Michael's Rediscovery of Nature

Ramblings and observations of a former biologist and a lifelong naturalist, who has recently returned to his roots in east Texas. After a many years of working from coast to coast in an industry far removed from biology, it has been a pleasant change of geography, activity, and attitude. No stressful job decked out in a three piece suit. No city living. Instead there is a rediscovery of the woods, of something scurrying through the leaves, of the clear notes of a bird call, and of reliving the joy that I had when nature was a playground and a classroom.

Cloudy Days Bring Bright Birds

The morning sunrise was beautiful as usual here on the Lake, but in a few minutes clouds moved in and the light completely changed.  The cloud cover gave a soft but pleasant light.  

My feeders were fairly active with the usual "suspects" of "my" Mockingbird and his new bride, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Cardinals, a solitary Mourning Dove, a few Red Wing Blackbirds, a few Brown Headed Cowbirds and a male House Sparrow. 

BaltimoreOrioleMale050816 1After watching for a few minutes, I settled down to work on the computer on two upcoming projects that must be done soon. One is to finish the new NETFO website which could be up tomorrow and to add some detail to the photography class that Kristi and I will be teaching next weekend at the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist.  

Ah, but all the good intentions flew away when I saw a flash of orange go past the window.  There were Baltimore Orioles on the feeders.  I made a few shots through the glass and screen just to document them.  Then I slowly opened the door and and set up my tripod and camera.  

It took a few minutes but they returned.  Just as I took a shot, "my" Mockingbird attacked.  He quickly chased the orioles away.  

To say the least I was a bit annoyed.  I am somewhat used to it for this is not the first time.  He chased the Cedar Waxwings off; chases the Bluebirds; and generally has issues with new species, but tolerates the Cardinals and smaller species.  Until recently he didn't pay much attention to the Red Wings and the Cowbirds but that has changed since he began nesting.  

The cloudy day and full feeders did bring a lot of activity to the feeders.  Here is list of the birds I saw today on or near the feeders:

  • Northern Mockingbirds
  • Northern Cardinals
  • Brown Headed Cowbirds
  • Eastern Phoebee
  • American Robins
  • Mourning Dove
  • House Sparrows
  • Barn Swallows
  • Turkey Vultures
  • American Crows
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Tufted Titmice
  • Carolina Chickadees
  • White Crowned Sparrows
  • Eastern Bluebirds
  • White Breasted Nuthatch
  • House Sparrows
  • Ruby Throated Hummingbirds

Quite a turnout for one day sitting still in my doorway.  

Here are some photos.


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Monday, 18 November 2019
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