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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Apr 5, 2013

Highlight of the day

I have not been able to go out much. I have been so busy, although for the most part the weather has been just lovely. This morning I got up to a nasty surprise though. Winter is back, again. Arrrg.  Nevertheless, I'm encouraged by the birds I have seen when I did venture out just recently for a brief time.

Although I saw a pair of Geese last week, I spotted the Canada Goose arriving in flight formation.  These were followed closely by another skein of their fellows.  A great sign that migration has begun.

When I reached the path to the forest, I was greeted by this gorgeous fat Robin, who was very cooperative about having his picture taken.  There were several others, more shy, foraging in the bushes, while the nuthatch called and the House Finches sang their courting songs.

Then I heard another sound, that of a bill striking the underside of a leaf or branch.  I turned and briefly caught sight of a flash of black.  As I focused my camera on a nearby bush, I caught sight of this.  A Dark-eyed Junco playing peek-a-boo with me.

Then a another voice, so low, that if I hadn't been standing very quietly and very still, I would have missed it.  I took a few steps under the trees, along the forest floor and waited.  It was warm enough, that there were trailing webs from inch worms and spiders.  It always amazed me that insects emerge so early in spring.  But I'm getting off track, sure enough before long, there it was again, a voice so sweet.  It was a Golden Crowned Kinglet, flitting from branch to branch, and tree to tree.

It wont be long now, before I see his cousin, the Ruby Crowned Kinglet and I can't wait.

It was a peaceful and delightful outing.  But it wasn't over until I got to within sight of my own front door.  On the way home I briefly watched a Magpie as he collected nesting materials.  I moved on, somewhat sad that I had no more time to spend outdoors and that's when the real action took place.

I spotted a Prairie Falcon on the hunt.  I missed the other bird entirely, although I think it might have been a Kestrel.  However, the Falcon missed his target and was screaming, as you can see and turned towards me, to fly up to a light post, where it perched briefly.

I shoot handheld and the bird was moving very fast, so these photos aren't the best.  However, I was pleased to get several shots of the falcon in flight as well as in the process of landing.  I would have liked to have gotten several more, but a passing pedestrian caused the Prairie Falcon to take off again.  This time directly down and straight at me, before veering off  very low to the ground, just above the street.

As you can see by this last photo, I couldn't keep a focus, the bird was moving that fast.  Nevertheless, I was thrilled.  It isn't often that I get action shots of Raptors, so although I had a wonderful outing, this was definitely the highlight of my day.



  1. Nice job Susan - I always have a hard time getting shots of the birds. I love the juncos and a lot are around in my city yard but there are cats wandering around the neighborhood. The birds are pretty skittish making it hard for me to photograph. Love the falcon!

    1. Thank you Judi, Junco's are naturally skittish and most of the time difficult to spot because they forage under the bushes on the ground mostly.

  2. Susan, you did well with the falcon, they are so fast it makes it hard to photograph them in flight.

    Winter will also make another appearance here with snow possible down to the valley but it won't last long because it has gotten so warm here.