20160717-21 Some birdies, bugs and blooms around Britt

Here are some close-up (and one far-away) sights seen over the last few days.

First a very special and uncommon Indigo Bunting in a leafless tree, next to the one that it(?) was in last year.  It stayed there a few minutes, sang a brief song and disappeared.  It is a real challenge to photograph against a bright sky because of its structural coloration.  One of these years I hope to see one when it is downsun from me.


This bouquet of Clematis virginiana (devil’s darning needles, devil’s hair, love vine, traveller’s joy, virgin’s bower, Virginia virgin’s bower, wild hops, and woodbine) reflects sunlight a little more simply, showing the structure in the petals.


And this Ringbill Gull stopped close enough to the car to let us photograph the structure of its iris.  [You may have to click on the image to see the iris up close.]


This  orange belted bumblebee, Bombus tenarius, is seen with increasing frequency, possibly because I am learning to pay more attention to roadside blooms, a thistle in this case.


This is the first male Widow Skimmer I’ve seen this year …. very fleetingly as it lit for only a few seconds.


Which was very different from this Lancet Clubtail, who hung onto that purplish stem for almost a minute, perhaps chewing up the flies that it caught out of the air.


The Black Eyed Susans at Wrights is a delicatessen for lots of bees, bumblebees and hoverflies:



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I came across this juvenile Broadwinged Hawk on the gravel road across from my place a couple of days ago.  Instead of flying off, it eyed me in the car and then approached quickly…

(Sorry, no iris with this one when you click on the image for a close-up.)


I carefully drove away, turned around and found it again, this time in the grass at the side of the road.   I didn’t notice the bug  near its mouth until I saw this image on the computer:


And it wasn’t until I saw the following image on the computer that I realized why this bird displayed such strange behaviour.   It had suffered an injury to its tail and couldn’t fly properly.   So it stayed on the side of the road and captured insects for its protein needs, until it heals and can go after its normal prey: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Broad-winged_Hawk/lifehistory

Broad-winged Hawks eat mostly small mammals, amphibians, and insects. They watch for food from perches on tree limbs (often below the canopy and in the forest interior) as well as places such as utility poles near forest edges. When they spot prey, they swoop down to snatch it from the forest floor. They only occasionally hunt on the wing. Their most frequent prey items are frogs, toads, and small rodents, but they have a broad diet that includes invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds (mostly nestlings and juveniles). Their invertebrate prey includes mantises, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants, junebugs, click beetles, ground beetles, flies, spiders, earthworms, and crabs.


When I pulled into the driveway I saw this grey grasshopper, as yet unidentified:


A distant sparrow on pagewire fencing at Burwash, but which one?  Song?   Savannah?   Vesper?   (I think Vesper.)



Distant Belted Kingfisher, a very elusive birdie…


Murdoch River, again, this time in heavy rain…


Recently I was on a photography website conversing with a California photographer who is also a “content” photographer.   This is what he said:

I don’t control the subjects in my photos and conditions often limit my choice of my position relative to the subject.  When I see a subject I like, I do the best I can in the circumstances to get a good picture.  When I’ve captured the image, I try to appreciate the result for what’s worthwhile about it.  I don’t worry much about how it falls short of perfection.

Have a look at his and his partner’s photography:



Nice, eh?