I'm an avid birder and nature photographer wishing to share some of my sightings & images taken while out in the "wilds" of Cape Ann and surrounding New England countryside. More images can be found on my web site at New England Birds Plus Enjoy, Phil Brown

"Click" on any image below for a larger version....

Comments & Question - nebirdsplus@gmail.com

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Flowers in the yard - July 30, 2011

Cone Flowers, of which I have several varieties around the yard, make for fun subjects whether in full bloom or just getting started.

Cone Flower

Cone Flower

The Bumblebee in this image isn't quite in focus but was a bonus as it flew in just as I was attempting to photograph this peach colored Hollyhock.

A few more Passion Flower photos. My daughter sent me these 5 plants from Logees in Connecticut, 4 of which are currently in bloom. 

Passion Flower

Passion Flower

Passion Flower

Passion Flower

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hummingbirds, Flowers, Bees & a Cool Sky! - July 23, 2011

The adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbird that has called my yard home for the past few months is still trying to keep all of the other Hummingbirds from partaking in the bounty the yard offers. That's him below perched on the twig I added to the deck for just this purpose.

and here is in a 3 minute video shot from inside the house at 1000mm!
Best viewed "full screen"

The 1st young Hummingbird of the season showed up at the flowers on the 23rd of the month. It doesn't understand why the adult male is always trying to chase it off, the interactions are long and humorous to watch.

A Sweat Bee on a Purple Coneflower in the yard.

and another on a bloom that's just opening.

Stamens on a Day Lily awaiting the bees with it's load of pollen.

One of a dozen Day Lily that grace the yard.

Salvia "Hot Lips" for the Hummingbirds...

A Sweat Bee on the Indian Pink.

A new plant for the yard this year, Passion Flower, this is the 1st bloom of the season.

We had a few thunder storms go through early on the 23rd and just before they did this is what the sky looked like in Essex. Pretty cool if you ask  me!

and another...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dragonflies and Flowers - July 15, 2011

It's that time of year again... Dragonfly Season is upon us! These winged bug crunchers are seemingly everywhere on warm summer days and my yard is no exception.

This is an Eastern Pondhawk that was foraging from the deck last evening, allowing close approach with the 100mm macro lens. Here's a look at it's face straight on, that's it's smiling little mouth outlined in black.

A shot from the side showing the huge eyes.

A bit further away and you can see how they hang onto both their perch and the bugs they capture with the hooks on the end of their legs.

and lastly a look at the 1 1/2" long Eastern Pond Hawk as it rests on the Impatients I keep in the window box along the deck.

An addition to the yard this year that I hope takes hold for several years to come, "Indian Pink" or "Spigelia marilandic" a rather small Hummingbird favorite with it's white and red blooms. Purchased from Avant Gardens in Dartmouth, MA this slender perrenial should grow to 1' to 2' tall and 2' wide.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Barred Owl & Orioles - July 10, 2011

A stop by the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary on the 10th found a large group of folks camping near the parking lot, I hope the Owls serenaded them for a portion of the evening! The Mulberry Tree still had plenty of fruit and Red Squirrels but few birds. My rather hasty retreat from the Sanctuary was rewarded with a Barred Owl flying in front of me across the road within a mile of the Sanctuary. It posed just off the road for the image below.

A return home later in the afternoon found a young Blue Jay loudly begging while it sat inches from the food supply the adult was shoveling into it's mouth...:)

The Orioles are still visiting the feeders with the youngsters just now starting to quiet down and feed themselves. Several years of offering oranges and jelly through the nesting season have increased the number of visitors each year with a recent count of 14 Orioles being the highest to date.

The male below must have reached the end of his patience with this youngster, or maybe it wasn't his offspring, either way the youngsters visit to the feeder was short lived.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary - July 04, 2011

A stop at the Sanctuary this July 4th found dozens of birds feeding in the Mulberry Tree that abuts the parking lot. The Cedar Waxwing below was able to get this berry down  after a bit of a struggle.

The Tree Swallows are almost done nesting for the season. This is also in the field next to the parking lot. 

A Common Yellowthroat scolding me for walking through it's territory.

and a couple of Scarlet Tanagers feasting on the Mulberries, a young female below.

and an adult male with his striking breeding plumage.