Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bobolinks and Red Foxes

The Bobolinks were out in full force at Chestnut Hill Farm this morning, and I had fun photographing them.   A pretty good-sized group of them congregated in one section of the meadow, and I was able to catch ten in one shot.


Since juvenile Bobolinks look like a more yellowy version of the female, the above must be a male Boblink molting out of its breeding plumage.  I thought they molted to solid black, though, so am not sure.

Here's a female collecting food.

This picture made me think of the children's nursery rhyme, "Ring around the Rosie".

Grassland birds can be hard to photograph, especially on windy days.  Their habitat often gets in the way!

Another female with food

There!  A momentary unobstructed view!

The females were really working hard collecting food.

and more food

If you look closely at some of these photos, you will notice that the bird will sit on a grouping of grass stems held together with their feet, if they are thin stems, or just one if it is thick enough.  I wonder when they gather them together?   Is it all at once when they land, or do they add to their perch once they've landed?  I'm going to try to watch for this in the future and see if I can tell.

A beautiful morning at the farm

On the way home, I stopped at the Sudbury Reservoir Trail on Parkerville Road.  I hadn't been there in a long time either.  As soon as I turned in, I heard the squeak of a baby bird.  Soon I linked it to an Eastern Kingbird with its mother.

 Eastern Kingbird

begging juvenile

The parent bird had just swooped down near the soccer net and caught this insect, flew up next to the begging juvenile and passed the insect over to it, none of which I caught on camera.  But here is the juvenile enjoying the insect!  Better late than never!

Northern Rough-Winged Swallow

These swallows were swooping and catching insects along the soccer field and water's edge.  Just as I was getting ready to leave, I noticed about six of them perched in some dead branches of a roadside tree, so I was able to get a photo of one that was not in motion.  I just could not get a solid focus on the ones that were whipping through the sky!

When I turned into my driveway, all three fox kits were present.  One scooted into a hole between the boulders under my neighbor's pool.  The other two were less afraid and dangerously more curious of the car and stared at me a bit (I had shut the engine off).  I was able to get a couple photos before they ran off.

 (through the windshield)

(from the open car window)

The cautious one.  Aw.  Love that serious face.

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