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Preview: nature tales and camera trails

nature tales and camera trails

nature photography ( mainly birds) found in New Brunswick, Canada

Updated: 2018-03-15T08:35:58.891-03:00


My first spring duck sighting,a male Hooded Merganser


The same time period, the same location, the same species: This is what I love about nature, .loyaltly, dependability faith in it’s return migration. Every year at this time I go to the same location to stand on a highway bridge overlooking a river to find that HoodedMergansers have returned to the river . In 2017 , I saw the first mergansers there in the river on March the 10th. This year, 2018, I saw the first Hooded Merganser on March the 13th! Yes! I was standing on the bridge with my camera and I saw a dark speck in the distance and so I took a picture of the speck with my 75- 300 zoom lens.
After downloading my pictures at home I cropped
and zoomed on the distant speck and was delighted when I realized it was a male Hooded Merganser!!
I am anxious to return to that location as I expect ( hope) to find a male Common Goldenye there! However we have been experiencing a nor 'easter with a bit of now which is now blocking our driveway and we have not gotten our car out yet.  The storm warning has now ended and the rain which is expected this afternoon will ease the driveway s situation somewhat! And soon I can return to my bridge viewing location.

Bringing my birding activities indoors for the winter.


I don't like winter, especially the cold temperatures! This winter I have seen very few birds at our bird feeders, plus with the ice and snow on the ground I have had faced difficulties keeping the feeders refilled ( As I have a tendency to fall easily with precarious underfooting). And problems all winter long with a painful shoulder condition has kept me from driving out as much as I usually do, looking for birds,So what to do about birding? I solved my birding interests by turning to quilt making!  This winter I have made two bird quilts. The first quilt I have made was using a Birds in the Air pattern. I have just recently had it quilted by a professional who uses a longarm quilting machine.  She did a lovely job . The Birds in the Air quilt is large measuring 58" by 82 "And now all I have to do to complete the quilt is to put on the binding, I might be a while before I get to sewing on the binding as I am still working on quilting the second bird themed quilt I have made this winter. I have decided to quilt the second quilt myself and am still working on that task.  My second quilt is about Crows.  I call it  The Crow Quilt and I have loved making it!The Crow Quilt shown above measures 39" by58"I am quilting the Crow quilt myself and my dining room table could easily be renamed the quilting table as it has seen very little use for dining this winter as it has been  all about birds.I think I have discovered the perfect solution to getting through the dreaded winter months... quilt making, and I am almost looking forward to next winter, when I plan on making a couple more or so quilts.  but my birding activities and interest remains  as I am now busy with my daily spring duck hunt.  We saw a duck on Monday but I haven't been able to find it since but each morning I focus my activities on my hunt and my camera is very bird hungry.  Maybe this morning will be my lucky day![...]

Ladybug for Saturday Critters


My critter today is small but mighty in terms of predicting
the approach of spring!! The same window in our kitchen which  faces a south-westerly  direction is always the window of choice each year for our first ladybug sighting. We just saw the one on our window and my husband removed it carefully by sliding
a sheet of paper under it, then sitting the paper on our kitchen table for a better picture-taking location.  After the photo session the lady was returned to the window.  In recognition of this uplifting seasonal event I am using my Ladybug mug today for my morning coffee. 
I think perhaps next winter I shall make a Ladybug mugrug to celebrate this optimistic eventful sighting!
I am linking today with Eileen's Saturday Critters which can be found at,

Wild Turkeys


When my husband shouts to me" Bring your camera and hurry!", I know something interesting is around and when he shouted at me today I was very eager to see what was about!
It was Wild Turkeys! and they were unusual yard bird sightings to me!  I had never seen Wild Turkeys before until this autumn past ..and various people had reported having seen five wild turkeys .around the community at various locations.  A friend had called me when they had visited her yard and I went to her property with my camera to take pictures of them.  That visit had been a life bird sighting for me. Today it was our turn to be visited by these magnificent birds.
Apparently these birds have overwintered around or about our community these past few winter months and today we saw all five turkeys visiting on our property!
I think this species is a handsome bird as  is shown below, in the picture taken on our side lawn today.

A Robin in Bird Alley


Yesterday, January 21 we saw a beautiful Red Robin in Bird Alley. We don't usually see this species at this time of year so it was an optimistic uplifting and a reminder that spring is coming in a couple of months.  The bird looked very healthly with a round belly and a beautiful colour.  I am hoping it will reurn today to feed on our bountiful American bittersweet berries.

And just playing with photo editing this Robin became evewn more colourful and beautiful !(image)

An early sign of spring!


I saw a sign of spring this morning!!!!! It is so cheerful to remember that this cold, wet, icy, snowy winter will have an end. My cheering sighting was a Starling with a yellow bill!! It is so comforting to be able to recognize the various signs of spring!

American Tree Sparrows, a winter bird migrant


American Tree Sparrows are Arctic winter migrants who migrant southern to warmer frigid climes during our winter months.  They are very welcome little feathered visitors to Bird Alley and I love seeing them outside our windows.

