Several birds were at the feeder this morning, mostly Nuthatches and Chickadees. I took this photo of a Goldfinch a while back. I'm still not getting the variety I would like, but this beats the Red Squirrel...
I watched this little guy try to figure it out for a few weeks, never seeing him on it. Then one morning I saw this. But he hasn't been around for quite a while now...not that I can tell, anyway.
Eventually, if I can get enough good reference material, I might do some small bird paintings....or small paintings of small birds.
Squirrels are notoriously crafty when it comes to bird feeders. This feeder has a cable that's covered with a rubber coating. A couple of times, I saw this guy gnawing at it just above the roof. I couldn't figure out why he'd be so interested in wearing it down, and then one morning I looked out and saw the roof had been lifted up off of the feeder itself. The clip just above the feeder grasps into that rubber coating, holding the roof in place. Could it be that the squirrel knew this and that's why he gnawed away at it? That clever or not, it happened. I've since had to keep a close eye on that clip, making sure it stays fastened down.
The squirrel might even show up in a painting at some point. I hold no grudges. :)
I hope to go on one of these whale watching excursions before the summer is over. Maybe I'll get something for a painting. If I could get some good reference material for a nice painting of a breaching whale...now that would be cool! This is a great video! There used to be a boat out of Rockland that offered these tours, if I remember right. I'm not sure if there is now or not...thinking the closest might be Boothbay Harbor.
Of course this sort of activity isn't going to be seen often...this really is an exceptional video! These folks were definitely in the "right place at the right time," no pun intended. It's funny what people's' expectations with these sorts of things are, though. I was searching a couple of whale watching companies on the web, and saw some reviews. One person complained that it was all too packaged - an hour out and an hour back. He said he saw two whales in the 30-45 minutes actual viewing time and then in his comment asks, "Were they planted?"
That reminds me of the tourist who booked a stay at a coastal B&B and, when he arrived, complained about the water being too far from the beach... "It doesn't look like that in your brochure! I want a refund!" The following morning, when the tide was high, he apologized and no longer wanted his money back.
Well, that does it for this week's posts. I'm working on a 12 x 16" painting of one of the windjammers. If things go well, I'll get it posted next week. Have a great weekend!
I did some birdwatching today, trying to gather some reference material for an upcoming show. The show title is Fowl Play - homage to our feathered friends and will be held at Mars Hall Gallery in June. I expect to have a few things in it.
This guy appears to be a Thick-Billed Murre. The photos aren't really that good as it was out of range of my camera. But according to my Peterson Field Guide, I'd have to say that's what it is. I also thought it might be a Loon, but that white line on the bill makes me think otherwise. However, sitting so low in the water does tend to say "loon" to me as well. So I don't know. It was just too far out to get any real good photos.
I noticed it was different from all the other birds I was seeing and so I wanted to try to get a picture if I could. It was quite a distance from shore. All I could really see from my location was a different looking "dot" out on the water. Not a bad job considering it was beyond my camera's optical zoom capabilities and I had to resort to digital zoom. I hate doing that and try to avoid it as much as possible.
Even among birds there's always a "ham." On the way to the beach, I took a few shots of these characters. Is it just me or does that pigeon in the upper left appear to be saying, "Don't look now but that guy behind you is taking pictures of us!" And he seems to have a listening ear.
The red squirrel was back today. Actually both it and a gray squirrel were out back this morning. I still haven't seen either actually getting to my bird feeder, though. And with the slow decline in my supply of seeds very few birds are getting to it, at all. But I think I know what that is all about...
I recently read an article that said many sparrows and finches are ground feeders, or prefer to be near to the ground when they eat. My feeder is actually hanging off our back deck, which is on the second floor. A few chickadees show up but not much else. So now I'm thinking I might have to find another place for it...
So here I am looking for all this activity out on my back porch saying "come and get it!" All the while the birds are, in effect, 'looking up' at me and telling me..."But it's too high!" And I'm looking down at them and yelling.... "Well, you've got wings... FLY!!"
If nothing else...I'm thinking I might at least get some small studies done of this little guy. This is frustrating because we had a feeder at another house and the activity was crazy! We got all kinds of birds there. But it was located in an evergreen shrub and hanging about five feet or so off the ground. I could do that here, but I wouldn't have any great views to work with. Feeling kinda bummed out on this one.
Back in 1985 I started to watch Nature on PBS. I didn't see the original airing of "The Flight of the Condor: A Wildlife Exploration of the Andes." I caught it the second time around. But once I did, I was hooked. I watched all three episodes and always felt kind of sad when they ended. The music was hauntingly beautiful, the scenery mesmerizing. Add to that the magic of George Page's voice narration and the concoction was one that you just couldn't resist. One of the best documentaries I've ever seen...achingly beautiful. I miss it. A friend let me borrow a copy of the soundtrack he had on tape. I just wish PBS would re-release the original episodes on DVD. Please.