The weather here is fabulous today! 46 and sunny, a light breeze – perfect for taking more bird pictures to share with all of you.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature threw a monkey-wrench into my plans.
I’ve been spending time just sitting out near the feeders so that the birds get used to me. When I put the ground feed out in the morning, I stand still and hold the pan to invite the braver ones to take it from me. I’ve got one little titmouse that will hardly wait until I get to the feeding spot before he’s on the rim to steal a treat. Several others have made exploratory sorties, fluttering above the seed then flying away. I’m patient. They’ll get there.
Many birds, like the finches, are way too shy to come down to be fed. I sit out on the porch in the afternoons, camera in hand, hoping that some of them will sit still long enough to get a clear picture. A feeder full of gold finches, purple finches and house finches looks and sounds like an avian carnival. They’ll show up if I’m there, but move one tiny muscle and they’re gone in a flash! Even the bold chickadees don’t like to have a camera pointed at them.
Which brings me to today. With the weather so comfortable, I figured I could stay out long enough to get the shots I wanted, instead of freezing my fingers off and coming back in after only 15 minutes. I set up my chair and aimed at the feeder.
About 20 minutes – and several blurry wing shots – later, there was an awful screech from the bushes to my left, a furious beating of wings, and the pathetic cry of a wounded cardinal. The kestral had swooped in and taken him right out of the shrubs! All the little birds retreated to the highest branches of the maple trees and squawked, tweeted and chirped the alarm.
I waited a few more minutes to see if they’d calm down and come back.
Oh, well. One more nice day this week before we get dropped into the Deep Freeze again. Maybe tomorrow.
And, really, I suppose the kestral has to eat too…