Let’s begin with THIS<<link notice from the Illinois DNR. Basically, it’s a warning about the EA H5N1 strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) currently impacting some wild and domestic bird species. As a result, they recommend stopping the use of bird feeders and birdbaths until the end of May. I’ll have additional important information at the end of the post. (See what I did there? I used the ole “Details at 11:00” ruse to maybe have a few additional readers stick around until the end.)

I like birds, so on April 22nd I pulled all my feeders and emptied my birdbaths. But, not before I sat outside for a few hours photographing birds from my covered patio. This then is a post harkening back to the posts of yore, when I used to publish long posts with lots of photos. Posts that few people read, and even fewer readers stuck with it to the end.

If I use all the photos I post-processed, I’ll end up with 104 photos in this post (I had nearly 300 photos), but because some photos are similar to each other, I’ll probably have a tad fewer than that . . . but still more than what current readers might be used to.

Right! Let’s begin with a White-throated Sparrow . . .

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Welcome to the third bird feeders bird post. This post has photos (Nikon D7500) and videos (Nikon P900) from December 16, 2021. Also, videos from the 15th.

The 16th was another warmish — if wet — day, and I sat outside for a few hours watching the wildlife. I shot 99 photos, and I managed to pare them down to 64.

Because I’m still working out the whole embedding thing, these will be loaded as I usually do, which means I’ll have galleries to help readers speed through the photos as opposed to having readers wear out the scroll wheel of their mouse. I calculated that based on the amount of storage I have left, the actual number of photos I can upload might be as many as 4,500 (depending on the sizes). That’s more than I’d estimated before, so that’s nice.

I’m also breaking with tradition and not presenting the photos in the order they were shot.

Tufted Titmouse using my Nikon D7500

Much like the last post, this is not a super-great photo of a Tufted Titmouse. What can I say? Sometimes, my luck runs out and my lack of talent shines through, even if I’m using the Nikon D7500 with the excellent 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. I could blame the poor lighting and the rain, but it’s all on me. However, I got luckier after that . . .

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Welcome to the second bird feeders bird post.

The weather having been unusually warm (we had a few days in the 70s and a number of days in the middle and upper 60s … in December) I have lots of photos to share . . . and if it’s anything like my cruise photos effort, I’ll probably finish sharing them sometime in late 2024.

Overall, I’ve been pleased with the bird attendance at the feeders, this being winter and all, and I look forward to more of a showing once Spring rolls around, which, at this rate, will probably be in the middle of January.

Sneak peek of a Tufted Titmouse using my Nikon P900

I’ll have more off those guys in future posts. They are cagey and seldom sit still long enough for a shot when at the feeders, hence why the P900’s long zoom came in handy for that opportunity.

I don’t remember if I mentioned it, but — weather permitting — I sit outside with a cup of coffee and the two cameras (Nikon P900 and Nikon D7500 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens) for a few hours during the time the birds are most active. Even if there’s little avian activity, I still shoot photos of shrubs, rocks, leaves, etc.

Most of those photos get blown away (yes, I occasionally get rid of photos), but what I’m doing as I wait for birds, is trying different settings, learning what the cameras can and cannot do, and finding the best settings for the conditions.

American Robin photographed using my Nikon P900

And, what are the conditions?

Well, this set of photos are samples from two days — December 14 and 16 — and both days were overcast and featured an occasional raindrop or two (a few raindrops are visible on that photo, and you can see water drops on the bird’s tail).

In that particular photo, the bird was about twenty feet away. This next bird was about 160 feet away.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

A little over a week ago, I broke down and bought a few bird feeders.

In Michigan, I used to have multiple feeders. In Colorado, I sought to duplicate my bird-feeding habits but ran into a problem with field mice getting into the house and garage (field mice droppings contain some nasty stuff), not to mention one had to bring feeders in at night lest one attracted bears.

I’m pretty sure I won’t have bear problems in my backyard, and I’m hoping field mice stay in the fields. Wait, I take that back. There was a confirmed bear sighting about 30 miles north of us (LINK).

Fortuitous capture of a White-throated Sparrow using my Nikon P900

Anyway, that White-throated Sparrow was one of the first birds to arrive at the feeders.

Well, actually, on the ground. I spread some no-waste feed on the ground to attract the ground feeders. The thinking was that other birds would then investigate.

Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco photographed using my Nikon P900

The other first arrivals were one of my favorite bird species, Dark-eyed Junco. I’ll have more to say about them below.

I should note a few things about me, cameras, and birds. Because the weather has been warm enough (if a bit cloudy and wet), I sat outside for a few hours at a time just so I could observe and photograph the birds. The feeder is about 15 feet away from where I sit, but the edge of the patio — where those two birds were photographed — is about 25 feet away. My neighbor’s bushes are about 45 feet from my chair.

So, there’s me, my coffee, and both the P900 and the D7500 with either the 70-200mm or the 70-300mm lenses on it. You might thus notice a difference between various photos, with the DSLR photos perhaps (but not always) offering better quality. And, that’s all I’ll probably say about photography and cameras.

Following the difficulties of my last Vimeo videos publishing effort, I tweaked the settings on the Vimeo side of things to see if it will improve my experience here. The thing is, I’m starting with wide-open everything, and that’s not what I want.

What I want is to restrict where videos can be embedded and only visible to people with links. Unfortunately, about half the time WordPress’s Vimeo block pisses all over my efforts. So, I’m trying settings I really don’t want to see if I can cajole the caca Block Editor into playing nice.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

We begin with a fairly easy “find the hummingbird” . . .

. . . followed by an extremely easy “find the hummingbird” . . .

Letsee . . . what to talk about today?

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

That grackle did something I’ve not seen other birds do — it rinsed the worm it’s holding.
Notice the meal also includes a salad portion (grass blades).

What do that title even mean? Does it have anything to do with scat? Am I resorting to fecal humor? And what’s with all them adjectives?

Whoa there, Bob! That’s a lot of questions . . . lemme ‘splain . . .

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow can run a full-screen slideshow if you click on the corresponding icon. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Many of the bird photos I share are snapped as I sit and look out onto the backyard from the covered patio. Generally, that’s early morning — sometimes between 7:00am and 10:00am — when the weather permits it.

The birds are more active early on, flying hither and fro and, like the robin in the photo above, occasionally avail themselves of one of the two birdbaths we keep filled, fresh, and clean.

The Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories are active and the stories have yet to drawn first, second, and third blood (as I write this). You can be the first to vote!

Of course, you have no obligation to do anything . . . but it sure would be swell — if you’ve not already done so — if you would read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Oh, here are a few photos before you go reading the stories . . .

That’s from the pond at King’s Shops on the Big Island . . . home of our favorite fish and chips (the previous post where I mention them is HERE<<link — the fish and chips, not the fish).

Honest, given all that’s happening, it feels weird asking people to read and vote for one of the “Alphabet Challenge I-Stories” HERE.

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. And, after voting, readers can spread the news about the story to friends and family. Maybe.

I say ‘maybe’ because of all the stuff occupying people’s minds. Economy, riots, injustice, unemployment, pandemic, the breakdown of checks and balances in government, the threat of civil war, the imposition of religion by the government, and buffoons who want nothing more than for all of this to blow up and become chaos . . . how am I supposed to write fiction against this backdrop?

I mean, if someone six years ago would have described to me these conditions (including the fact we have an immature, semi-illiterate, and childish occupant in the Oval Office), I would have advised them that, as fiction, it was just too far-fetched . . . and yet, here we are.

Anyway, babies and teens  . . . .

About week left to indulge in reading the “I” Stories submissions. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite of the “Alphabet Challenge I-Stories” HERE.

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. And, after voting, readers can spread the news about the story to friends and family. Maybe.

So, May 23, 2020 . . . a day that will go down as . . . a day like many others, but with lots of birds.

If you’re not anxious to exercise your right to go out in public, I have a suggestion:  read the “I” Stories submissions. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite of the “Alphabet Challenge I-Stories” HERE.

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. And, after voting, readers can spread the news about the story to friends and family. Maybe.

So, birds . . .

I realize everyone is rushing out and hugging each other and coughing in each other’s faces, but when you come back in to your shelter, here’s something you could do:  read the “I” Stories submissions. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite of the “Alphabet Challenge I-Stories” HERE.

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. And, after voting, readers can spread the news about the story to friends and family. Maybe.

So, eggs and birds . . . .

Some might remember these photos:

Cardinal eggs

Robin’s eggs

Let’s get this out of the way . . . It’s been four days since the “H” stories went up and me being too busy to plug them resulted in a low vote count.

Therefore, ergo, thus, here’s a quick reminder to — if so inclined — please read the stories. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite of the “Alphabet Challenge H-Stories” HERE.

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. If you have friends (I mean, even I have a few, so I imagine most readers have many, many friends), you can share that link and help expand the readership. I mean, we’re not professional writers, but there’s usually at least one decent story in the bunch.

So, photos.

Specifically, Samsung Note 8 photos. I mentioned before I’ve been lax in covering Note 8 photography, so let’s jump in with both feet, shall we? Oh, I often frame them, but these won’t be. Also, I’m breaking from chronologically presenting the photo to fit the narrative style of the presentation.