Monday, August 11, 2014

Nice Little Surprises

     Last Friday I celebrated my birthday and my thoughtful husband upgraded my software and purchased for me Adobe Photoshop, so I could break away from using iPhoto to edit my pictures. So I figured, I need to experiment and get some pictures to play with. I kept it local and headed to Prospect Park this morning where I had some very nice sights to take in, including a ruby-throated hummingbird. I have been wanting to see one all summer and today was finally the day! Also, the goldfinches are super busy and there are still curious juvenile birds who seem to be getting coordinated and slowly working on their "skills." See my bird sightings on ebird.
    As usual, lots to see, now, lets hope I didn't butcher the sights up with my not yet coordinated editing skills...
mallard on lake.
Male red wing blackbird foraging on shore of the lake.
After the red wing flew off, this Northern waterthrush took its place.
This little starling was not like the others...
This guy is piebald, at least 2 tail feathers are pure white.
While I saw a hummingbird, I did not get photos, it was one of those moments that you just watch and take it in and savor it, because in the time I would pick up my camera and get it to my face, it would have been gone and I would have had less time to observe. So instead I give you the hibiscus flowers I saw it hovering over. 
A grey catbird giving me "a look." I love the personality of this species, they tend to be bold and have no problem getting close, and even swooping at you, if you are getting too close to what is theirs.
A hidden bullfrog on the Lullwater.
Juvenile Green herons on the lullwater, there is a third, but he was lower and harder to see. Love the downy fuzz still on their bodies!

This catbird was flew all around me as I sat watching the herons. He got rather close a few times as he was capturing lacewings over the water.
The cygnets are getting big!
Cedar waxwings were everywhere, if they were on water, they were catching insects on the wing. If they were in the forested areas, they were gorging on berries!
The cottontail of the Eastern cottontail.
I think this is a zabulon skipper, found on Lookout Hill.
A seemingly shy American redstart on Lookout hill.
Totally took this through the fence, but I love this Goldfinch! These birds look like canaries (well, they are all finches, after all) but also sing beautifully. 
My favorite photo of the day, and Eastern tiger swallowtail on top of Lookout Hill.
I love catbirds, if you hear rustling, it's almost always a catbird. They are all up in everything. This one was in the wildflowers growing on top of Lookout Hill, and came out to "meow" at me, as if I ruined its morning. I didn't even know it was in the flowers!
Goldfinches are vegetarians, rarely eating insects. They eat lots of seeds and are popular at feeders, but the top of lookout hill is full of wildflowers that the birds are picking seeds from. They blend well with the field of golden flowers. 
Female red-wing blackbird.