My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Just another winter walk in the woods

First, I have a big announcement to make. I think that I have mentioned that I’m part of a group of nature photographers on Facebook several times. I have been bugging the leader of the group to start a blog for some time now, and she has agreed that it would be a good idea.

Her name is Jan, and she has been following a family of mute swans and other visitors to a pond near where she lives, and has captured some really good photos of all of them. But, I’ll let her tell you the story, for right now, I just want to say that she’ll be doing her first post here as a special guest blogger in the near future. That way, she can learn the ropes and not have to set up a blog from scratch before she goes out into the blogosphere on her own.

So, for Saturday’s walk for me. I went to the local county park again, hoping to track down either the Carolina wren or the pileated woodpeckers again, and had no luck with either. It was a somewhat strange day, I think that my timing was off.

I arrived at the park at mid-morning, and there were birds everywhere, at first. By the time I had finished the first short leg of my walk, the bird activity had dropped noticeably, and continued to fall off even more as the day wore on.

It got quite cold overnight, I think that the birds were out early to feed and generate some body heat, then retired to snooze in the afternoon sunshine after that.

It didn’t help that there was no way to be quiet in the woods today. The snow on the ground was so crunchy that it sounded as if I were walking on that bubble pack stuff most of the day. At least we hadn’t had any new snow for a couple of days as you can tell by this.

Duck tracks in the snow

Duck tracks in the snow

But, the pond had re-frozen, so the ducks making the tracks had moved on. You can see it was actually sunny today, although some mid-level clouds kept the temperatures below freezing, helped by a cold north wind that made it feel even colder than that.

I have posted a few photos of white-breasted nuthatches lately, and I have a few more to add here.

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

The reason I added them is that it struck me as funny when I was checking the photos out after downloading them to my computer.

When you watch a nuthatch hopping around the underside of a branch in person, it seems totally natural. But, when you see them upside down in photos, it looks like you have the photos upside down. This one stuck its head in a hole in the underside of the branch, I thought that it was looking for a nesting cavity, but it came out of the hole with something in its beak, then flew off. The hole must contain the nuthatches’ food cache.

And, from isn’t that the way it goes file, a few weeks ago I finally got a few good photos of a brown creeper for the first time after many, many attempts. Then today, one all but posed for me.

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

I don’t know how many times that it’s happened that after struggling for years to get a good photo of a species of anything, once I get a couple of good ones, that species then becomes rather easy to photograph from then on. I’ll be adding a couple of these to my post on them in the My Photo Life List series, but you’ve just seen them, so no need for a link. 😉

The rest of the day was rather slow, but I did manage a few shots.

Whitetail doe resting

Whitetail doe resting in the sun

Red-bellied woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker wondering what that bright object in the sky is

Red-bellied woodpecker in the sun

Red-bellied woodpecker in the sun

Cooper's hawk in the branches

Cooper’s hawk in the branches

Skunk cabbage in the ice

Skunk cabbage in the ice

Fox squirrel in the tree

Fox squirrel in the tree

Great blue heron in the air

Great blue heron in the air

That about wraps this one up, other than to say that once my friend Jan gets her post here published, I hope that you all give her a warm WordPress welcome! I’m sure you’ll love her photos and the stories that go with them.

Thanks for stopping by!

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12 responses

  1. Fantastic photos of the brown creeper. Talk about something hard to find.

    March 3, 2013 at 7:06 am

    • Thanks Emily! Around here, brown creepers are very common, but they blend in to their surroundings so well that most people miss them.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:27 am

  2. I wanted to buy a used truck once and couldn’t find one anywhere. My mechanic said “just wait, once you buy one you’ll see them everywhere,” and that’s exactly what happened. I see that it happens with birds too! I walked for miles yesterday on that crunchy snow and got tired of it fast, but I found some skunk cabbage, so it was worth it. I’m looking forward to seeing your friend’s swan pictures!

    March 3, 2013 at 8:22 am

    • Thanks Allen, it does work the same way with cars as well, probably just about everything in life.

      I think that the surprising thing about Jan’s eventual blog will be the variety of waterfowl that show up there. It’s very much like the ponds at my old apartment, you never know what she’s going to get photos of.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

  3. I don’t know that I’ve ever even heard of a brown creeper before, much less seen one.

    March 3, 2013 at 9:38 am

    • Look for bark moving on a tree, that’s the best way to describe how to find them. If you’re really lucky, you mat catch a flash of white from their belly. Here’s a link to more info about them. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/brown_creeper/id

      March 3, 2013 at 9:59 am

  4. You can see how busy the world….
    all the tracks in the snow!.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm

  5. I loved the nuthatch

    March 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm

  6. Don’t know who I like better, the nuthatch or the creeper! :-0

    March 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    • Thanks for the comment! They’re both fun birds to watch.

      March 5, 2013 at 1:24 am

  7. Another great series of shots for just one day! I especially love the red-bellied woodpecker in the sun, very nice.

    March 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    • Thanks, he perched in just the right spot!

      March 6, 2013 at 2:45 am