The dainty hen calmly grazes the top of the water. Her mate the drake with no abandon just dives in and feeds off the bottom. No table manners here!
A trio of cranes in flight
Spotting a flight of Sandhill cranes was quite thrilling!
I did hear them coming, and the last shot shows how low they were flying.
Grackle at the bird bath
It is a nice warm and sunny day. The bird bath was appealing to this grackle.
It’s easy to enjoy a duck
Lots of activity at the river yesterday! Soon after we saw the snake swimming along this duck decided to cross the shallow backwater to a stick covered sand bar. She found a suitable path across the bar to the river, making sure to shake her tail in the process!
Proof they hatched
We’ve been watching a pair of robins constructing and setting on a nest in the crook of the old maple tree outside our back door. We had yet not seen any blue egg shells on the ground. Discarded shells often indicate that the clutch has hatched.
Today while taking a break on the swing after some weeding I saw one of the robins returning to the “empty” looking nest. Immediately little wide open beaks appeared wanting to be filled with some tasty morsels. No more wondering: we have a clutch of baby robins. We’ll try to get some more photos soon.
More favorite bird photos
Here are a few more of our favorite bird images. The Turkey Vulture and Pileated Woodpecker are on the top of the same utility pole. The waterlogged little fledgling was blown out of the nest during a storm. Parents did tend to it, don’t know the outcome. We caught the eagle on a whale watching cruise around the San Juan Islands in Washington State. And the family of ducks was enjoying a walk in the town of Chincoteague on the island of the same name, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Some favorite portraits of birds
Here’s a few photos we got of some of our feathered friends.
We have always enjoyed birdwatching and found it exciting to see various birds as we have traveled the country. When COVID hit, stopping our travels, we also began to enjoy birding in our own backyard. We both were surprised at how many different species visited our home.
Day trip big birds
While on our recent day trip we ended up on a well graded gravel road in Brown County, Indiana. We were on our way to another historic bridge and looking for any other neat things to see.
Up ahead we spotted a large black shape next to a yellow striped warning sign. Yep, that’s a turkey vulture, actually two of them. The second one is behind the yellow sign.
As soon as we started moving again we were surrounded by what seemed like a large rafter of wild turkeys running across the road. Dang they were fast! Out of the eight or so individuals we only got a couple of photos, neither of which that good. It’s always fun seeing wildlife during a drive in the country.
Mill Race Park in Columbus Indiana
Mill Race Park is situated where the Flat Rock and the Driftwood rivers join together on the west side of Columbus. The 35 acre park is an extremely popular place to walk, picnic, attend concerts, climb the tall observation tower or just simply enjoy a bit of Nature.
Among the attractions at the park are a large reflecting pond ringed by sidewalks and benches. One side of the pond features the historic covered bridge. Columbus is known for its public art displays, and several are located in the park. One recent addition to the park landscape is a set of tall, wooden poles topped with bat nesting boxes. The poles are set in rock cairns for shelter of amphibians and reptiles.
The brick “monument” complete with an arch and flanked by a bronze information plaque is a highly visible structure. The plaque describes the mill race that ran through acreage. It also listed the many industries along the old mill race, including mills and brickyards. The Mill Race Park in Columbus is a delightful place. It is worth your visit.
A visit from a Turkey Vulture
Our eagle eyed son shouted “Dad, come here, there’s a big bird on the top of the pole!” He was so right. A Turkey Vulture had in fact landed on the very tall utility pole in the yard next door.
The Turkey Vulture eats carrion and plays a large role in cleaning up the ecosystem. It can soar for hours, riding the thermals in the sky. (Here is a video link of ours with soaring vultures) It was raining today, and this vulture was spreading his wings to dry and shaking off moisture as well. Vultures also spread their wings first thing in the mornings to warm up and energize for the day. We seem to have a wonderful perch, and this is the first time we have seen a vulture land here.