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

Once again I find, myself way behind

Even though I’m trying to be more selective when I shoot photos, even though I’m trying to be more selective in the photos that I post, I just did a count of the photos that I have saved to post, and it’s 160 images. So, I’d better get right to the photos, starting with a crow. (I won’t post all 160 in this post, although it may seem like it)

American crow

American crow

The story behind this next one is better than the photo. On one of the mornings this past week, I wasn’t feeling very well, so I sat down to take a long break. There were two male catbirds, one on either side of me, engaged in a singing war. A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video about the ability of catbirds to mimic the songs of other birds. Well, these two were going at it for all they were worth.

One would pause, then start an entirely new song made up of snippets of other bird’s songs. The second catbird would then stop singing, as it listened to the song the first was singing. Then, I would hear the second one softly practicing what the first one was singing, before it added a few touches of its own, then singing his new song full volume. Upon hearing the second catbird’s song, the first one would stop to listen and learn his competitor’s song, then add a few of his own touches, before singing the new version full volume. The two of them went back and forth like that the entire time I sat there, with each trying to out sing the other. I didn’t want to interrupt the two of them, so this is the best photo I was able to get, and hearing the two of them going at it sure did make me feel better.

Male grey catbird singing

Male grey catbird singing

In fact, the catbirds cheered up a very gloomy day, and after hearing them singing, I felt well enough to swap lenses to the new 10-18 mm lens for these two images.

Highbush cranberries

Highbush cranberries

Pine needles

Pine needles

Since it had been raining, the turkeys were out in the open to dry off.

Turkeys

Turkeys

And, I’m a sucker for a snake in the grass.

Garter snake

Garter snake

This female cardinal was gathering food for her young.

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

And, this robin was wolfing down mulberries.

American robin

American robin

My timing was off, so I didn’t get a photo of a berry starting on its way down the robin’s throat, just this one of the robin with a lump in its throat as one of the berries went down its crop.

American robin

American robin

Here’s a few photos that need no explanation other than the captions.

White lily

White lily

Female house finch

Female house finch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Dianthus

Dianthus

Inside out mushroom

Inside out mushroom

Female Baltimore oriole

Female Baltimore oriole

Male Baltimore oriole

Male Baltimore oriole

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Red beetle

Red beetle

Since I’m so far behind, I shouldn’t post multiple photos of the same species of birds, but I love swallows!

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

You may have noticed that there are more images of birds in this post than what there have been lately, I getting back in practice for the fall migration, which is already starting. I see the flocks of some species of birds, such as starlings, growing larger everyday, and other species, like red-winged blackbirds, are becoming rare.

It won’t be that long before there aren’t any of these birds around to shoot.

Female rose-breasted grosbeak

Female rose-breasted grosbeak

Alder flycatcher

Alder flycatcher

Unidentified juvenile flycatcher

Unidentified juvenile flycatcher

Unidentified juvenile flycatcher

Unidentified juvenile flycatcher

Nor will there be any insects.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Butterfly

Butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Damselfliy

Damselfly

Sometimes a bird is just an excuse to shoot a photo.

American robin

American robin

I could have cropped in on the robin, but I like that one the way that it came out of the camera.

Anyway, I decided that I needed some practice on birds in flight, so I chose about the hardest large species of bird to get a good photo of, crows.

American crow in flight

American crow in flight

American crow in flight

American crow in flight

Looks like I need more practice!

Here’s something you don’t see everyday.

Whitetail doe and fawns

Whitetail doe and fawns

While it’s not unheard of for a doe to give birth to triplets, it is extremely rare. I think that there was another doe hidden in the brush along the creek that I didn’t see.

I’m sorry that I didn’t get the entire third fawn in the frame, but it was moving, and there was very little light, and as a result, my shutter speed was extremely slow. I was afraid that any movement by the deer would result in a blurry shot, so I held off until I saw that the fawn was moving out of the frame, and shot just a second too late. If I had moved the camera, then the focus wouldn’t have been right, and the deer would have been out of focus.

