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Backyard birdies…

A book, and a beer, out on the lanai on a beautiful afternoon turned into this..

I mean, who could resist? She looks so sweet and innocent.
Now she is daring the rest of the birds to come to her feeder.

I bought the Bird Buddy after dithering over it for a while. We saw birds fly through the yard from one neighbor’s house to the other, but they seldom even posed on the fence. It was expensive, and addictive too. We’ve added a bird bath, and an extra perch for more landing spaces. Millet is what I’m thinking we need. Maybe painted buntings will find us. We are a stopping off point for migrating birds on their way further south. Even if you don’t intend it, you can’t live here long without becoming a bird brain.

a second look, attention to detail, backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, technology

Bird Buddies…

Have you seen Bird Buddy popping up on your Facebook feed? I think that’s where I saw it first. I had been wanting to add some bird feeders to the back yard where lots of birds fly through, but don’t ever stop. I’d like to add plants to bring in pollinators and butterflies too, but this is a first step in the right direction.

Bird Buddy is a bird feeder with an added bonus. It also has a built in camera that will automatically take a picture of a bird at the feeder. And more than that, it will send that photo to your phone, along with an ID of the bird, and plenty of info about that breed for your information. I bought the solar roof option that is offered, and it has the unit at over 80% charged after two days, each of which started out gloomy but got sunny in the afternoon.

I didn’t pay too much attention to those extra features of the Bird Buddy, suspecting that they would leave a lot to be desired, at least for someone who sees fabulous bird photos on friends’s internet feeds daily. And I wondered if the birds would even come to the feeder at all.
We didn’t have it up long at all when a Carolina Wren landed on the feeder. I grabbed my camera and shot some photos through the glass of the sliding glass door and the screen to the lanai. The Bird Buddy also sent a picture but the bird was looking down and it wasn’t a very good picture.
So today I was more ready with my 100-400 lens on the r7, but again I had to shoot through the glass and screening. This time he landed on the suet feeder, which gave me a nice background for a couple of shots.
Bird Buddy says these Carolina Wrens are expert songsters, long-haul lovebirds, and loudmouths. All of which are self explanatory I believe.
Then this morning this was the photo that arrived from Bird Buddy. Yes, I tweaked it a bit and cropped, but this is the photo out of the built-in camera. I’m so happy that I went ahead and bought this system. I think I will be entertained for quite a while. But I need to build a bird blind out there so I can take my pictures without the glass and screening in the way.
We headed to Wild Birds Unlimited in Carrollwood the day after the BB arrived. We needed a pole to hang the feeder, and feed to put in the feeder. They have feeders set up outside of the store and I could just go there for photos every day. There were lots of little birds in the trees and at the feeders. A Tufted Titmouse and lots of his friends and relatives, too.
Here is a better look at the set up. I guess the first thing I ought to do is figure out how to get the ‘postcards’ from Bird Buddy to also come to my friend’s phone. I did take over his back yard after all, and originally bought it as a birthday gift for him, but it came about a month late. Which is how I managed to forget that it wasn’t for me.

I didn’t intend to write a commercial for the feeder or the feeder store, I am just so thrilled with both of them. They have brightened up these dreary days. And I always have loved the photo ops that come to you.

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Tuesday Morning…

No, not the store. Which I haven’t seen in a while come to think of it. I used to always go in, but now I can’t remember where I lived when I did that. Not that it matters because this Tuesday morning was all about the sky. Not that it was filled with color, but this color-deprived photographer was happy to see any at all. I loved the reflected color in the water as a backdrop for the reeds at the side of the pond this morning.

The color wasn’t there at first, but then all of a sudden there it was. And the birds started flying through.
I sat and waited to see what would happen.
It was so pretty, but then the sky gradually got lighter and I decided to go back and pour another cup of coffee.
backyard visitors, birds, facing facts, fences, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Gray and gloomy…

I should be ashamed to be lamenting over every day that isn’t sunny. In the summer I tell myself that I’ll accomplish lots of stuff when the weather breaks. Then when it’s in the 60s I think it’s too cold to do anything. Yes, I’m spoiled, I’ll admit it. We will have to put out some bird feeders for the various fence sitters I’ve been seeing out back. This one posed in front of the dark shadow of the neighbor’s lanai, making the day look that much gloomier. He stayed put when I opened the door to our lanai so I didn’t have to shoot through the screening. Nice of him.

This is a Northern Mockingbird. If he had been facing the other way and I was looking directly at that long tail I wouldn’t have had to look him up.
They have an amazing repertoire of songs they sing. They are very common in this area, and everywhere actually.

Happy Thanksgiving to friends and family near and far.

backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, rain, storms, technology, unintended images, weather

Shake it off…

I was cooking breakfast this morning when I glanced out the sliding glass door and spotted a hawk on the fence. He was spreading his wings much like I see birds doing when I assume they are drying their feathers. But in the midst of the tropical storm we are having any attempt to shake off the water was hopeless. Maybe he was just enjoying a shower.

Considering that I was shooting through a glass door, which hasn’t been washed in quite a while, and out through the screened-in lanai, I’m pretty happy to see this image.
He was facing the other way in all the pictures where I caught him shaking it off, so mostly butt shots.
All the while he did seem to be keeping a watchful eye on things.

This was a day I had written off as having no chance to go out to shoot at all. And I didn’t, I stayed in to shoot. He stayed put on the fence for longer than I might have expected, and when he took off it was down into the neighbor’s yard behind me. I hope he caught his own breakfast. I ate mine once he disappeared. It’s still raining hard, but the wind has let up a bit. Tropical Storm Nicole seems to have spared us.

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, life goes on, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography

Close to home…

Another trip out to the neighborhood park with the new camera yielded no dragonfly shots. I went out much earlier in the day, hoping there would be some dragonfly/bird action. What I found was a couple of moms and their kids packing up some lacrosse equipment, so I was a bit late for potential action shots. I kind of hate the question, “What do you like to shoot?” Whatever crosses my path is my answer…

I did see Palm Warblers, the tiny little birds I’ve been hoping to shoot for a while now.
It was a good exercise for using the 100-400mm lens I bought for the new mirrorless camera. You see how tiny these little birds are, plus they are busy little things. And the extra megapixels in the camera helps keep some sharpness when you have to crop a LOT.
These cute little birds at least provided an opportunity to practice, practice, practice.
So I thought I’d sit on the bench and wait and see what would happen. But you are seldom without a lizard for company here in Florida. My son once brought one home in the little container I’d given him, with holes punched in the top, to collect ‘callipiders.’ When I saw it on the rug I jumped up onto the bed and started screaming. His four-year-old self had to rescue me. I’m better now.
No dragonflies, no spiders, just weeds.

I was concentrating on the tiny birds and nearly missed the Great Egret strolling through my shot. Being outside is such a pleasure these days. It might be hot in the sun still, but it’s delightful in the shade. I may get homesick for New England here and there, but Florida really is home to me these days.