Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

February 15, 2014

Three Little Birds

It is time once again for the Great Backyard Bird Count.  It isn’t too late to get involved if you are interested.  Click here for more information. I’m participating again this year. So far I’ve identified 12 different species at my front yard feeder. I managed to get a few photos of some of the birds I’ve seen so far, and I experimented with editing them in my new Lightroom program. I’ve only managed to do some very basic edits, but I’m pleased with the quality of the color and light. I think I was able to keep a very natural look to the photos.

carolina wren
Carolina Wren (of “Jimmy and Judy” fame)

northern cardinal
Northern Cardinal

American goldfinch 1
American Goldfinch

February 20, 2012

Serendipity

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 3:29 pm
Tags: ,

This morning I continued my bird count for the GBBC while drinking coffee and reading blogs.  I have a nice view of my bird feeders from where I sit while I’m at the computer.  I was reading this post by Holly and admiring her sparkly snow and a picture of a red-bellied woodpecker – frequent visitor to my feeders last winter.  I mentioned in a comment to her that I’d actually seen those woodpeckers using the same pose she had captured on my feeders, but hadn’t had my camera handy at the time.  Less than 10 minutes after I left that comment, guess what?  Yup, a couple of red-bellied woodpeckers showed up in my front yard!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Funny thing is, I didn’t even realize at first that I had taken pictures of both of the birds.  Only when I was editing the size of the shots to put them in the slideshow did I notice that two of the shots featured a bird with a fully bright red forehead, while the others show a bird with the appearance of a “bald patch” (not really bald, of course, just gray feathers where the other has red)

I was happy to have the opportunity to catch the pictures, and add the red-bellies to my count for the GBBC.

For anyone who may be interested, here’s a list of the species I counted:

  • northern cardinal
  • blue jay
  • dark-eyed junco
  • mourning dove
  • rock pigeon
  • tufted titmouse
  • red tail hawk
  • song sparrow
  • house sparrow
  • American robin
  • European starling
  • Cooper’s hawk
  • red-bellied woodpecker

February 19, 2012

Moments

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 2:49 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Thanks to the Great Backyard Bird Count, I had some really lovely moments this weekend while I was out counting birds.  Our incredibly mild winter weather continued, and both mornings this weekend I stepped outside and looked into beautiful blue skies.
IMG_7260

It was about 40°F each morning, and I stayed warm enough just wearing sweats and my bathrobe.  I stepped out on my deck and took it all in.  Birds sang like it was spring time.  I quietly watched the fluttering around me, that I’m sure I’m not always aware of because I don’t take the time to notice.  The dogs had followed me outside and had a playful morning romp, but eventually even they seemed to take in the specialness of the moment.
IMG_7263

Daphne and Teddy became quiet too, almost like they were taking it in too.  Breathing deep, listening, watching, appreciating.

I was rewarded with the sight of a beautiful red-tailed hawk with its gorgeous red feathers against that clear blue sky.  At first I regretted not having camera in hand, but then I was okay with it.  It was enough to experience the moment.

But, if you’ve learned anything at all about me since I started this blog, you must know I eventually did grab the camera.  The hawk returned and landed in the neighbor’s yard, a few houses up the street.
hawk1

I enjoyed the simple site of a sparrow singing in morning sunshine.
sparrow1

I chuckled at the sight of Mr. Cardinal finding himself a drinking fountain, in the form of the return fitting on the side of my pool.

card1

(had a little disagreement with Mr. Autofocus there – wish this shot was clearer, but I’m not letting it ruin the moment)

And I was granted a new photo session with our friend the robin who, I’ve learned since my last post about him, really isn’t so strange to see at this time of year.

robin1

So thank you GBBC, and thank you backyard birds, for providing me with these moments.

February 17, 2012

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 5:13 pm
Tags: ,

IMG_7259

Looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Why not think about participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count?  I just found out about this today.

As it happens, I was reading this blog post of Robin’s, and that reminded me that I hadn’t been over to Bob’s site for a few days, where I read this post, and left a comment about spotting bluebirds.  That caused me to pop over to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (handy link over there in my side bar, if you are interested) to find out about the Eastern Bluebird’s winter range.  While I was over there, I found out about the Great Backyard Bird Count.

It sounds pretty easy and fun to participate.  You can download a tally sheet saying what birds are likely to be spotted in your area in February and watch a short video about how to participate.  Its quite easy: watch and identify birds for at least 15 minutes each day, then submit your tally for that day online.  You will even be entered for drawings for neat bird stuff like feeders, books and binoculars (I think – I hope I am remembering that video correctly!)

The GBBC actually started today – I watched birds for a few minutes and thought about putting in my count for today, but I don’t think it’d be accurate since I hadn’t found out about the GBBC at the time I was watching.  That is, however, when I got that picture up there of the lovely Mrs. C.

The GBBC runs through Monday, so it seems like a fun thing to do for a long weekend.  If you have an interest in birds, why don’t you join me this weekend?