Just Ducky

Today I found out that this fine feathered fellow is a male Mallard duck transitioning into eclipse plumage. What the heck is that you say? It means that breeding season and its bright colors are over and now he is changing into non-breeding colors.

And now you know. Interesting, huh?

Teri

male mallard duck, eclipse plummage
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Photo Bombed by a Cicada

I’m not sure if Cedar Waxwings eat cicadas or not but this bird was not amused by having his portrait session interrupted by one of Brood X. On a positive note, the cicadas are on their last hurrah; more of them are dying. The noise isn’t as loud but their little remains are everywhere.

Teri 📷

Cedar waxwing, cicada, Central Ohio
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Monochrome Monday Morning

Let’s fly into this new week and give it our best shot or maybe we can just fly off to a nice spot somewhere and take it easy. Whatever is in store for you I hope it’s not a bumpy ride.

On a side note, the cicadas are still here but appear to be winding down as there are LOTS of them dead on sidewalks and in the middle of the streets but they are still around and annoying such as the one that hitched a ride on me into the grocery store (someone pointed at it and I brushed it off my shoulder) and the one I plucked from a woman standing in front of me in line at a craft store. She was at first panicked and then very appreciative of me fearlessly removing it from her back, walking to the front doors and tossing it out.

Just call me the cicada wrangler!

Teri 📷

monochrome blue heron
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Birding done easy

A good rain slowed the cicadas down a bit so I managed to break free long enough to make this post. But seriously, still struggling to play catch up with things and having to make choices as to who/what goes on the list of things to do and in what order.

I shouldn’t complain as it is much better than being in lock down and unable to do anything but back to the topic of today’s post.

One day DH and I were discussing what birds we still have on our photo bucket list. One of mine was to photograph a Cedar Waxwing in the wild and not in a bird sanctuary or zoo. Life has a funny way of hearing your requests because the next day look what showed up in our back yard along with three of its friends!

cedar waxwing, bird, Central Ohio, wild bird

They’ve been here for about two weeks now and I’m loving it; they are such beautiful birds. Nothing like bird photography while still in your house with a cup of coffee. Now if the cicadas would just quit trying to join me!

Teri 📷

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I’m being held hostage!

By responsibilities, deadlines, one event and one application scheduled and due in three weeks….and by Brood X! These things are everywhere around here. In parks, in parking lots, in our backyard, front yard, front and back porch and they are flying around on top of that!

Brood X, Cicada, Ohio

I fear for those who drive through a swarm of these things with their windows open or top down. Those motorcyclists; I shudder to think what they may have run into! And then there’s the noise. It doesn’t bother me too much but it does get loud. I’ve actually picked up a few to throw them off the steps so as not to squish them as I walk – yuck! On social media there are people posting how to cook and eat them.

How about no!!!!!!!

This photo was taken at one of our local parks we frequent. If there was some bush or tree to cling to, it was covered with them. Really really covered.

Brood X, Cicadas, Cicadas 2021

The birds have been pigging out on them as well. Thankfully there is light at the end of the tunnel as I’ve read that they should be winding down and out by the end of this month. Then we will have to deal with all of those little dead bug bodies to dispose of. I guess they might be good for the soil? Are you currently dealing with Brood X?

Teri📷

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I’ve been…

Away from posting here, obviously, and busy with some things that have been difficult. I just haven’t had it in me to write anything and I didn’t want to just post crud so… I’ve been away. We did go on a trip up to Lake Erie last month which was the first time traveling and staying in a hotel in over a year.

Other than lousy hotel food, being in the middle of nowhere and having to drive a bit of a clip to get some decent eats it was a nice trip.

Will hopefully post more soon but no promises until things settle into whatever they are going to settle into. In the meantime, here are some of the creatures I was hanging around. Please note that both eagle images are VERY cropped as they were either far away or way up in a tree that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources had roped off so that we hoomans would not get too close; my 560mm can only reach so far.

Adult eagle chilling in one huge Cottonwood tree nest at Magee Marsh. The nest held a couple with one eaglet that was getting close to fledging but I was never there when they were all together and visible.

Bald Eagle, nest, cottonwood tree, Magee Marsh, Ohio

Juvenile eagle looking over it’s territory probably wondering what to eat at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio, Juvenile Bald Eagle

And helping a turtle cross the road to get safely to its side of the marsh at Magee Marsh. By the way, anyone know what kind of turtle this is?

turtle, Magee Marsh, Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Ohio

I’m still culling the enormous amount of photos I took while up north and hope to share them with you soon. Have a great weekend everyone!

Teri

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Common Terns – In Color

As mentioned in the previous post, the Common Tern is pretty much a monochromatic bird consisting of just four colors – black, white, grey and red. Yesterday I showcased my artistic editing of them in black and white; today we have the same three images in color.

When watching birds in flight have you ever stopped and noticed how they use their wings? It’s usually much more than just an up, down and leveled flap. And the way they can turn their heads makes my neck hurt just thinking about it.

Amazing skillful flying “dinosaurs” they are! Which versions of these birds do you prefer and why? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy flying – Teri 📷

common tern, Lake Erie, Ohio
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Common Terns

Since last year when everything screeched to a halt, I have gotten very much into bird photography. It got me outdoors with nature and DH, it was entertaining, educational and it was safe. Well, relatively safe if one avoided the poison ivy, ticks and mosquitoes but far far safer than anything else.

This year we took our birding exploration on a road trip to Northwest Ohio and Lake Erie for the tail end of a big festival known as the Biggest Week in American Birding. I will be sharing more about that in upcoming posts but today, since it is Monochrome Monday, I want to show you another bird I saw for the first time at a place called Metzger Marsh – the Common Tern.

The birds in color are pretty much monochromatic being mostly black, white and grey with red feet and bills and they are very fast flyers and divers. Tried as I might, I was not able to get one diving into the water and coming out with a fish. But I did get some flying images. When I worked my Lightroom and Photoshop magic on these images to turn them into – what appears to me anyway – almost charcoal drawing artistic images, they made me think of some silk screen works I’d seen in the past. Negative space and minimalism in photography here.

What do you think of the results? Have you ever seen these birds before and if so where?

Will post their color versions next – Teri 📷

Common Tern, Northwest Ohio
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Well, isn’t this just ducky

Up until last year my knowledge of anything duck was limited to Mallards and certain ways duck could be cooked – I love Peking Duck so much! But with 2020 and all things limited, I began bird photography in earnest. And oh the things I have seen and learned!

There are so many kinds of ducks out there with their coloration depending on if it’s breeding season or not. Plus, there is such a thing as waterfowl being divers or dabblers. Who knew! Here are four ducks that are first timers for me. They were all migrating through my neck of the woods when I happened to catch them resting before the next leg of their flights. At one time there was a marshy area (where I captured the last image) with upwards of 300 ducks of various species resting and refueling before taking off again.

All of the ducks shown here are males because, well, in nature especially when it’s breeding season, the males are usually far more colorful. Are any of these familiar to you or frequent where you live?

Teri 📷

Male Ring Necked Duck
Male Blue Winged Teal
Male Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail Ducks. One female is in the bunch. Can you find her?
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Fish fry…

And by that I mean not fish fry as in oil in a pan but a fish fry as in little fish. Technically, this fish is past the fry stage but calling it anything else would just not have worked well with the alliteration.

This Egret went fishing not by diving from the air to pick up a big bass (as in the previous post) but by quietly and stealthily wading through the pond until an unaware little fish was snatched from the waters and deposited into the egret’s stomach. On a side note, notice the bright green around the egret’s eyes. I learned that this is its breeding color.

Have a great weekend and maybe do some fishing too?

Teri📷

Egret, breeding colors, Columbus Ohio
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