Sunday, December 20, 2009

Feathered Friends Flashback

Tis the season to slack off a bit when it comes to blog posts. I'm less prepared than I'd like to be with my posts and so my blogging schedule may vary and lag over the holiday season. This includes the Posts of the Week. Since I have less time to visit blogs, I'll not be compiling as many links for you. We'll see how that goes, but please don't be surprised if Wednesday comes and goes without the usual post. My guess it that you'll also have less time to read them this week.

And once again, I'm dusting off the archives and presenting a few older photos. Some of them are leftovers which have never been shown and some have been published once before. Only the woodpecker is brand new. I hope you'll enjoy. Please remember to click on them to enlarge.

This Mourning Dove was in the process of building a nest when this photo was taken one spring day. It was right at eye-level. They're not the brightest birds. (please click to enlarge)

The Grackles don't appear to be very colourful birds - unless the sunlight hits them just so as it did in this photo. Isn't that a beautiful turquoise head? (please click to enlarge)

One day, in early spring, I took a walk in an area where it seemed nobody had wandered. It was rather off the regular park path, across a biway and down alongside a very shallow and narrow creek. In contrast, it was right next door to a car dealership. Still, it was a lovely, calm day and while out there, several hawks were in flight a small distance away. (please click to enlarge)

In the summertime, we're visited by several herons. The dam seems to attract them some days. Pictured above is the Night Heron. (please click to enlarge)

And this, of course is the beautiful Great Blue Heron. He posed and strutted for me along the wall of this same dam. (please click to enlarge)

While up at a nearby pond one summer day, I was visited by this lovely swan. She was just hanging around looking beautiful. Here, she swam over to me to get a closer look at my camera. (please click to enlarge)

That same pond is home to many varieties of birds - among them, seagulls. This guy was another curious onlooker. (please click to enlarge)

A starling steadied himself on a slender tree branch, defiant of the cold, winter wind. (please click to enlarge)

A beautiful, red Cardinal perched atop a branch, his mate behind him, hiding from view. (please click to enlarge)

A winter Blue Jay landed on my back yard table top where peanuts rewarded his vigilance. (please click to enlarge)

On one of the first snowy days of this year, I went outside to fill the bird feeder and replace the almost-depleted suet. As soon as I started fussing around with the seeds, this lovely little woodpecker boldly flew to the branch to await new food. He watched as I filled each receptacle and kindly posed for a couple of photos. (please click to enlarge)

That's all for today. I hope to have more photos for you soon.


ethelmaepotter! said...

My posts have been sporadic, too. Working at the post office during the Christmas season leaves very little time for anything else.
LOVE the bluejay and cardinals in the snow. And the mourning dove. Spectacular.

Lori said...

Love these pictures of little ones like them too! Hope your holiday season is full of peace and joy Hilary. Lori

L. D. said...

Your archive photos are wonderful. I really am impressed with your camera work. You have a fine collection of bird photos.

Hilary said...

It doesn't surprise me that we share a love of birds.

Mental P Mama said...

I never tire of birds. Love that swan!

Barry said...

I enjoyed your photos, especially the Great Blue Heron and the amazing closeup of the swan's head. I don't believe I've ever seen that in a photo before.! Remarkable.

Boozy Tooth said...

Hils, those are some straight-up gorgeous photos. Really? You took them all? I love the Blue Heron (they wade around my back yard a lot and they are so majestic and breathtaking in their grace and beauty), the swan with it's water droplets, and the Cardinal. So pretty. I once hit a Mourning Dove with my car by accident. It flew right in front of me. I felt so sad when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the mushroom cloud of taupey feathers. No, they definitely are not the brightest birds. But they're soft and pillowy and they make such a pretty cooing sound.

ellen abbott said...

Excellent photos as usual. I love the birds, they are so intelligent. Blue herons are one of my favorites. Here at the country house we have a big bay window. I've been watching the cardinals, blue jay, mockingbird, chickadees, tufted titmouse, and a small gray bird that might be a kind of sparrow but haven't identified it yet.

Maggie May said...

You know, all these birds are completely different from the ones we have here, except for the seagulls and we have herons (but not in the city!)
Have a great Christmas break.

