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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

May 9, 2013

The first of the migrants have arrived YAY!

After one last snowfall at the beginning of May, spring finally won the battle with winter and we've had gorgeous weather since then. The Geese started arriving in full force, wave after wave of them, on Thursday morning and migration, as far as I'm concerned, is well on the way.

The ponds have cleared of  ice and should soon be filling up with all manner of ducks, migrating shorebirds and herons. Saturday night we had some wind, which I hoped might just deliver up some migrating song birds. So Sunday morning I went out intent on spotting the first of them.

Tanager among the tassles
Peeking down at me
 After watching a pair of crows in the process of building a nest, I went through the forest listening to the bird song and anything out of the ordinary. The Chickadees were making contented, quiet little sounds and the Dark eyed Juncos were actually brave enough to come out in the open for brief forays. There were also Robins all through the forest, singing their praises to the sun. But finally I heard a song, that was similar but different to the song of a Robin, if that makes any sense.

A beautiful view
Western Tanager frontal
 I stayed put and listened hard, looking around at every tree and branch, high and low. I finally spotted a yellow belly topped by bright orange, but the sun was directly behind the bird and I just couldn't be sure what I was looking at. All I knew was I haven't seen yellow birds in the forest all winter.

Western Tanager in profile
I was elated and my heart started pounding, as I tried to focus my camera, but the sun was just in the wrong place and then I lost the bird completely. I knew from experience, however that if I saw it once I will see it again.   So I moved on, sneaking around trees as quietly as I could while I listened for more of that song.

Tanager Beauty
It took about half an hour to find the bird again, but when I did the light was just right and the distance not too problematic. What I had in front of my lens was a male Western Tanager in full mating plumage. And what a beauty he turned out to be.



  1. What a stunning bird! Lucky you..Thanks for sharing those beautiful pics!