Despite the back and forth tug-of-war between spring and extended winter ( another big dump of snow over the weekend, possibly more later this week, although today it was all gone and it was sunny and mild) I am seeing more types of birds each week as many species filter back from their southern wintering grounds.
Today's shots, with one exception, are all birds, and are only a sample of the species I've seen. I also saw and photographed dark-eyed juncos, sandhill cranes, various ducks, lots of crows and magpies, kildeer, red-tail hawks, and a pair of northern harriers. These are in addition to the "regulars" of sparrows, chickadees, blue jays, nuthatches, merlins and sharp-shinned hawks. For someone who doesn't consider herself a birder, I do seem to pay a lot of attention to the local bird population.
I stopped the car en route to the barn one day last week to observe this raven having a snack by the side of the road. He stayed put for quite a while, but eventually got annoyed with me and flew right over the car as he exited the area, with his little vole lunch clasped firmly in his beak. Ravens are scavengers and are good at cleaning up the small bodies they find on their travels.
The cedar waxwings are still around my area of the city. I spotted several large flocks one day as I came home from the stables, and was thrilled to see yet another group of several hundred in one of the trees on my own property. They make a very distinctive noise, and when you get a large group such as this, the air vibrates with their sound. You feel that you can almost *see* the shimmering noise they make.
The weekend was dreadful with cold, winds and a heavy wet snowfall. I got this shot of a poor disconsolate American robin as it sat on the trellis in our front yard. Prior to that, it had been huddling on our front step right at the door, taking shelter under the entryway overhang. I'm sure he's wondering why he didn't delay his return for a couple of weeks. He does look kind of depressed.
There aren't as many Canada geese as I would expect to see at this time of April. This one was, I'm sure, dismayed to find that there was still ice on its usual nesting pond.
Although we're barely out of the past winter, it's time to apply for space at the big pre-Christmas art and craft sales for Christmas 2014. I've been taking some shots of new works to include with my booth applications. The shows I do are juried annually, and just because you've been accepted before, doesn't automatically give you a space in the upcoming year's shows. This is acrylic paint and mediums on an 8" x 8" tile.