Lovely photos.....

Nuts in May

steviewren said...

Hilary, you have a super sharp eye and a great lens on your camera! Everyone of these shots is amazing. The blue heron is magnificent. The Blue Jay and the Cardinal pics are wonderful. We don't have grackles here. I've seen them in TX, but never close up. Yours is a beaut.

My posts this week will be short and sweet. I think almost everyone has a lot to do. It's time for friends and family to take center stage. Merry Christmas!

Land of shimp said...

Thank you so much for the pictures, Hilary. My husband will be in heaven when I show them to him. He loves a good bird photo, and you've gotten several compiled.

You also have birds near you that neither of us have seen in years, and years. There are no cardinals in Colorado, as far as I know (there aren't any lightning bugs, either), or Blue Jays.

So this was a rare treat, and thank you for it!

Rosaria Williams said...

Stunning photos. How do you do it? How do these birds pose for you?

happy holidays....

Sueann said...

Beautiful pics!! The plumage on the birds is just amazing! Colors so vivid! Thanks for sharing them. Love how you got them "posed"!

Jeni said...

Where to begin!
First off, as to the visiting and naming "POTW" -unless you are fortunate enough to have days with more than the standard 24 hours in 'em, like the rest of us have, my theory there is to do what you can and don't worry or feel guilty about what you can't get around to doing!!! It will be fine, regardless.
And second -the photos -old or new, also makes no never mind as they range from just beautiful to awesome.
And third -that cardinal photo! Oh my! Do you let people "borrow" your photos from time to time? I'm thinking along the lines of a topic for a post down the road in which this pic would function just fantastically. Also, I'm thinking too that the picture itself would make for a gorgeous piece of embroidery -either counted cross stitch or regular embroidery and I wish I knew how to design stuff like that from a photo! (Wish I could even do a counted cross stitch of that cardinal if it were even available too!)
Peace, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and as many in my family (the Swedish side) would say, "God Jul!"

~JarieLyn~ said...

Hilary, I love the photo of the swan and the bluejay. They're all great but those two are my faves. Birds are difficult. My husband and I were trying to get a picture of a bird once and it kept hopping away from us, hiding behind rocks and in bushes. We finally got a photo but it wasn't that great. Yours are fantastic.

Have a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday....whatever you celebrate. Stay warm and cozy too.

Frank Baron said...

Got many of my favourite critters here. It's always a treat to see, and re-see them. Hadn't seen the swan shot before though, and really like it. Good stuff, dear. :)

Tabor said...

Excellent photos...almost better than being there! Our norther herons are too wary to get very close at all. The Florida ones seems more tame.

Karen said...

Such beautiful pictures. Even the dull colored ones are beautiful in the right light. :) I like the swan with the water droplets, too.

Brian Miller said...

lovely...the heron and the blue bird are my favs! in case i dont see you round much this week, i hope you and yours have an incredible holiday!

Unknown said...

Hilary: lol! The Blue Heron is striking, but then I would invariably move on to the next photo and feel the same. You are a wonderful photographer, and very knowledgeable about these magnificent birds. :D)

Crabby McSlacker said...

These are such beautiful shots there's no harm in seeing them again. Thanks for sharing them!

Leah J. Utas said...

Beautiful bird photos, Hilary. Thanks for posting them.

SandyCarlson said...

Your photos are very, very beautiful. Thank you. And thank you for being such a blessing. Your posts open my mind and make me think of new ways to take photos and look at the world. You get me to try harder just by being you. Thanks.

lime said...

i find capturing a really good bird photo to be such a challenge and you have some real gems here! that mourning dove is just so lovely. it's had to choose between that one, the cardinals and the heron as my favorite.

Hilary said...

• Ethelmae, I guess most of us will be a bit behind on blogging this holiday season. That makes it easier all around. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Lori thank you very kindly. I hope the holidays are lovely for you and yours too. :)

• Larry, thanks very much for the kind compliment. I'm glad you like my feathered friends. :)

• Hilary, no, it shouldn't surprise you at all. Thanks for stopping by, my namesake friend. :)

• MPM, they're lovely to watch, aren't they? :)

• Thanks very much, Barry. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. That swan was very curious. Considering it had been tagged (a big yellow number tag on its wing), it was very comfy around people. I guess they treated it well. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Alix, yes.. all are my own photos. Thanks for the kind words. :) That's too bad about the mourning dove incident. I can imagine how that made you feel but these things do happen all the time. They might be dumb, but I have to admit that until very recently, I had no idea that the noise they make when they take off in flight came from their wings. I always thought it was a vocalization of sorts. So I was pretty dumb about them too. :) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Ellen it's wonderful to see all of those birds on a regular basis, isn't it? I'm wondering if perhaps your little gray birds might be Juncos? Just a thought. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• Thanks, Maggie. I'm not surprised that we have different critters between the UK and North America. We have bird guides which cover creatures just from our province of Ontario, so I know they vary considerably elsewhere. Thanks for the holiday wishes, Maggie. You know I wish you the very best, strength and health for the new year. Keep strong, my friend. :)

• Stevie, thanks so much for your always-kind words. It means a lot to me that your artist's eye appreciates my photos. I hope you have a lovely Christmas. I'll see you in the New Year. :)

• Shimp, I'm glad I could provide you with birds which are long lost from your regular sightings. I hope your husband will enjoy them as well. Thanks very much for your kind words. Always, they mean a lot to me. Have a great holiday. :)

• Lakeviewer, they usually "pose" after about twenty or fifty shots of "not posing." Sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes I'm just persistent enough. On wonderful rare occasions, they actually do seem to pose. Those are the ones who make eye contact. Beautiful creatures, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by. :)

Hilary said...

• SueAnn, thanks kindly for the good words. I'm pleased that you enjoy the photos. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Jeni, first.. thank you for permission to slack off of the POTW for a bit. Truly, it's what I needed to hear. I will probably take your kind advice to heart. :) And because I appreciated it so much, I took a few minutes and turned that cardinal photo into a cross stitch pattern for you and sent it to you via email. The only thing I was unable to do was match colours to thread colours.. that's very time consuming and I expect you'd want to make your own colour selections for it. You are welcome to use my photo with proper attribution to my blog. I'm very flattered that you like it enough to post and to stitch. :) Thank you so much for your very kind words and wishes. I hope you have a lovely holiday, your own self. :)

• JarieLyn, thank you very much for such a sweet compliment. I'm so pleased that you like my bird photos. The blue jay was easy to capture. I snapped that shot from inside my living room after luring him with peanuts to my outdoor table. He's a beauty, eh? Thanks for the kind wishes. All the best to you and yours too on for the upcoming holidays. :)

• Frank, I'm glad you like them.. but I knew you would. You're a bird-lover at heart. And you've helped turned me into one too. Thanks for that. :)

• Thanks, Tabor. This particular heron was on the other side of a fence and felt particularly safe from my nearness. Generally they're a bit more skittish than he was, though I've had Great Blues wander right across the path in front of me before too. They're amazing birds, eh? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Karen. One thing I've come to realize is that no matter how drab a bird appears to be, it's considerably more colourful in sunlight. There's beauty in all of them. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, Brian. I'm glad you stopped by. I wish the very best to you and yours, as well. Have a great holiday. :)

• Thank you so much, Michael. I'm so glad that you are enjoying my bird photos. It's kind of fun to post them all together like this. Well it's not all of them, but this particular selection. Thanks kindly for the good words and I hope you have a wonderful holiday. :)

• Thanks, Crabby. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Leah. I'm glad you think so. :)

• Sandy, you're a sweetie. That's such a nice thing to say. It's absolutely made my day. Thank you for that. :)

• Thanks so much, Lime. I'm glad you appreciate the bird photos. That means a lot to me. :)

LadyFi said...

Wow, wow and wow! How do you take so many fantastic bird shots! Brilliant!

Here's wishing you a fabulous Christmas!

Kathleen said...

First: I hope you put your enjoyment first and foremost this week and always, dear Hilary.

Second: You're ability to capture the spirit of all these birds is remarkable. Perhaps some part of you is a winged creature, too?

And finally: I just love how the little woodpecker returned your lovely gesture by gesturing for you! Inter-species communication at its best!

Merisi said...

What wonderful collection of your beautiful birds (bright or not so bright *giggles loved your remark!).

Zuzana said...

I love pictures of birds. They are very difficult to photograph, but you do such a wonderful job.
These little creatures are so fragile, yet so relentless and so strong in the way they survive each and ever day. Particularly the winter.
They are a miracle creation.
Love the red Robin.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures from your archives. The Cardinal is so brillant. I love it!
Christmas is coming! :)
The Bach

Daryl said...

As a city gal, I am awed by the birds you get to see/snap/share .. thanks ..

Doc said...

They are new to me as I of course recently found your blog... Very nice! you have a great eye... And yes slack off all you want. 'Tis the season!

Meeko Fabulous said...

That's an awesome shot of the Great Blue Heron!

blunoz said...

All beautiful and amazing photos. My favorite was the Great Blue Heron. The light posting is certainly understandable! We won't hold it against you. ;-) Merry Christmas!

Unseen India Tours said...

Lovely shots Hilary !! This is a stunning post !! Thanks for commenting on My web site..

Margo said...

your bird pictures are such a treat, Hilary. I always adore your use of light. I'm going to probably be a little blog awol as well (unless my inlaws are driving me insane :) Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

ds said...

Thank you so much for sharing these--I am partial to the swan (wow did she get close!) and the cardinals, though all are wonderful. Please don't worry about "irregular posting." This is the time for distractions, and they are much more important. Mr. Man and Miss Moo send Benny their best, as I do to you and yours! Enjoy this season.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Hilary, That Great Blue Heron is stunning! I've never seen one before. Thanks for sharing all your great pictures.

I'll be posting on the "light" side too. There's just too much going on in the last few weeks of the year.

In case I don't catch you before, have a GREAT CHRISTMAS! I'm really glad I met you this year.


SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Hilary. You are great.

King of New York Hacks said...

What ?!?!? NO Penguins !?!?!? Haha !!just kidding...brilliant stuff.

colbymarshall said...

I adore birds. I worked in veterinary medicine for years in the exotics ward and got the opportunity to work with a lot of avian beautiful!

Reb said...

I was by this morning, then my ride showed up :( I love them all, but the Blue Heron and the Swan close up are my favourites.

Nancy said...

These pictures are amazing. The swan... wow! And the cardinal - okay they were all beautiful!

I'm not posting for a week or so - it's time to pay attention to other things. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hard to believe it's almost 2010!

Dave said...

I enjoyed your bird pics Hilary. I love the birds, specially sparrows which I feed with bread twice a day at the moment as they are feeding their young. Don't have woodpeckers or cardinals but do have starlings and others. Seldom see our native birds sadly. - Dave

Fliterary said...

Love all the photos. What a delightful post. Thank you, Hilary.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Kelly H-Y said...

You are such a talented photographer!

Hilary said...

• Thanks very kindly, LadyFi. And to you too. :)

• Kathleen.. First: Thank you so much. I wish the same for you. Second: You might be right.. probably the bird brain part. ;) Finally: I'm so glad you do appreciate creatures the way that you do. That tells me a lot of good things about you. Have a wonderful holiday, my friend. :)

• Merisi, thank you so much for stopping by. I'm glad you got a giggle out of your visit. :)

• Protege, thank you so much, dear friend. They do appear both fragile and strong at the same time. They're a wonder, aren't they? Thanks always for the visit, Zuzana. You know how that pleases me. :)

• Bach, Christmas is indeed coming. I hope it will be a beautiful one for you. Thanks for the always-kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, Daryl. I'm glad you like them and I'm happy to share. :)

• Doc, thanks kindly for the permission to slack off.. I'll gladly take it to heart. :) Thanks also for your very encouraging comments. They mean a lot to me. :)

• Thanks, Meeko. It's an amazing bird, isn't it? Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Kevin. I'm glad you like the photo and I feel good about knowing I can skip a post or two. Have a great Christmas your own self. :)

