Tag Archives: birds

Backyard Birds After A Rain Shower

A Sparrow And A Robin After Rain

Robin bathes in mud puddle.
A robin bathing in a mud puddle.

I like the sound, light, and cooler weather after a rainstorm. The activity of the birds always increases just a little to as they come out from cover. After this Spring rain shower, this robin took to bathing immediately in a newly formed puddle.

Sparrow on a post.
Sparrow on a post.

This sparrow was just chirping away after the rain passed. An interesting theory I read about sparrows; Sparrows are often around man because man scares away many of their predators. I’m not sure if it’s true, but in Ohio, they always seem to be near.

There are certain more exciting and unique subjects to be photographed, but these photos are relaxing and fun. The gear was just a cheap Canon Rebel with the 250mm lens that I’ve discussed about using for nature photography previously.

Shots like these are good training for other photography too. They train your eye and muscles to react quickly to photo opportunities. If you miss a shot of a common bird, no big deal. The bird will return. That readies you for the important shots.

Birds At Dawes Arboretum

Just A Few Of The Birds And Butterflies At Dawes Arboretum

Today I took my lunch at Dawes Arboretum. What a great Spring day to take a few minutes observing wildlife. I went to the newer swamp area today and the birds were very active.

The Butterflies

I don’t know how one can look at a butterfly and not want to photograph it. They are graceful, delicate, beauty. It seems that they are all a unique piece of artwork.

Butterfly with orange and black markings.
An orange and black butterfly.
Black and blue butterfly.
Butterfly with black and blue markings.

Dawes Arboretum Has Birds In Abundance

There are many species of birds that thrive at Dawes Arboretum. Today, I was lucky to find red-tailed hawks and a Green Heron. This was my first time seeing a green heron, It stalked fish in the pond.

Red-tailed Hawk in flight.
Red-tailed hawk in flight.
Green Heron hunting in the swamp.
Green Heron hunting in the Dawes Arboretum swamp.
Blue heron in flight.
Blue heron flying.

Everett Field Park Wildlife

Everett Field Park In Newark, Ohio

About the Park

Everett Field Park is off of Everett Avenue near the Owens-Corning Plant in Newark, Ohio. It’s a large park with bicycle paths, a small river, frisbee golf, gardens, and ball diamonds. Sadly, there’s a lot of trash and it’s been heavily vandalized.

Unexpected Wildlife

This view of Owens-Corning dominates the park. It’s smell dominates too.

Owens-Corning Fiberglas plant in Newark, Ohio.
Owens-Corning Fiberglas in Newark, Ohio

If you relax, walk quietly, and start taking in the sound of the flow of the river, wildlife will start to show itself. I was looking for interesting photos. It’s was slow at first. Just dead weeds and vandalized park equipment at first glance.

Dead weeds with thorns.
Dead weeds.

I really don’t know what weeds these are in their dead state like this.

I walked along quietly. I was hoping to catch more photos of deer. This morning was different for my routine. I’d added an extra hour to allow time for photos. I ended up here with that idea. As I went on, I found some government employees passing a joint. They bolted quickly giving me an evil stare. As if I’m the bad guy, to funny.  I’m not that bad. No photos, no drama. I’ve got better things to do.

A few minutes later, I heard the uproar of ducks taking flight quickly. I swung my camera and shot. There’s nothing to original with duck photos, but I like to attempt to catch any bird in flight.

Ducks taking flight.
Ducks take flight.

When ducks just gather and take off, it’s a slow buildup to the take off. They will quack to each other and their body language will communicate that they are about to take off. This was different. One bolted and the others just instinctively took immediate flight. This was my signal that something predatory was around.

I knew I didn’t scare them to that degree. I thought maybe a group of people would be coming around the bend. I looked up to see if a hawk or an eagle was in the area. I heard some geese hissing and then, the fox seen me and bolted up the hill. He stopped to stare at me, probably hoping I’d leave so he could get breakfast.

A red fox.
A red fox staring down the hill at me.

What a rush it was to get the photo! Usually, I just get a fleeting glimpse of one running across the road.

Crow flying between power lines.
Crow flying in between the power lines.

All of this happened in about an hour of just quietly walking and observing. I never left the city limits. The world is full of cool things if you make time for them. It’s easier to sit at a desk after enjoying a little bit of nature. Realistic perspectives come easier. Life just flows better.

