Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This is my sketch of one of these birds, the Magnolia Warbler (probably a male) created in my new Brenda Books sketching journal. It's a beautiful new journal with real rag watercolor paper. I'm finding it intially a bit intimidating--so brand new and inviting. You know, the feeling. You don't want to mess it up.
But that's watercolor and journaling. You plunge in. You make a mess. And altogether, it doesn't turn out so badly. And on top of that you have this wonderfully intimate experience, with a bird, with its lifestyle, with the magic of October.
Monday, October 19, 2009
And today I had some help from another Carolina wren, just a few yards away, singing on the same side of the house, making me wonder if it was one of this year's juveniles. When the male in the image finished singing in response, he flew up over my head to the deck. But before I show you the next wren, I want you to notice his bill, its length and curve. Right after the image of him below, you see the image of the wren that was foraging beneath him in the holly. Look at her petite little bill, a wholly different look!But now, lets zoom out so you can get the whole look. Check out that position, especially her left side!
I got such a chuckle out of these images. Even wondered if this is a juvenile but couldn't find any tell-tale yellow around the mouth corners.
A poster bird for sure!Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #60 at Birdfreak.com, to promote the conservation of our world's birds.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Teachers may click the field journal link to order complimentary books for their classroom ($10 shipping fee). Shipping begins Nov 1st. Individuals may purchase the activity book for $3.00 on the merchandise page (not including shipping), availability beginning Nov. 1st.
Find out all the details by visiting Operation Migration's field journal , Oct 12th (scroll down to the first entry on that date).
Saturday, October 10, 2009
As often as I hear Red-Bellied woodpeckers, this week was the first time I've had an opportunity to get close enough or had long enough to capture a few good shots. (My favorite is in the previous post.) And wouldn't you know, I had to leave before he did in order to keep an appointment--but not before he gave me this surprising look at his tongue!
He didn't appear to be yawning, simply stretching his mouth the way we might try to loosen up some peanut butter to swallow it...in this case it would be, loosening up some grubs. But what was really fun happened later, after I returned home. He came back again with a berry snack in mind. In the image above he is looking up at the limb of berries, and faster than I could focus, he flew up and grabbed one and returned to the Dogwood trunk again.Only because I had this series of images to review, did I notice the size of the berry in relation to his mouth and that he was swallowing as he perched. Since the images below are frame by frame, seconds apart, it appears (and I emphasize appears--one can only guess) that he stretched his head back to aid swallowing.Feat accomplished.Just before parting he gave me this wonderful look at his beautiful red crown and nape, set off by his stunning black and white plumage. A day-making encounter.Coming up: Some catching up--Red-headed woodpeckers at Necedah and more on my Ijams Nature Park meadow walk .
Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #59, at Birdfreak.com to promote the conservation of our world's birds.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Without a doubt, I will also be giving an update on the Whooping crane ultralight migration class of 2009, scheduled to depart on their fall migration Oct 10th.
The presentation/meeting will be at 6:45, Wed. Oct 7th, Room 117, UT College of Veterinary Medicine Knoxville, TN. For more information, click the link to see the KTOS Newsletter or visit the KTOS website.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Look how all those colors blend to make her practically disappear! (And according to Peterson's field guide, this is year-around plumage.)But that wasn't the only magic that happened. I decided to post this sighting on the TN-Bird List (sponsored by the TN Ornithological Society), along with a fall warbler sighting. And that's when the real adventure began.
I called the warbler you see below, a Blackpoll, with some ID help from out-of-state birding friends (a brand new bird for me). And that remains a possible ID, but here's the catch. Historically, the Blackpoll is a rare sighting in our area. The reason why, from a local veteran birder, "...most Blackpolls migrate eastward across the northern parts of the continent until they get to the coast and then turn south migrating over the Atlantic Ocean. They are rare in the south in fall. In almost 30 years of birding, I've probably seen around a half dozen Blackpolls in East TN in fall and its close look-alike, the Bay-breasted, is common."An interesting bit of information about a striking bird that only gave me a brief look. I've since shared the three images I had of the bird (all of them poor), but maybe they will lead to a definitive ID.
Summer Tanager, above.
After this warbler exchange, I began to wonder about my tanager ID, as well, and decided to ask for confirmation on whether this bird was indeed a Scarlet Tanager, as I had initially thought. The response: "Actually, the large bill and orangish-yellow coloration means this is a Summer Tanager. Either a female or immature (likely an immature). A Scarlet Tanager would have a much smaller bill, greenish coloration and darker, more contrasting wings."Ah, I am glad I asked. Don't you just love mistakes, especially public ones! But each time a mistake flags interest from an experienced birder with a willingness to help, it leads to new friends, new birds and an endless amount of learning and enjoyment. And in this case, a special 'thank-you' goes to Tennessee's TN-Bird list for making this possible.
For the Love of It...