Sunday, September 30, 2012

From the Porch

A rainy Saturday means hanging out on the porch and limiting your photography to those environs. But ah, the blessings of rain in Central Texas cannot be measured! Enjoy this week's offering.

 Last time you got to see a cloudy day shot of the pond, and today, after the rain, the sun came out and offered up this view of our refreshed pond. I expect the autumn water fowl any day now.

 While the rain was still falling, this Yellow Warbler was nervously hopping about the Lady Banks Rose. I've decided the legs and beak are not the right color for the Prothonotary Warbler.

 Our ever-present splash of crimson, the Northern Cardinal on the field panel above the water drip. They are abundant this year in the yard.

 Waiting his turn to hit the seed left on the stone border of the volunteer lantana.

 Strange how birds that I haven't seen for a while show up at the yard and the office at the same time. This Scrub Jay came to the table on the office deck right after I heard some in the yard at the house.

 Our regular Mockingbird striking a pose in the live oak just off the office deck.

 The Lesser Goldfinch are faithful at the office feeders, but can't seem to draw them at the house.

 The Black-crested Titmouse, Texas race. We're proud to call him our own!

 And where there are Titmouse, there are Chickadees!

 These hit-and-run artists paused just long enough for me to get a shot.

 We'll wrap up this week with a few more shots of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds showing off their rubies.

 This one has been guarding the feeders at the office deck.

 And this one has been doing the same at the porch.

Sometimes you just have to crane that neck to get a good view. I wonder where the switch is to turn that necklace on!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

First Day of Autumn

I know some of you scoff at the thought that someone in Central Texas would say anything about Autumn, but the seasons change just the same. Well, maybe not the same, but we do cherish things like less daylight, and the few plants that actually lose leaves and change colors. And of course, the birds recognize the changing of seasons, and leave us for even warmer winters than we have around here. Enjoy this week's offering.

I appreciate that the birds always say 'grace' before they eat! Here the Carolina Chickadee is bowing before partaking of the black oil sunflower seed.

 A very meticulous and fastidious diner!
(Not dinner, diner!)

 This Northern Mockingbird has been visiting the office deck regularly, but never sure why, since we don't offer any of his regular fare.

 A lone juvenile female Painted Bunting still hanging around the feeders at the office. Hope this one wasn't left behind, but if so, she will have plenty to eat at our place.

 Noticed this 'different' hummingbird at the house. My best guess is a female Rufous Hummingbird, probably traveling to warmer climes.

 The activity is definitely up at the hummingbird feeders, I'm thinking preparation for a looooooong trip.

 This Ruby-throated Hummingbird is showing a little bling, a single necklace of ruby.

 And this male is giving us the full-meal deal! Wonder if it is hot to touch!

 Catch the light right and that necklace really shows off.

 This lady forgot to wipe her beak after getting into some golden pollen!

 These two played tag pretty much all day, dancing around and around the feeder. They would stop for a few seconds at a time, one would launch, and the other would move over two spaces, and start again. It was great entertainment.

 A few weeks ago I was clearing the weeds and limbs for this view while the pond was dry, believing that it would be full again, and that the Lord would be sending a wonderful Fall filled with returning water birds. He is faithful! I surprised two Great Blue Herons Saturday morning, and I'm sure they will be back.

 The Cardinal and the female Lesser Goldfinch sharing some time at the office deck tube feeder.

 I always am hoping for a shot like this. Maybe later we can get the male in there and we'll have a Christmas card!

 Sitting out under the oak tree and the Cardinal landed right above me, very close.

 Periodically the corner window at the office conference room offers a close-up of a visiting bird. Today, the young Eastern Phoebe is our guest, and posed for some great shots. Shots I could get no other way.

 He was really singing, calling out 'fee-bee, fee-bee'. So much that I almost couldn't catch him with his beak closed!

 We know he is seeing his image in the glass, but unlike the Cardinal, he did not attack the bird in the mirror!

 Caught this Phoebe from my porch. They like to hang out on the pond edge and grab bugs out over the water.

 Saturday offered the opportunity to do some brush burning, and I try to keep the camera handy. The Red-shouldered Hawk was perched across the pond, watching for something scurrying in the grass. He swooped down and I knew he had something.

 After making short work of the reptile, he paused and then staged to go left.

 He took off to return to another perch nearby.

 And continued watching for another snack.

 Oh my! I've been reading about moms who nurse their babies a long time. This fawn is way past spots, and was going after mom pretty aggressively. Mom did stand still for a short time, but a very short time.

 The changing of the seasons sometimes brings quiet periods. Those are the times that if you venture off the porch, you can spy the woodpeckers that are out there knocking on wood. Here is a Ladder-backed.

 Louder and larger is the Red-bellied Woodpecker, though I never have seen any red on his belly.

 While spying on the hawk across the pond, I am surprised by what I thought was a Yellow Warbler. On further study, I am going out on a limb (so to speak) and claiming my belief that this is a Prothonotary Warbler. It would be in its western-most reaches of its area, but all the behavior and color fits better than the Yellow Warbler.

 This little Warbler was so active I had a very difficult time getting a focused shot.

What a delight to spy one like this. Seems there is always something different waiting out there for me!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ruby Red Photo Shoot

Can't get enough of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird! They are not long for this area, as September 21st is fast approaching. The activity around the feeders is up a notch, so I grabbed the opportunity for this Ruby red photo shoot. Enjoy this week's offering.

 Diligently standing guard among the live oak branches and the oak gall (not berries, but something a small wasp does, I don't really get what it is!).

 Then he just takes off, and I get one of those lucky action shots.

 My attention is diverted to the furry-tailed tree rat, stealing sunflower seeds.

 And tipping the leaf at the bird bath for a drink.

 A slow turn, and what looks like a slow burn!

If another handsome candidate is nearby, he won't escape the photographer's lens.

 Just read an article that these guys weigh in at 3 grams! And fly over the Gulf of Mexico with no available rest stops! I wonder if they weigh 2 grams when they get there.

 I'm focusing through the wire fencing here, so you can see the lines. Another lucky shot.

We'll miss you for the winter. Have a nice holiday in the tropics!