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Advantage Grackle (CYW Royal Purple)

Grackle

The iridescent purple head and golden eye are distinctive features of a grackle. This smart bird was supposed to be too big for this feeder, but it figured out a way to get some food! It used its size to its advantage by reaching its head around to grab a tasty treat!

Here is another view:

Grackle 2

*posted for JNW’s color your world challenge: royal purple
I love those mystery (is it purple or is it blue?) colors!

Atop A Perch

Starling Atop

This European Starling must have a great view from atop a perch in an old tree! Talk about a bird’s eye view; this bird can see it all! Sometimes viewed as a nuisance bird, I think the starling is interesting and beautiful in its own right. It certainly stands out against the clear blue sky.

Here is another picture of the bird, nesting in a tree cavity and taking in the view.

Nesting Starling

*posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge: atop

Even Familiar Roads

Eastern Phoebe in the Park

Eastern Phoebe in the Park

(4 photos) I often take a walk in the park. The road taken to the park is not new to me. The pathway around the park is not new to me.

Of course, I am always looking for birds. This weekend, on a walk in the park, I saw an Eastern Phoebe bird for the first time! Yes, this was exciting to me! Even though many people already know of this bird, it felt like a new discovery to me. Sometimes, even the familiar road, often taken, will offer a surprise!

Today, I had the pleasure of seeing and photographing four kinds of birds. The Eastern Phoebe, pictured above, is a flycatcher and I watched it swoop low to the ground to catch bugs in mid flight!

I also watched a White-Breasted Nuthatch, upside down, pecking and posing in a tree.

Nuthatch in the Park

Nuthatch in the Park

The park is a haven for bluebirds with bluebird boxes spaced all around. This Eastern Bluebird perched prettily on a branch.

Bluebird in the Park

Bluebird in the Park

And, I got to see, and hear, this sweet song sparrow! It was singing its little heart out!

Song Sparrow in the Park

Song Sparrow in the Park

These little birds, so vivid and distinctive from one another, are amazing and fill me with wonder. I just want to take pictures of them all! It’s a good thing that I know which road to take to find them!

daily post weekly photo challenge: the road taken
and daily prompt: vivid

Sky blue and bluejay too (CYW)

Sky blue and bluejay too

Sky blue and bluejay too

JNW’s Color Your World photo challenge theme for today is sky blue. I just love a clear blue sky! And, if you look close, you can see the pretty blue feathers on this bluejay too! I was double blessed with the beautiful view!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Suburb-The Changing Seasons V2 (February 2017)

Podium

Podium

Podium Haiku (Parked)

Lonely at the top
Parked upon a podium
Solitary view

***
Here is my second post of the year for Cardinal Guzman’s monthly photo challenge The Changing Seasons. The picture pairs coastal and inland elements. About five hours from the beach, this seagull (along with a small flock) has settled at a local shopping mall parking lot. Parking lot poles have become a part of this ring-billed gull’s natural environment! It still seems strange to see an ocean bird perched on the mall light pole when the shore is so far away. The expanse of gray asphalt must look like the ocean from up above!

Looking up gulls in my bird guide, I learned that the ring-billed gull is actually a widely seen gull found on all bodies of water and it is common to my area in the winter. Most interesting to me, the guide says these birds are often seen loitering around parking lots looking for handouts of food! Smart birds!

Yellow Rumped Warbler (CYW-Yellow)

Yellow Rumped Warbler Mid Landing

Yellow Rumped Warbler Mid Landing

Do you see the yellow on this bird’s side? Last April, I saw this flash of yellow up in a tree. I managed to get a few pictures of the moving bird, and then looked it up in my bird guide when I got home. It was a Yellow Rumped Warbler!

It was pretty high up in the tree and it was not sitting still, but I could see spots of yellow that intrigued me.

Turning to Show its Yellow Rump Feathers

Turning to Show its Yellow Rump Feathers

Here is a closer view. He is hiding his head, but you can see the yellow side and the yellow rump-patch that I was able to use for identification! I was very excited to add this bird to my list of sightings! According to my guidebook, this bird would usually be seen around here in the winter, but I saw it in the spring. And, I haven’t seen one since.

