The City Daily Photo theme day for January 1st will be “Photo of the Year.” As I search for a favorite, I’ve found a few that I especially enjoyed last year. I liked this little goldfinch on my window sill. Is it that it was a special moment or just a cute little bird? I can’t say. Probably both.
And this is another favorite. It also happens to be food for goldfiniches.
When I’ve taken pictures of other sparrows and pulled out my bird book to identify them I’ve seen this one several times in the book but hadn’t found it. At last I have. The book describes them as small (5-1/4″) and secretive. For perspective on it’s size, just remember that those rose hips aren’t much bigger than your little finger.
The day was decidedly grey. Eagles like to perch on uppermost branches; this was about as close as I could get with my zoom lens and some cropping.
One thing I love about this time of year is that a flock of trumpeter swans takes up temporary residence. They rest and feed in a fallow field here.
They’re huge birds, standing up to 5 feet with a wingspan up to 80 inches. Grey feathered juveniles hang out with the adults. The group makes quiet honking sounds as they go about pecking for food in the soil, plant materials and crop waste.
The trumpeting honks suddenly picked up as I watched and groups of swans came in for a landing. (Don’t adjust your glasses…this and the next shot aren’t in good focus.)
They didn’t need much of a runway.
The trumpeter swans that visit us come from populations that nest in Alaska.
A kingfisher perched on a railing outside the restaurant where I had lunch last week. I no sooner pointed it out to friends then it dropped out of sight. One didn’t see it. Here’s a consolation shot. Not nearly as close but it’s the best I could do.
These birds dive headfirst to catch fish up to two feet beneath water. And that’s not a fleck on the camera: kingfishers have a tiny white patch ahead of its eye.
Songbirds have left for the year. The starlings and blackbirds seem to enjoy having the place to themselves.
This mailbox stand is a nice example of how simple curves can suggest and say a lot: heron.