Mixed February

It has been an up-and-down month for photos. I downloaded pictures from an SD card the other day and noticed that at one point I had gone for five days without taking a single picture.

We had a stretch of gray days, but we’ve also had a fair share of birds. My daily species count is often in the high 20’s so that’s always satisfying. And the species I encounter varies greatly from day-to-day. One day I’ll see both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets; another day and I won’t see any at all.

Northern Cardinal

Another thing that lends to higher counts is that there’s a lot of chatter around in the woods. The Northern Cardinals have picked up their science fiction sounds after a fall-through-winter hiatus. The Brown Thrashers are starting their twice-times imitations of other birds. I saw three different Eastern Phoebes this morning singing fee-bee-fee-bee-fee-bee. And Northern Flickers are calling to one another with their wicka-wicka-wicka cry.

The Barred Owl seems to be a regular visitor right now, as do the Double-crested Cormorants and the Belted Kingfisher. (I still haven’t been able to get close enough to the Kingfisher to get a good picture. I think it’s teasing me.) A Great-blue Heron has dropped in a few times.

Barred Owl

The owl (or owls) has become quite a thing around the pond. The other day I walked down the drive to look for it and there was a crowd gathered. That didn’t seem to disturb the owl as it has been back several times since then.

The owl is big enough that it’s hard not to notice. Here’s a much smaller bird that’s quite easy to miss. The coloration on the Brown Creeper is an excellent disguise. But if you know to look for a moving shape creeping up and around the trunk of larger trees, you’ll see one.

Brown Creeper

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