Wild Turkeys for Saturday Critters


Yesterday I was able to add a bird species to my life list.  Wild Turkeys were seen in my community. I had never seen Wild Turkeys before!  There were 5 of them all moving along
 together!  It was a lovely sighting!
When they left the property where we were viewing them, they walked along in a group on a path through a wooded area there!

I am linking today to viewing nature with

Red breasted Nuthatch for Saturday Critters


When we saw our first White breasted Nuthatch in Bird Alley, we kept hoping and watching everyday for a red breasted Nuthatch to appear and it finally did!
Its favourite choice of food is peanuts in our peanut feeder in our peanut feeder.
 and also I occasionally buy a cookie shape suet sort of feed in a net bag.  This is another favourite of this sweet little bird species.

I am linking today to Eileen'sSaturday's Critters which can be found at

Which one???A deer in an Apple Orchard.


This orchard used to be fenced in, but the fence has been taken down and the local White-tailed Deer are taking advantage of the tasty treats. 
This first deer  picture shown below shows a deer with its tongue  out in anticipation of savouring a tasty apple!

"Ahha!  I think I will  choose this one!"

White-breasted Nuthatch for Saturday Critters


It was lovely this week to welcome a familiar bird species back to Bird Alley.  The peanut feeder was the object of enticement and  it was a definite bird high to spy a White-breasted Nuthatch feeding there.  It feeds daily , sometimes making several visits!  It is the best of viewing out my living room window. Our kitchen view is that of a little nuthatch exploring all of the grooved crevices on the big, thick , old trunk of an ancient Maple tree along our driveway.  Whatever the location, welcome dear little bird.  we love you!

I am linking this morning to Eileen's Saturday Critters. Thank you Eileen for this Saturday oppoertunity to share and post our nature observations here.

Riung billed Gull for Saturday Critters


An assortment of gulls can often easily be found  along the river where we go shopping for groceries.
Yesterday the stand our gull was this Ring-billed Gull shown below.
I am linking today to Eileen's Saturday Critters which can be found at:

Rain Clouds in the Sunrise for Skywatch Friday


We have had a very dry summer and our riverbed has been showing more riverbed than water and it was with welcome relief that  a rainfall warning was forecast in our weather forecasts.  On the morning of the predicted rain the sky told us of  a change and that was of the approaching rainfall.  A red sky in the morning gave us a warning and the soft looking dark rainclouds gave us hope of the possibility of a rise in our water levels in the river.
And just to illustrate the change in our river yesterday morning.
(image) above, the river before the rain and shown  below,  the river after the rain!
I am linking today to Skywatch Friday which can be found at:
http:// skyley

Pegeons on a roof for Saturday critters


Pigeons on a roof!  Sure not an inspiring title you say.  But, look closely at the group below and you can see two almost all white pigeons.

Actually it might be more interesting to read about white doves!  for these pigeons are actually Rock Doves. About a couple of years ago I used to see an almost white Dove often, but then it seemed to have disappeared, but apparently the genes were strong and have survived and been passed on to these two almost white doves I saw today and who knows what combinations or patterns with white that I may see in the future?!. I shall try to keep this group in my sightings in future days.  For example also within this group today was a dark Rock Dove with a splash of white on its wing! fascinating, huh!?
What an interesting sighting this was this morning.The Gray Jay I had waiting fore todays post will just have to take a back seat to these beautiful white pigeons.
I am posting today to Eileen's Saturday Critters which can be found at viewingnaturewitheileen.,
Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!

Lingering Wood Ducks


Although ts late in the year I am still finding Wood Ducks, though not many.  On Saturday last I found four ; 3 males and two females.
The most interesting thing about this duck sighting was the reflective water in the background. There it appeared to be perhaps  some sort of autumn Northern Lights representation and the floating leaves dotting the water could have been stars in the autumn night sky.   Whatever it appeared to be I was entranced with the scene portrayed there in the water
serving as a spectacular backdrop for the lingering Wood Ducks there.(image)

Morning sunrise for Skywatch Friday


Last Monday I had taken an early drive to the river and I could see a slightly pinkish sky suggesting to me that the sunrise was soon to be expected. At first all I could see of any action was that of fog rising slowly from the river.
However the scene changed as soon as I had crossed the river.  The rising sun diffused the fog somewhat and created a scene of early morning beauty and tranquility.
Then the sun chose to visit with all of its strength and it coloured the early morning sky beautifully.
I am linking this morning to Skywatch Sunday which can be found at:

A Late Eastern Bluebird


A Late Eastern Bluebird
We don't usually have Bluebirds , especially in October!  but there is a Bluebird hanging around our yard which gives us tantalizing glimpses of its beauty now and then.  Like, on Sunday, we got a fleeting glimpse of it on the clothesline and earlier last week it was perched on a feeder hook in Bird Alley in clear sight! right in front of me!  These are unusual sightings for me at any time of the year.
Yesterday I spied bird movement in our Choke Cherry tree , which still has a few lingering berries on it.  I tried to take some pictures of the activity in the tree and I got some not so great pictures, of a Robin and a Cedar Waxwing and also of the two Bluebirds shown postedbelow.  I love them!