Whitetail doe and fawns

Whitetail doe and fawns

I say that there must have been another doe, for the fawn that I cut the head off from bolted and ran off before the three others did, and it’s very unlikely that it would have done that under the circumstances, unless its mother had called to it, or if she had taken off herself. And, I’ve seen the doe and her twins before, along with a doe with a single fawn, so I think the five of them were together that morning.

To finish this one off, a species of bird that I’ve been ignoring lately, a black-capped chickadee.

A happy black-capped chickadee

A happy black-capped chickadee

I think that the little guy was glad to see me from the look on his face, he even struck a pose for me.

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

If you’ve been missing chickadees, don’t worry, I’ve been using them as practice subjects this past week, so you’ll be seeing more of them shortly. 😉

Tomorrow, I’m going to do some serous birding in the Muskegon area, as there are already migrating birds moving through the area. That also means that I’m going to fall even further behind as far as posting photos. Oh well, it’s a tough job, but some one has to do it. 😉

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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20 responses

  1. I’m glad that you’re seeing monarchs there. You got some excellent shots of him. I saw two or three one day last week but there are nowhere near as many as there used to be.
    I love that blue dragonfly and the shots of the deer family. It makes sense that different deer families would group together like that.
    It’s hard to believe that birds are migrating already. Every year summer seems to go by faster!

    July 19, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    • Thanks Allen! I don’t see as many monarchs as there used to be either, which is really sad.

      Some of the female shorebirds that nest near the Arctic Circle don’t even incubate the eggs they lay. They leave that and raising the young to the males, while they start back down south. The males and young will follow later.

      July 19, 2014 at 11:18 pm

  2. I love the Baltimore a Oriole but have yet to see him here, beautiful pics as always!!

    July 19, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    • Thank you Barb!

      July 19, 2014 at 11:18 pm

  3. I’m so glad you’re making this sacrifice for our viewing pleasure! Pity you didn’t have some fancy recording equipment so you could share the catbird concert, but how lovely that you got to enjoy it!

    July 19, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    • Thank you! I thought about shooting a video, which would include sound, but there would be the background noise from the expressway and a busy street, along with sounds from construction, which would have ruined the sound.

      July 19, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      • Yeah, I imagine the folks who do the recording of bird song have fancy directional mikes and stuff.

        July 20, 2014 at 4:30 am

  4. I loved the catbird story and I am glad they made you feel better. It is so difficult to choose a favourite photo out of so many – the doe and fawns are wonderful and the sweet expression of the juvenile flycatcher is so appealing. No, I can’t decide!

    July 20, 2014 at 7:42 am

    • Thank you Clare! I’m sorry that you couldn’t pick a favorite. 😉

      July 20, 2014 at 7:45 am

      • Ha ha! I’m not!

        July 20, 2014 at 8:01 am

  5. Exquisite doe and fawns, the lighting is just wonderful, and I loved your dueling, or rather dueting, catbird story. Now about “fall migration” starting? Shhhhh, we haven’t had nearly enough summer here yet!

    July 20, 2014 at 10:27 am

    • Thank you! I could do without the heat of summer, if spring and fall were 5 moths long, then one month each of winter and summer, I’d be happy.

      July 20, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      • You’re welcome, and I agree with you 100%

        July 20, 2014 at 7:55 pm

  6. You have certainly kept very busy and I am looking forward to your series of chickadee pictures as it is a bird that I like a lot.

    July 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    • Thanks Tom, a couple hours of walking each day is all it takes.

      July 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm

  7. I loved your catbird story! I would love to hear something like that!

    All these photos are great – I especially enjoyed the doe and fawns and that first dragonfly shot is a killer! And that juvenile flycatcher is just too sweet!!

    July 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    • Thanks Amy! The next time you’re near the Black River, give a listen for catbirds, they love to hide out in the tag alders along the banks of the rivers up there.

      July 20, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      • I’m lucky to hear anything while hiking up there with three beagles sounding like freight trains the entire time. :/ Sometimes I would love to go off by ourselves!

        July 21, 2014 at 9:58 am

  8. Catbirds may be my new favorite backyard bird. I mean, besides ducks, that is! Thanks for sharing this mimid update!!!

    July 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    • Thank you! I love catbirds to begin with, being able to listen to two of them learning each other’s songs was special.

      July 22, 2014 at 2:37 am