Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fish splash

Yesterday, after returning from feeding the trout in our casting pond, Yoshi told me he thought it would be interesting to see if I could possibly get a photograph of one of them leaping out of the pond; the fish tend to get pretty enthusiastic in pursuit of their food pellets, to the point where they sometimes clear the surface entirely as they make their grab. So after we ate our lunch today we headed on out to the pond to give it a whirl—Yoshi threw the food out into the water, and I snapped the pictures.

Despite the fact that I took more than 200 photos, I didn't get the kind of shot Yoshi was looking for; it was overcast and rainy here, and I suspect I'll have better luck on a day with at least a little sunshine, as it'd allow me to use a faster shutter speed. But I still ended up with a few interesting pictures, so it's not like it was a total waste of time.

To start things off, a fish with its head almost completely out of the water:

This photo was the next shot in the sequence, and I figured I'd share it for two reasons. One, it's a fairly impressive splash. And two, since the fish is completely submerged again you get a good sense of why it's a challenge to try and catch one mid-flight, so to speak—the entire jump is over in less than a second:

In this one you can see the backs of two different fish, as well as the wake left by a third:

I probably wouldn't have shared this one if I hadn't noticed it actually has two visible fish in it—one at the surface of the water and one right underneath it:

Another trout popping its head out:

I realize it's a bit difficult to make out, but there is a fish just starting to break the surface of the water in the center of this shot:

I only picked it out myself after I'd seen this next photo in the sequence, as it was when I saw its wake that I realized there was a fish there at all. In fact, only the very tip of the tail is actually visible in this shot—it's the effect it had on the water that was most definitely eye-catching:

If we don't get a chance to try again before the water temperature sends the fish into hibernation, I'm definitely going to make another attempt at fish photography come spring. Most likely after ingesting a half dozen espressos to improve my reflexes...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mixed nuts

My feeder was a popular place this morning, particularly with the White-breasted Nuthatches—I don't think five minutes went by without my seeing one helping itself to some breakfast. There weren't a lot of interactions between the birds, though, as they seemed just fine with taking turns rather than chasing each other away. So there's not much in the way of action photos among today's selections; just a bunch of solo shots like this first one of a nuthatch sitting on one of the bottom perches:

I'm not sure if this one's got a pecan or a walnut in his beak:

Throwing in a photo of a Titmouse just to mix things up a bit:

The peanuts continue to be a popular choice:

Changing position on one of the middle perches:

And finally, a nuthatch about to take off with a walnut:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday with the birds

Quite a few pictures today, so I'm just going to get right to it.

A Titmouse about to crunch down on a seed:

Apparently this Titmouse didn't like the taste of the first seed it grabbed:

A big score:

I caught this Titmouse just as it started to take off:

A few shots of a Goldfinch that spent a fair amount of time on the feeder this morning:

Welcoming a Chickadee to the feeder:

Watching another Chickadee come in for a landing:

But apparently that Chickadee felt like three would be too much of a crowd when a second Chickadee tried to join them:

This Chickadee snagged itself a pistachio:

And then kept a close eye on this bird as it approached the feeder:

Taking off with its pistachio while the second bird is otherwise occupied:

I'm pretty sure this is a female White-breasted Nuthatch; the wing tips aren't as colorful as I've seen on other nuthatches, and the stripe on its head is a bit gray:

By comparison, this bird's head stripe is solidly black, its shoulder feathers are a more vibrant slate-blue, and the wings have a lot more color along the edges. So I'm pegging it as a male White-breasted Nuthatch:

Another male nuthatch grabbing a bite to eat:

Finally, I took this photo of a male White-breasted Nuthatch during a rare moment of sunshine this afternoon; I loved how the light brought out the color of his visible eye:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quiet Saturday

An evening spent enjoying a great meal with my family and some good friends has left me in one of those digestive stupors where you can barely muster enough brainpower to change into pants with an elastic waistband, much less try and put coherent sentences together. Which is why I'm going to keep this brief: between the busy parking lot this morning and snow squalls this afternoon, visitors to my bird feeder were few and far between. So I brought my camera along to my parents' house, as we'd made plans to carpool to the restaurant, and managed to take a few pictures there before it got too dark for outdoor photography.

A Junco searching for seeds in a patch of grass it'd just cleared off:

Puffed up against the cold:

And a Chickadee on the thistle feeder:

Finally, a photo of Kaylee; for whatever reason, she decided to sequester herself behind the couch for most of the afternoon, and while she did emerge briefly to say hello when I arrived it didn't take her long to squeeze herself back there once again:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Birds, birds, and more birds

I spent the day over at Mom and Dad's today, so I've got a ton of pictures to share. And seeing as how my brain feels like it's still frozen from the time I spent sitting outside photographing birds on the feeder, I'm just going to jump right on it.

A Hairy Woodpecker with what seems like an unusually large white patch on its back; on the other side of the mesh feeder is a Red-breasted Nuthatch:

Same woodpecker, this time with a couple of Titmice sharing the frame:

A series of shots of some Goldfinches on the thistle feeder next to the blue spruce tree:

A Goldfinch and its reflection:

A Blue Jay moving up from the ground to the feeder:

A Chickadee on an unusual angle of approach as it heads for the mesh feeder:

Another Chickadee hopping down off the hook:

Checking out the suet:

Heading right toward where I was sitting by the feeder:

I liked the way this Chickadee's wing and tail were fanned out:

It's a bit hard to see, but this Chickadee sitting inside the mesh feeder has a huge beakful of food:

A few Titmouse shots:

A better look at the Red-breasted Nuthatch:

And its counterpart, the White-breasted Nuthatch:

I liked this one because of the Chickadee you can also see in the background:

A moment of peaceful coexistence:

One last Goldfinch shot:

And finally, Kaylee. As you can see, she's still recovering from her Thanksgiving fun; I put the camera on the floor to take this shot: