Piles of Sadness

So I was off most of this week with the holiday and whatnot, so when I got back to work on Thursday I found a large pile of sadness waiting for me. I cannot believe how much crap can accumulate in just two days of not being in the office. Two days! In the heat of the moment I felt the need to capture what I was feeling which resulted in this picture. Yeah it’s not the best picture in the world but it makes me laugh every time I look at it.

AnguishAnguish!

In other news, got some great birding pictures on one of my last trips out. Here are some of my favorite shots. 🙂

Red-tailed hawk being mobbed by a red-winged blackbird

Red-tailed hawk being harassed by a red-winged blackbird.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole.

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch.

Pretty Ballsy There, Mr. Starling

Lately I have had to get my bird cam fix with alternatives since my favorite Decorah Eagles picked their ‘away nest’ and we can’t watch them raise their babies this season. The Cornell Ornithology Lab has several bird cams up right now, including this Red-Tailed Hawk nest cam.

I was watching the cam out of the corner of my eye as I was working on other things and then all of a sudden a European Starling lands just above the incubating parent (I haven’t become familiar enough with the hawk parents to tell them apart without them being next to one another). Pretty ballsy move there Mr. Starling, considering how close you are to a predator. Pretty ballsy indeed.

Ballsy European Starling

Dancing on the Thin Branches

I had a very enjoyable solo birding excursion this past weekend. The weather was cool but there is something about it that says to me that spring really is just around the corner (thank goodness!). I’ve about had it with winter even though I’ve had fun identifying bird species that are only here during the colder months. I didn’t see any new species which was a bummer, but I did get some great shots of what seemed to be a not very bright red-tailed hawk. This hawk didn’t seem to understand that the thinner the branches are, the less likely they will support its weight. Repeatedly this hawk would venture onto extreme thin branches in the tree and seem to be baffled as to why it could not maintain its balance. The hawk seemed to be dancing (read flailing) as it attempted to stay steady on its perch. I found this whole thing very amusing and watched this bird for a good ten minutes or so before it flew off after its mate.

Here are some of the shots I got of this branch dance:

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Tasty, Tasty Mouse-thingy

I finally dragged my butt out for a birding session after being laid up for about a week with whatever strand of office illness I had been infected with. I decided to try an evening bird walk to see what sort of luck I would have. The weather was absolutely perfect – low 70’s with a light breeze to keep the annoying bugs off. Though one bug did manage to fly right into my ear which I promptly accidentally smooshed in my ear when I went to brush it away. That whole experience was delightful of course.

I don’t know if it was just blind luck or what, but I happened to be in the exact right place at the exact right time to witness a Red-tailed hawk catch its dinner. I also managed to snap some pictures as it flew with its meal up into a pine tree. I basically got to watch it eat its mouse thing – the hawk could not have cared less that I was there. I am thinking that this was the same hawk that posed for me last time but I will have to do some major picture comparisons to match markings and be sure. Gotta love it when they pose for picture like that 🙂

Hawk On A Limb

I seem to be having a lot of luck lately capturing photographs of some awesome birds when I am out birding. Most recently I was delighted when what I believe to be a Red-Tailed Hawk decided to pose for me on an exposed branch.

I went birding for about two hours early on Labor Day trying to beat the heat. At about 9am the temperature was started to get to the icky level (at least for me) and I was ready to head home to AC and a change a clothes. I was on my way back to the parking lot heading for home – my camera already stashed safely in my bag -when I saw s/he sitting on the branch. I froze. I started doing a chant under my breath of “do not move – stay right there, do not move – stay right there.” Apparently my subliminal messages worked because I got some great pictures. Thanks for waiting for me to get my camera out Mr. Hawk!

A few of my other favorite shots from that day: