Friday, June 26, 2009


We said good-bye to our bunny Buddy this afternoon. We don't know why he stopped eating two weeks ago, but after several vet visits, many doses of medicines and force feedings that he hated, it was time to let him go. Knowing it was the right thing to do doesn't stop my heart from aching.
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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Cute vs Fierce!

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are adorable.

Cuteness cubed.

Like little olive colored Easter Peeps-

Couldn't you just pop one in your mouth?

While I was watching the Kinglets at Hasty Brook I felt I was being watched. I saw a big bird- a raptor out of the corner of my eye. It flew from right to left behind me, swooped down twenty feet to the creek level and disappeared. I didn't get a good look but had a feeling for wide wings. I've seen Northern Goshawks punch through our woods chasing Ruffed Grouse on several occasions but his bird was smaller. I felt that the bird had buzzed me, it came pretty close. Later that afternoon, coming out of the camper I caught a quick look at a hawk flying off from the birch snag nearest the feeders. Same one? The next day I was quite sure I saw the same bird perched in that snag as I walked up the driveway. As I got nearer it dropped down into the trees and flew off across the creek. Later on, sipping a cup of coffee, it flew back into the birch. A Broad-winged Hawk!
It sat in that tree about twenty feet away and about fifteen feet over my head. I watched it for a bit, then slowly brought my camera up. It looked at me a few times and started calling. High pitched but soft, two part kee-eeee. It gave me goosebumps.

The birds at the feeders went silent and still. The hawk didn't seem interested in them. It was looking around the ground-

There- one of the chipmunks. The chipmunk seemed oblivious to the raptor glaring down. The hawk's head swiveled up and down, left and right but its eyes never left the chipmunk. Just as I though it would launch itself toward the ground, my dog let out a woof and trotted over to defend her yard from those wicked little "chippies." Poor old Gidget makes occasional half-hearted attempts to catch chippies and then has to lie down from the hard work.
The hawk flew off and I haven't seen it since. It was only a few minutes but it's a memory that I won't forget.
Thanks to Susan Gets Native for confirming my id on the Broad-winged Hawk.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Seven Seconds With a Black and White Warbler

My sit still and wait method paid off.
It was seven seconds from the first shot to the last.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Hasty Critters

We put out a mineral lick last year and it was a huge hit so we brought a new one up the last time we visited. Red Squirrel found it first and that little tyrant defended it LOUDLY the whole weekend.
This is MINE! ALL MINE!!
I love to bring a chair down to the creek to sit and watch. I have the best success with birding by choosing a spot and sitting quietly for a while.
A mink popped into view. He gave me a look over and because I sat still he soon went about his business of fishing in the creek. I didn't have my big lens with me. He was actually quite close.
Uh-oh! Something's coming!
Our dog Gidget sniffed me out and came wandering through the brush to be with me.
The mink slipped off the log and started swimming toward me. When he realized how close I was he swam under the log to the right in the picture and disappeared.

I sat on the steps for a long time waiting to get this Canada Warbler. I had heard him singing earlier but he just wouldn't come out in the open. Not a great picture, but the best I could get.

My son John snapped this picture of our first ever Oriole at Hasty Brook! I had just set the hummingbird feeder out and in he flew. He took a long drink and was chased off by a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Another bird along the creek was this Common Yellowthroat. He's a sneaky little guy, popping up for a look, then dropping back into the grass. A little pishing brought him up long enough for a quick photo.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were paired up and mating. Look at how well camouflaged they are from the back.

They were constantly checking out the sap wells.

I got a lifer that last weekend- the Olive-sided Flycatcher! It is a decent sized bird that would fly quite high catching insects, then land up at the top of a birch snag to eat what it had caught. We watched for quite a while as it caught bees and dragonflies in the air.

I was pretty sure of the id but sent it off to Hap in New Hope for confirmation.
Thanks Hap!
Chestnut-sided Warblers were everywhere. I love these warblers. They're beautiful and cheerful and have a nice song. They also seem quite curious of us as we move about. I can always count on one of them to sit nicely for a photo.