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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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hawks & Hummers to come..... August 28, 2011

 A young Red-tailed Hawk that flew over the house this weekend, screaming for food from its parents. Raised in the neighborhood with its sibling that I've seen on several occasions, I hope they stick around for the winter.

A late blooming Cone Flower with its attendant Bumblebee is always a welcome subject in front of the lens

A closer look at the not so little pollen gatherer.

I'll be making a return trip to Arizona in a few weeks and am looking forward to the many Hummingbirds that I'll encounter in the southwest portion of the state.

With any luck maybe I'll run into another White-eared Hummingbird.

I'll most likely see several Magnificent Hummingbirds like the youngster below.

and with any luck a few adult males like this beauty.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dickcissel In The Yard - August 17, 2011

A female Dickcissel sat in the Trumpet Creeper for a few minutes this morning, calling softly.

The brief video below has her calling a few times before flying out of the yard, heading south. I'm hoping she makes several return trips to the yard.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Falcon, Terns & Bugs - August 16, 2011

Some time at Sandy Point State Park in Ipswich this past Sunday found this Peregrine Falcon zipping around the point on several occasions. I reported the band data and learned that it had fledged from a building in Cambridge, MA earlier this summer.

The Least Terns appear to be weathering all of the recent rains with several recently hatched chicks stretching their wings as they wait for the next meal to arrive.

This youngster just wanted to finish its nap.

While these two were hoping for lunch to be served.

Nothing like Mom's body warmth to keep the youngsters cozy and warm.

Wait... I want to get back in!

A bit of time around the yard found several cooperative subjects for the macro lens,
This Jumping Spider held still just long enough to get all of its eyes in focus.

The Ruby Meadowhawk Dragonflys were a bit easier to approach as they waited for their next meal to fly by.
My, my Grandma..... what big eyes you have...:)

This one found a snack and it appears to be a mosquito(?)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Least Terns - Sandy Point - Ipswich, MA - August 08, 2011

Sandy Point, at the southern tip of Plum Island, is still playing host to many Least Terns at this "getting to be late" point in the breeding season with many either on eggs or brooding recently hatched young as seen below.

A brief video shows a couple of nests and their contents.

Here's a youngster much further along as it eyes the guy with the camera and decides I'm not a threat after all.

A female(?) still on eggs.

and a few shots of the adult with the chicks and a chick alongside it's sibling that's still in the egg.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hummingbirds in the Rain - August 07, 2011

A bit of rainy day macro photography with the Hummingbirds just outside the kitchen window as the subjects.  With the rain gauge measuring 1.47" of rain today it's a wonder these birds aren't soaked through.

You can see some of the rain bouncing off this males head.

 and a white fly hitching a ride on his bill in this shot.

 The lone female that came by today didn't seem to wet for all the rain that had just stopped coming down.

and a bit of a wing shot as she drinks and runs....

Late Summer Hummingbirds - August 6, 2011

A few hours photographing the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds coming to the window feeder found 4 adult males still frequenting the yard and 3 adult females stopping by for a sip. Also seen but not coming to the feeder were 2 hatch year males for at least nine different Hummingbirds hanging around just prior to migrating south.

Male #1 with his rather small white eye spot.

Male #2 showing a larger eye spot and molting a few feathers on the back of it's head.

Male #3 is just a mess. I see a few of these heavily molting males each year around this time.

Male #4 with a larger eye spot and no apparent active molt.

And now the ladies. A smooth billed, clean looking female.

Another female showing a heavier, many grooved bill.

And the third female with her larger eye spot and again a smooth bill.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Young Male - August 03, 2011

The young Hummingbirds of the year are starting to arrive in the yard with 2 males and a single female joining the 3 or 4 adult males and several adult females that are still visiting the flowers and feeders with great frequency.

This young male decided to try and take over the yard on the 3rd and succeeded for most of the day before being pushed off by the adult male that still claims it as his. Not the best of shots but you can see the 2 or 3 red gorget feathers that have come in along his lower throat.

The 7 minute video below shows this youngster sitting on the branch I added to the deck, preening, flying off to chase others from the yard and returning for a bit more feather maintenance. This was shot at 1000mm from inside the house through the kitchen window.

Sandy Point - Least Terns - August 04, 2011

Several hours at Sandy Point State Reservation at the southern tip of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Ipswich, MA yesterday found Least Terns, in all stages of growth from eggs to adults, to be both plentiful and most cooperative subjects.

From adults flying by.

To young running along the beach with some almost ready to fly.

and others just off of the nest.

It was a fun filled, almost fall like morning with the most Least Terns I've seen to date on this spit of sand that sticks out into Ipswich Bay. Several adults were still sitting on eggs, certainly 2nd attempts at nesting this season.

While others were standing by after delivering food to a youngster.

Also plentiful, with one pair nesting at Sandy Point this year but most coming from offshore islands to the north, were Common Tern chicks in various stages of growth. This youngster is very recently off of the nest.