A Sunday Walk In The Woods Turns Exciting When An Eagle Appears

Fungus on an Old Log
Fungus grows on an old log in the forest.

The walk started out boring. The western end of The Blackhand Gorge trail is that way. If you’re quiet, you can catch deer out in the field or even a Hooded Merganser Duck in the river. Most of the time though, it’s just a well-shaded, level walk down an old railroad bed. This time was different. I’ve heard about an eagle in the area, but I never was lucky enough to see them.

We heard a loud clap on the water. Soon, we seen the huge wing span making it’s way through the woods. I thought it might be a buzzard, but the clap on the water made me pretty sure it was an eagle. Then I seen the white tail feathers to confirm that it was an eagle.

An eagle flying over Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve
An eagle flying at Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve near Newark, Ohio.

By the time we confirmed it was an eagle, it was far away. I could only make out a tiny speck on a branch. With my camera equipment, I need light and at least a monopod. I didn’t have either to get any great photos, but I love that I could at least capture a recognizable shot with what I did have.

An eagle fishing in The Licking River
Eagle scanning The Licking River for more fish.

My camera was good enough to see that he was eating a fish. I watched him for a while as he scanned for more. My wife walked down near towards him to get him to fly. It worked, but he had seen us and just moved further away. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that we were annoying the bird’s fishing so we turned and left him alone.

It’s great to see some of Ohio’s wildlife return and to be as common as this. I remember when seeing a deer was somewhat rare when I was a boy believe it or not. I still get excited when I get a chance to take photos of deer too. It’s these shots that make me wonder why I’m not in the woods more.

A Sparrow In Hawthorne Trees

Have you ever been around a Hawthorne tree? They are not a tree you want in your yard. The thorns are sharp as needles and tough as nails. They will rip holes in mower tires, your clothes, and you.

Somehow sparrows jump from branch to branch and the thorns never bother them. It was interesting to watch.

Sparrow in a Hawthorne tree.
Sparrow in a Hawthorne tree.

I read that many birds actually prefer thorny plants and that hawthorn trees are excellent for attracting them. Nature must have given them special ways of dealing with the thorns.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

I hope everyone has a great holiday season.

Wild turkey at Blendon Woods
Wild turkey at Blendon Woods

I was looking for a photo to post that had something to do with Thanksgiving and I found this photo of a turkey and it reminded me of something to be thankful for.

I took this photo at Blendon Woods near Columbus, Ohio quite a few years ago. I had been laid off for quite a while and things where looking bleak. I went to work for a delivery company to make ends meet until something came up. Instead of worrying to much about the situation, I went to the park to ponder solutions.

I seen a flock of turkeys and slowly stalked them with the cheap camera I had. Watching them humored me and kept me occupied for a little while. It took my mind off of how dire the financial situation had become.

Things got back to normal and I’m very thankful for my job, friends, and family. I’m thankful for the tougher times too. They teach you to be more humble and simple. Sooner or later, things in life break. It’s good to know how to stay simple and humble to get through them. Always be thankful.

Day 58 365 Project

Seagulls At Buckeye Lake
Seagulls At Buckeye Lake During Winter Storm

I didn’t get a photo today. When that happens I go back a few days and see what didn’t make it before and choose from those. Some days you can get a bunch, others life gets in the way.

Seagulls are my favorite birds to watch. They are supreme survivalists and opportunists. They show up everywhere, from the deserts to the oceans. They’re not afraid of anything and they’re always checking us humans out to see if we’re got anything for them.

These birds seemed to actually enjoy the snowstorm.

Day 35 365 Project

Geese taking flight.
Geese take flight after startled by a shotgun blast.

Today is a cheat day on the project. This photo is from this last weekend when we hung out at Buckeye Lake on a frozen Winter day.

There was a huge flock of geese at the lake. A homeowner decided to scare them off with a few shotgun blasts and when that happened, what a spectacle to see the skies fill with hundreds of squawking geese.

Spring Is Almost Here

It finally was warm enough for a comfortable long hike so I went to Dawes Arboretum this morning to check it out.  The pond is still frozen over and the trails were muddy, but the birds were out. –

Pond at Dawes Arboretum In March
Bench overlooking the pond and island at Dawes Arboretum in early March.

 

Blue Jay On A Branch
A Blue Jay
Cardinal peeking out from cover.
Cardinal peeking From Cover