Posts in Category: Uncategorized

Royal Weaver Finch :)

House Sparrow, Rutland Water Bird Center, Rutland Water UK

No…or course not…it is the common (or once common) House Sparrow, from the feeders at Rutland Water Bird Center in midlands of the UK. They are in a serious decline in the UK, and at least some birders would not be unhappy to see them in a similar decline in the US, where, as an introduced species, they compete with native sparrows for nesting and foraging areas. There is no decline in the US though. Whenever I see a House Sparrow in Europe, whether in England or on the Continent, I think it really should have a more dressy name. They are far brighter, much more boldly colored, altogether more attractive, than in the US. Royal Weaver Finch in England, and, of course, Imperial Weaver Finch on the Continent. Don’t you think? ๐Ÿ™‚

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/250th @ ISO 800 @ f4. Processed in Polarr. 

Chaffinch at the feeder…

Chaffinch, Rutland Water Bird Center, Oakham UK

I am at Rutland Water Bird Center for the British Bird Watching Fair, the largest event of its kind in the world. I managed a few moments at the feeders at the Education Center to photograph a few common British garden birds. This is a pair of Chaffinches enjoying the mixed seed. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/250th @ ISO 1000 @ f4. Processed in Polarr.

Double Day Lilies

Double Day Lilies, the yard, Kennebunk Maine

Along one edge of our yard we had a row of these double Day Lilies. Some are even triple lilies. On a sunny afternoon, using in-camera HDR, they are about as brilliant as a flower can be. Not to mention convoluted. ๐Ÿ™‚
Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr.

I am, by they way, writing this from the Birmingham UK airport on my way to BirdFair. Waiting for my ride down across the midlands to Rutland Water.

Mallard among lilies

Mallard, Roger’s Pond Park, Kennebunk Maine

One of the rewards of my ebike photoprowl the other day was this Mallard among the water lilies at Roger’s Pond Park in Kennebunk. A study in contrasts. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/400th @ ISO 100 @ f4. -.3 EV. Processed in Polarr. 

Green-eyed Susans in the sun

Green-eyed Susans, Roger’s Pond Park, Kennebunk Maine.

There is a little clump of these flowers growing beside a tiny marshy pool at the edge of the Mousam River at Roger’s Pond Park in Kennebunk. They have the look of volunteers. I don’t think anyone planted them. Anyone human that is. They look like Black-eyed Susans, but the center is greenish yellow. I found Green-eyed Susans referenced on Google, but I think they might actually be Prairie Coneflowers…though why growing in Kennebunk Maine in wet ground is more than I can say. They certainly are beautiful in the bright August sun, especially against the dark background of the river behind. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/400th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr. 

Worn Widow Skimmer in semi-obeliskย 

Widow Skimmer, Roger’s Pond Park, Kennebunk Maine

On my electric bike photoprowl yesterday I visited Roger’s Pond. It was a hot day with lots of direct sun, and this Widow Skimmer was sun-posting, or obelisking as it is called…alining its abdomen with the angle of the sun to lower its body temperature. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/500th @ ISO 100 @ f4. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr. 

Big bee in tiny flowers

Bumblebee in Beach Heather, Kennebunk Maine

Beach Heather has tiny purple flowers, so small that from any distance it just looks like a purple haze over the green leaves. They must be rich in pollen however, as the plants are always full of big bees when in flower. It is hard work for the bees…requiring an unusual amount of acrobatic skill. Certainly not like Beach Rose where the bees just dive in a wallow. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program with Program Shift for greater depth of field. 1/125th @ ISO 100 @ f8. Processed in Polarr. 

Blazing Star close up.

Northern Blazing Star, Kennebunk Plains, Maine

This is a close-up of Northern Blazing Star from the Kennebunk Plains in West Kennebunk Maine. If you read yesterday’s post you know that the Blazing Star is endangered in most of New England, including Maine. The Plains host one of the last viable populations in the state…and this year the plants are much more sparce than usual. Next year will have a story to tell. Note that this is actually a flower head…with many tiny flowers. 

Sony Rx10iii at 85mm equivalent. Program with Program Shift for greater depth of field. f9 @ ISO 100 @ 1/250th. Processed in Polarr. 

Monarchs on Blazing Star

Monarch Butterflies on Northern Blazing Star, Kennebunk Plains, Kennebunk Maine

The Northern Blazing Star out on the Kennebunk Plains is not as prolific this year as it has been some years…but it is in full bloom right now, and it is attracting more Monarch Butterflies than I have seen anywhere in the past several years. There must have been a dozen nectering in the mile or so of the plains that I walked looking for Blazing Star. Before yesterday I had seen exactly 2 Monarch this summer…one in our yard, and one a Laudholm Farms. The numbers on the Kennebunk Plains right now is encouraging. 

Northern Blazing Star is an endangered member of the Aster family that grows primarily on sand plains throughout New England. The habitat is disappearing in all states, and the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area is one of few places where it is found regularly in Southern Maine. Some years the plains are purple with it. This year, no so much. Places where it was dense last year were burned in the fall (part of the maintenance plan for the plains as a whole…to keep them open and healthy) and it will take a few years for the Blazing Star to come back.  

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. -.7 EV. 1/250th @ f5 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic. 

Pre-flight Check

Mallards, Roger’s Pond, Kennebunk Maine

This is the first time I have seen Canada Geese and Mallards in Roger’s Pond. I often see Mallards in the river right next to the pond, but never in the pond itself…and I have never seen Canada Geese anywhere near there. ?? This young Mallard was doing a pre-flight check of his wings, but he never did get into the air. The whole group scuttled off into the water when a dog approached. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/320th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr.