Category Archives: Birds

Travel Theme: Belonging

One of these things is not like the others . . . yet it belongs!

A bunch of Royal Terns, and one Black Skimmer

A bunch of Royal Terns, and one Black Skimmer, weather the cold January wind.

Ailsa’s travel theme this week is “Belonging“.    I think I belong on a beach, preferably a warm and sunny one.   Wish that the white stuff I see covering the earth was sand and not snow.

Black & White Osprey

Textured Tuesday’s theme is Black & White & Textured.   Typically, I wouldn’t use a texture on a nature photo, but a slight grungy texture added a bit more drama to the clouds.   More details on processing below.


First I used a LR for a little bit of sharpening and then used a preset to convert the image to B&W.  At first I tried to make it appear like a cyanotype, but I didn’t like how cool the photo was, so I selected a preset that had warmer tones and then adjusted the curves, bumping up the green to give that ghostly feel to the tree limbs and the bird’s head.    Then, in ACR, I “hand-tinted” the background a very pale blue.   Added the textured “Frosted”, which I also handtinted in ACR using the same shade,  and then removed the texture from most of the image except in the upper corners.

Here is the SOOC image, taken just before sunrise last January a few minutes before sunrise on Sanibel Island.

OspreySOOCBe sure to stop by Kim Klassen’s Café and see some amazing Black & White & Textured images.


One small sign of Spring

Goldfinches live here year-round but when their feathers start to turn yellow, you know that Spring is coming soon.   On days like today — when it is snowing, even though it was 68F yesterday — the small patches of  yellow are a nice reminder that sunny days will slowly replace the winter greys.  Goldfinches


He landed close enough to discuss Chekhov


For the birds



Interrupting my reading to bring you this:

Seagull, Late Afternoon

Seagull, Late Afternoon

Travel Theme: Multiples

Ailsa’s theme this week is MULTIPLES.   As soon as I read this, I knew which picture — one I took last Thursday — I would have to post.

However, when I downloaded the photos a few days later, the photos weren’t the best.  I was just too far away, with no opportunity to get closer.   I took this shot while at a gas station.  The tree was in an adjacent field, but there was a fence and a dog between us.

Although I’ve seen large flocks of birds before, I have never seen this many gathered in one place.   Although they were a distance away, if one listened carefully, trying to ignore the sounds of interstate traffic, you could hear the flock’s loud squawking.

The Gathering Place

The Gathering Place: Somewhere in Tennessee

Here is an enlarged area of the same photo.  That was a large tree.   That was a lot of birds!   I would not have wanted to be standing under that tree!TheStarlings-Magnified

I think I understand a bit more about what might have been the genesis of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

While these were probably starlings, not crows, seeing them did remind me of this video I saw about a year ago.  In case you think that birds are stupid, watch this:  Crowboarding!   You don’t have to understand a word of Russian — or crow song — to enjoy this.

Be sure to check out what others have submitted for Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week.  You can participate too by posting a photo that contains your interpretation of “Multiples” and leaving a link on Ailsa’s blog, Where’s My Backpack?
SUNDAY POST: GOALS / Travel Thame: Multiples | ~~Good~talk~with~Yen-Yen~~
Weekly Travel Theme: Multiples « A Day In the Life of Jennay
Travel theme: Multiples: The Multitude | Serendipity 13
Travel Theme: Multiples | Angelinem’s Blog
Travel Theme – Multiples « thegingerbreadcafe
Travel Theme: Multiples | Alastair’s Blog
Multiples: Where’s My Backpack Travel Challenge « Found Round & About
Multiple Multiples! « The Urge To Wander
A multiplicity of saints | Artifacts and fictions
Travel Theme: Multiple moments « Julie Dawn Fox Photography

Sunday Quote, 2013, Week 1 – Jacques Cousteau

The sea, once it casts  its spell, holds one in its nets of wonder forever.
~ Jacques Cousteau

Gulls, Sunset, Sand, Sea:  Wonder- full

Gulls, Sunset, Sand, Sea: Wonder-full

Winter is coming

I used to think that the appearance of robins was one of the first signs of Spring.  In recent years, though, it seems like there is quite a large flock of robins who do not migrate.  Sometimes in the winter, as they sit lonely on snow-covered limbs, I can’t help but wonder if they are thinking:  “It would be so much nicer down south.  Whose bright idea was it to stay?”

Much about this picture is wrong — wrong exposure, wrong contrast, wrong framing — but I like it anyway.   In part, I like it because it was a mistake that had some redeeming qualities.  But I also like it because so often in the winter this is what a look out my house windows looks like:  a lonely robin seated on barren limbs on a blustery grey winter day.   The only thing unusual about this is that it isn’t November yet!

Readying for winter


Great Blue Heron, Early Morning, Pensacola Bay

I see Great Blue Herons frequently near my home, but the ones that I spot on the Gulf Shore, nearly 800 miles away, seem less skittish, less caring about the nearness of humans, and maybe a bit more willing to share a piece of shoreline.

This bird stood still for several minutes in the early morning breeze.   Once Reveille from the nearby military base was played, he slowly walked down the shore, poked his beak into the surf a few times, then slowly flew away to the rest of his day.