• Thank you UR, I was happy to visit your beautiful website and I wish you much luck with it. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Margo, thank you and I wish you a marvelous holiday.. full of peace if your in-laws allow it. ;) Thanks for the always-warm comments. :)

• DS, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. You never fail to bring a smile to my face. I'm glad you like the photos and I'm pleased that you understand about the light postings. I'm sure I won't be alone there. Scratches and pats to Mr. Man and Miss Moo.. and have a great holiday. :)

• Joanna, thank you. If you ever do see a Great Blue, you'll be in for a real treat. They're wonderful birds. Thanks for the kind and understanding words. I'm sure most folks will be posting and visiting on the light plan for the next little while. Thanks for the kind wishes. I'm happy to know you too. Have a great Christmas. :)

• Thanks, Sandy. You know I feel the same about you. :)

• KONYH, good to see you! No penguins this time. I'd have to venture a bit south for those. ;) Thanks for the kind words and I hope you have a wonderful holiday. :)

• Colby, thank you. I'll bet you had a lot of incredible experiences with the birds. Such wonderful creatures. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Reb. I'm glad you enjoyed them. I'm also glad that you got a ride. It's pretty cold these days. Thanks always for the visit and have a great Christmas. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Nancy. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year too. All the very best to you, my friend. :)

• Thank you, Dave. I love birds too. I keep forgetting that it's summer where you are and of course your birds have young. I'm sure we have a lot of birds in common but many more which are different. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Welcome, Lisa and thanks so much for the good wishes. Merry Christmas to you. :)

• Thank you kindly, Kelly. Much appreciated. :)

Dianne said...

I love all the birds but the close-up of the swan is amazing, just stunning

Have a Wonderful Holiday Hilary
Hope sends hugs

Anonymous said...

Beautiful as always, Hilary. I am amazed by the macro & clarity of the swan. And I totally understand the lack of time. I only have postings up with any regularity this month because I can pre-post: I work on them as I get the chance and then schedule them for another time.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

I loved birdwatching at your place. I just had to check out the gal who left the body~part comment on the Fifty Factors blog. Cracked the old Ozarks farm chick up. I'm so glad I popped over.

God bless and have a fabulous day!!!

Michelle H. said...

Wild birds. Nothing more beautiful to gaze at. Thank you for sharing such feathered friends!

Jet said...

Your blog is very nice :) .I really like it !
Merry X'mas !

Welcome to my website : This is a website where have a lot of beautiful wallpapers . Especially , all free !!!!

photowannabe said...

I just love all the amazing varieties of birds you captured.
The closeup of the swan is one of my favorites. Mch more lovely than my Warthog..
Wishing you a holiday season filled with happiness and joy.

annalene said...

Love these photos! The color on the grakle really is beautiful and in the last photo the woodpecker looks amazingly soft. So awesome, thanks for sharing!

Country Girl said...

You amaze me, Hilary. So very beautiful. And that one close up . . . oh, my gosh!

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much, Dianne. All the very best of the season to you too. And please squeeze that angel for me. :)

• KC, thank you for the kind words. It looks like I'm doing mini-posts after all. Thanks so much for stopping by.

• Welcome, Nezzy. I'm glad my comment gave you a laugh. Thanks so much for stopping by and please do return soon. :)

• Thank you, Michelle. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thank you, Jet. Happy Holidays to you. :)

• Thanks, Sue. I'm glad you liked it. Your warthog was a beauty in his own right. Thanks for the good wishes. The very best of the season to you too. :)

• Annalene, thank you. That woodpecker does look soft, doesn't it? I appreciate your kind words. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Kate, thank you. I'm glad you like them. :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

You live in paradise! Gorgeous shots-- I was sold on the Blue Heron, but then all of those other great shots came after. Glad you never make us choose our favourites.

Sydney said...

WOW oh WOW Stunning photos-- I especialyl loved the swan with the beads of water on her feathers, the cardnial and mate, so brilliant against the branches and snow, and the bluejay! Amazing stuff, brought me great joy to see them, and think about you seeing them, knowing you got a great shot!

I am woefully behind on my blog reading/commenting for a few months now, since I started writing for the Houston Zoo blog. Am trying to catch up a little now that Christmas and all the work it brings is passed.