Yellow Rump in Closer View

Yellow Rump in Closer View

These may not be perfect bird photos, but I still like them. So, maybe you will enjoy them too!

*to see more yellow themed photos, check out JNW’s Color Your World Photo Challenge: Yellow

Suburb-The Changing Seasons V2 (Jan 2017)

Tightrope

Tightrope

Suburb Haiku (Tightrope)

Walking the tightrope
Between city and country
Conveniences

***
This is my first 2017 post for year three of Cardinal Guzman’s photo challenge, The Changing Seasons. You can post a photo gallery (V1) or a single photo (V2) that showcases your view of the month. You can check out his page for the general challenge rules and join right in! His photos are fantastic! Like last year, I am planning to add a haiku along with my V2 photo each month. Even though it has been said that a picture paints a thousand words, I like pairing pictures and words; both can still mean different things to different people.

I enjoy seeing everyone else’s posts. I love seeing your big city scenes. I love seeing your wide open country views. Like me, some of you live in between – the suburbs. That’s cool; I enjoy your perspective, too. I really think it’s the best of both worlds for me.

Looking through my pictures for the month got me thinking. At first, I thought that the picture I selected for this month would have been better if the bird was in the tree instead of on a wire. But then, I realized that this is a suburb bird. The utility wires are as much a part of his life as the tree branches – this is his natural environment!

I am going to start looking for harmony in the pairing of natural and manufactured elements common to my suburban life!

All my previous Changing Seasons posts are in one place under the Changing Seasons header at the top of the page. And, I also have a bird header where all my bird pictures are gathered.
Take a look around my blog if you are interested! Comments are welcome!

Graceful Flight

Graceful

Graceful

There is little more graceful than a bird in flight. Soaring, gliding, owning the sky.

*posted in response to the daily post weekly photo challenge: graceful
This week, we are challenged to show something that exists harmoniously with its surroundings!

Eastern Towhee (CYW Brown and Burnt Sienna)

Adult Female Red-Eyed Eastern Towhee

Adult Female Red-Eyed Eastern Towhee

I spotted this cool little bird on my back porch back in April. It was the first and only time I saw it during my backyard bird watching. I just happened to look out my back door at the right time. In fact, I took this picture through the door window because I didn’t want to scare it away! I felt I was lucky to capture pictures for identification.

I learned that this brown bird with roufus sides was an adult female red-eyed eastern towhee. That’s a big name for such a little bird!

Eastern Towhee on my Porch

Eastern Towhee on my Porch

*posted for two of JNW’s Color Your World Photo Challenges : Brown and Burnt Sienna

Along the Peaceful Path

Path

Path

Here is a literal view of a park path that I often take. I like to walk in the park on weekends. It’s an easy walk. I just stroll and take in all the sights and sounds of nature. The birds chirp and the creek babbles. The foliage along the creek changes according to the seasons. On the day of this photo, I was surprised to see pretty woodland sunflowers along the path. They seemed to have bloomed without notice and seemed like a gift!

Wild Woodland Sunflowers

Wild Woodland Sunflowers

I stay on the lookout for peaceful paths all year, paths removed from the tiring pace and common stresses of the world. I keep coming back to this same path. While it’s familiarity gives me comfort, I can also be pleasantly surprised to spot new birds and flowers along the way. Obviously, I like to take my camera along and take pictures of the sights.

Robin above the Creek

Robin above the Creek

This year, I discovered the real joy of birdwatching. I never understood the appeal until I took the time to notice all the special details (which continue to amaze me) of the different birds that I saw! I took lots of bird pictures, in the park and in my backyard, and shared some on my blog. You can click on the birds header at the top of the page to see pictures. I still have more to post when I get a chance. And, I plan to stay a birder in 2017. Birdwatching has been added to my list of interests, along with nature strolls, photography and blogging!

I hope to develop new interests in 2017 that bring me peace and joy! Positive suggestions welcome! Happy 2017!

***
Posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge:
Path

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