I’ll be brief

11 December, 2016 I’ll be brief

Because I don’t have much to say!  Perhaps I’ll be more talkative next week. Meanwhile, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then here are around ten thousand words worth of the usual birds and a pretty waxing December moon. Some moss growing on a retaining wall on Monday: 

Nice to see some green in December

Nice to see healthy bright green in December

Waxing crescent moon Monday evening

Waxing crescent moon Monday evening

Wednesday I was driving north on Parham Road just before Patterson Avenue and I looked up at the cross on top of the Grove Avenue Baptist Church and saw this pair of Red-tails. It is remarkable – very statistically improbable – how often I photograph a pair of Red-tails perched on crosses on top of churches:

Convenient perch for Red-tails

Convenient perch for Red-tails

These pigeons were on a retaining wall just below them; I liked the light and the pose: 

Pleasing to the eye:

Pleasing to the eye:

Red-tail picture, pigeon picture and this moon picture all taken from the same parking lot at the same time:

Waxing Wednesday moon

Waxing Wednesday moon

On Friday, December 9, the Shenandoah National Park posted this on their Facebook page: “With the leaves of summer now mostly on the ground, bird watchers enjoy clearer views of our feathered friends. Those who maintain feeders will notice increased activity—especially in the mornings and evenings—with the colder temps and shorter days of winter. Shorter feeding times mean busier birds! Take a moment to observe a bird doing what a bird does. Nature offers us an opportunity to stimulate our senses while soothing our souls.”

Twenty-four hours earlier I’d been working at my desk and looking at my feeders and I counted fifteen varieties of birds coming and going on my feeders. It was unprecedented. I saw many male/female pairs too. Starlings and house sparrows count toward that total, which is unexciting. I did see a male Red-bellied Woodpecker intimidate some starlings, which you don’t see every day. These Red-bellies are big dudes: 

Stout male Red-bellied woodpecker - starlings don't bother him

Stout male Red-bellied woodpecker – starlings don’t bother him

I was overrun by Tufted Titmice in the past but they disappeared for a while. It was gratifying to see them return on that day:

Tufted titmouse. It's those black eyes. They're so cute.

Tufted titmouse. It’s those black eyes. They’re so cute.

My friend Kendall and I took a long (3+ mile) hike at Deep Run Park Friday. We stopped under a tree to look at a bluebird a couple of trees away. While we were standing there, this big female Red-tail swooped over the trees and planted herself in a branch directly above us and peered down. I’ve never seen a Red-tail do that. Maybe these park Red-tails are more relaxed around humans:

Do you ever feel like you're being watched? We were totally being watched.

Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? We were totally being watched.

I hadn’t visited my old haunts at Bryan Park recently so Mackey and Turner and I had a nice hike yesterday. We surprised goats and goats surprised us:

Goats staring at us staring at them

Goats staring at us staring at them

Mackey and Turner and Yuki and I made it to Pony Pasture this morning; we saw a cute bluebird near the parking lot: 

Last bird we saw before we got back in the car!

Last bird we saw before we got back in the car!

This afternoon I drove to an open house at a friend’s a couple of miles from here. I was a block and a half from my house – on the way – when I looked up and saw this Red-tail perched on a power line. I’ve photographed more red-tails here than anywhere else. There’s nothing out of the ordinary about this picture. The open house was from 2:00 to 4:00. I took this picture at 2:26 while I was on the way over there: 

Red-tail on a tower today at 2:26 PM:

Red-tail on a tower today at 2:26 PM:

So I ate and visited with my friends. Had a nice time. Drove home the way I’d come to the party. I’m passing the same spot at 4:38 PM – two hours and twelve minutes after I took that picture – and I looked up and took this picture:

Same bird, same spot, two plus hours later

Same bird, same spot, two plus hours later

I hope that, like me, this bird got a snack during that two hours. 

I hope you did too! Have a great week, 

Jay 

 

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Bryan Park, Fun, James River, moon, Pony Pasture, raptors, Red-bellied woodpeckers, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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