Discovery

Today, there’s a breeze in the trees.
Pollen too, and I want to sneeze.
Achoo!

On her most recent visit, Sharkey identified the species of the maple tree on the north side of our house.  It is a Tatar Maple, which is native to Russia.

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The apparently leaning tower on the right side only indicates that I was pointing the camera at an upward angle.

It doesn’t show well in the first pic, but there is a bird’s nest in one of those shaded areas.  Let’s take a better look.

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The wire is one of Sylvia’s amateur radio antennas.  She doesn’t use it these days.  Otherwise, I’d have to trim the tree around it or move it to another location.

This morning, I’ve been watching the birds make frequent trips to the sour cherry tree.

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The power pole is vertical.  The camera angle gives an illusion of leaning.  Can you see any cherries in this pic?  Take a closer look.  It’s loaded.

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The birds fly in and land on the branches.  Evidently it’s difficult for them to get what they want.  Soon they come to the ground and sort through the cherries that have fallen on the lawn.

This fruit is good for people too, but seldom gets ripe enough for us.  The birds get it first.  That’s okay . . . they’re probably sour anyway. :rolleyes:

Baby Bird Season

As I mowed the lawn yesterday, I saw a newly fledged robin.  It would hop away and seek cover when I came near.  A couple of times, I had to stop to give that young bird time to get out of the way.

Later, I was sitting in my recliner and reading when I heard a strange sound.  Almost like a dripping faucet–but not quite.  I headed for the kitchen to locate the sound’s source.  I heard it again.  Not from the kitchen, but from behind the door that leads to the end deck.

I peeked out a window and then carefully opened the door so as not scare this little guy.  Yes, it’s the same one I had seen earlier out on the lawn.

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Here’s hoping this youngster is able to fly before being found by the neighborhood cats.

Sad Discovery

The other day, I was walking down the driveway on my way to the mailbox.  As usual, my eyes were searching for anything different or unusual.  That’s when I saw it there in the driveway.

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Some egg thief seems to have enjoyed a meal.  You can see small puncture marks on the left end of this egg shell.  Do you think it was another bird?  Or perhaps a mammal?

Fortunately, that is not a green egg. :laff:

Hooray! Hooray!

‘Twas the first of May.  Robin sat in the apple tree with his feathers fluffed against the chill air.

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Hand-held shot with my Lumix zoomed into a 1200 mm closeup.  The anti-jitter algorithm in that camera is fantastic.

Robin’s breast looked much redder to the eye.  Sylvia saw him first and called my attention away from the Sunday funnies.

They say the early bird catches the worm.  If I’m a worm, I’m sleeping in.  That’s all I have to say.