Favorites from 2016

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.

Trumpeter swans

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.

Belted kingfisher

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.