Two Almost all White Pigeons


I used to see a White Pigeon almost daily a couple or so years ago, But then I didn't see that pigeon anymore...until this morning that is.  I saw two almost all totally white pigeons feeding on the sidewalk with a few of their grey cousins and I managed to take a few pictures.  When they flew away  I think there were three of the white variety. I don't know what had happened to the white ones I used to see but the genes were strong and their uniqueness has been continued.  I am thankful for that on this Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada.

Its Pumpkin month!


Welcome to October , Folks.. This is the month when our world abounds with colour.. most outstanding of all is orange and leading the parade are large orange pumpkins on display at the local supermarket.  Here is Canada we have two seasonal celebrations where pumpkins  are often front and center on a certain special day.  Thanksgiving or Hallowe'en. A Thanksgiving dinner would be lacking without a traditional pumpkin pie being the highlight of the dinner... and of course what Hallowe'en celebration does not include that creative work of art? a Jack O' Lantern carved from a huge big pumpkin.  So make your choice early friends and neighbour as there are hundreds of those beautiful orange jacks or potential pies on display right now for your creative choice and sampling.  You can chose a suitable one which will yield a seasonal "yum, Yum" or a scary end of the month "EEk!  Your choice, folks!

 Have a happy seasonal October everyone!!

Robins feeding on Chokecherries for Saturday Critters


We have a tall Chokecherry tree which attracts many feeding birds. Recently , American Robins have been breakfasting on the berries there.
(image) The delight the Robins are finding in  the berries is another reminder to me that I did not get around to making Chokecherry jelly again this year.   Hmmmm... Maybe next year?!
I do hope the Robins return to this tree another day as I love photographing them in this tree.  During October I will have many more occasions to take pictures of Robins feeding  in our yard as they will return to feed on the many rose hips on our bower and the beautiful, red, luscious Mountain Ash berries on our Rowan tree. We also have three ornamental crab-apple trees  which are  now covered with little red crabapples.  Harvest time is a wonderful time in our outdoors around here.
I am linking today to Eileen's Saturday Critters.  It can be found at
Have a wonderful last day of September today folks.  May it be a favourable day of viewing nature for you. And  a mighty welcome to October tomorrow when my grandson D. Harvest celebrates his 13th birthday.

Ruffed Grouse


I am always hoping at this time of year that I see a Ruffed Grouse or Birch Partridge while driving along an old country dirt road and that is the sort of circumstance I was in when I spied this Ruffed Grouse crossing a dirt road in front of my car one day last week. Usually to my dismay as soon as the grouse is alerted to my car's presence it takes off, but not so on this occasion. this grouse just continued its walk to the roadside, then ambled off into the roadside vegetation as I got a couple of photos of this lovely bird.
Have a lovely day everyone!  Keep cool!

Yellow rumped Warbler


The flash of yellow on the rump of the small bird excited me.  I have been watching for this little warbler all summer but had not seen one until this September morning.  We have lots if little birds fliting around this morning but they are so small and fast that I have to take a picture and then study the foliage in the photo to try to find the bird.  In this case I studied the picture looking to find a dash of yellow and I found it twice in my pictures!
The yellow rump on the warbler above and below  is easily detected. (image)
Thats all for today folks

Eastern Bluebirds for Saturday Critters


I remember as a child never seeing a Bluebird and being told that Bluebirds were not around anymore. I know now that Bluebirds are around occasionally but they are not frequent visitors in our yard.  I usually see one on our back fence at least one time every summer.  This year it was on May the 28th when I saw an Eastern Bluebird on our fence! What a wlcome, very lovely sighting it was! And so I was totally surprised earlier this week when downloading my photos from the day to discover a Bluebird with white spots upon its back! There had been many small birds feeding on a tall Choke Cherry Tree at the edge of our property and a few  birds were stopping to rest on the overhead power lines. I didn't know what species they were but took a few pictures from our upper deck. Shown below is what I saw when I downloaded my pictures of a bird on the power line!                                       It was a juvenile Eastern Blubird that I had seen! I was delighted!!!!I eagerly awaited the next day to try to see the Bluebird again, but there were no little birds feeding on the cherries on that day, However yesterday they were back! I took a few pictures of them actively eating at the cherries but there didn't seem to be any juveniles ( I did not see any white spots on the Bluebird's back, so I assume the birds feeding yesterday on the Choke Cherries were adult birds.I have posted a couple of pictures below that I had taken yesterday. The second picture shows a cherry in the bird's beak, so yes, Bluebirds feed on Choke Cherries!I am linking today to Saturday Critters which can be found at: My appreciative thanks go to Eileen for hosting this weekly meme.[...]

Eastern Blubirds for Saturday Critters


Black Ducks for Camera Critters


Ducks are becoming more difficult to find these days but there is one small pond where I can often catch a glimpse of a duck for as soon as my car approaches they scatter.  However one day this week I was able to capture a photo of one in flight as it was fleeing away and from the picture below I was able to id the duck as a Black Duck.  Its beautiful 'blue patch' was very recognizable!
I am linking today to Eileen's Saturday Critters which can be found at: