Sunday, June 18, 2017

Past Week's Highlights - 17 Jun 2017

Raccoons have been making my life a challenge lately. Mom has babies nearby, so I'm not too upset. However, they have been forcing me to take down the feeders at night, or forcing me to blame myself for not. The worst of it is their raiding of the hummingbird nectar...

Babies are making an appearance at the feeders. We fledged 4 Black-capped Chickadees, and see them on occasion. A pair of Tufted Titmouse have appeared with youngsters in tow. Common Grackles, House Finches, European Starlings, Mourning Doves, and Goldfinches are all bringing their little ones to the feeders. The baby Northern Cardinals give me most worry. They haven't been able to master flight, so landings are a bit awkward.

A Chipping Sparrow has been singing all spring from across the street. I see it perched atop Katrina's house and belting out its song. Today, it finally made an appearance in the birch tree.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have been coming to the feeders late in the evening, just after sundown. A male and female. The male finally appeared early enough to get a photo from the deck.
Four Cedar Waxwings made a brief appearance while I sat in the grass waiting for hummingbirds. 
My little girl Buffy likes to tip-toe through the wet grass for a meal of greens. Her only interest is grass these days. I got a series of her throwing up, but I'll spare the visuals...
Asia, on the other hand, would love to catch something. But, she too, is getting old and is not quick enough to catch even a bug in the grass. However, she gets my full attention in the yard and is never allowed to wander far. She'll stare intently into the brush for mice, birds and chipmunks for eternity while the chipmunks quietly forage in the wood chips directly behind her.  Though I'd love to keep her indoors permanently there's only so much screaming and clawing at the back doors I can take before her harness and GPS chip goes on...

With the heavy winds the past 3-4 days its been difficult to get anything to stick around long. I have to settle for the songs of Eastern Towhees, Willow Flycatchers, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and Blue Jays. One particular Song Sparrow is driving me nuts with an unusual "Maids, Ti-Ti-Ti-Ter!" song that is a bit on the grating side (dunno why, its just annoying).
A Common Grackle did pose early in the morning sunshine today for a few digiscoped images from the window. As did a rabbit foraging below the feeders.

Last Sunday a Red-headed Woodpecker made an appearance at nearby Willow Metropark. I didn't have a camera then, so this morning I brought it while Robin went for a walk-run. I tailed back and practiced shooting anything that flew.  An American Robin perching on the wooden fence made for a nice early morning portrait. Baltimore Orioles were out in good numbers along the bike path between Washago Pond and Lower Huron Metropark; I even found a nest!

Wood Thrushes, Great-crested Flycatchers, House Wrens, and orioles and grosbeaks were singing away before the winds came to quiet them down. Red-eyed Vireos and Warbling Vireos also made appearances.  I got as far as the bridge over the Huron River and took a few photos of the 80 or so Cliff Swallows that are nesting below I-275 overpass.

A field of Moth Mullein were the only flowers I photographed this morning.

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