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Posts Tagged ‘New Year 2018’

On Monday, I was having a nice little portrait session with a male Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, but I wanted more than just a glimpse of his “ruby crown.” Amazingly, he bowed in my direction to make my wish come true.

For those of you who may not be familiar with kinglets, they are tiny birds that are even smaller than chickadees. During this past fall, I became aware that they spend their winters in my area and I have been hunting them ever since. Both the Ruby-crowned Kinglet and the Golden-crowned Kinglet are energetic and elusive and rarely sit still long enough for me to get a shot. When it comes to the “ruby crown,” only the male has it and it is only occasionally visible. That is why I was ecstatic to be able to get such a clear shot of the ruby crown of this kinglet.

Wishes do come true—maybe a ruby crown is better than ruby slippers.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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How did you spend your New Year’s Day? When I arrived yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the sun had just risen. I was a bit shocked to see four other cars in the parking lot, given that it was only 7:30 in the morning. I trudged about the refuge all day (and have a bunch of photos to sort through) and as I departed at 6:00 pm, the full moon was rising.

It was a long, tiring day, but I can’t think of anything I would rather have been doing to start off the new year.  Just for fun, I’m also including the view from inside my car as I got ready to step out into the crisp morning air. I am not sure it was actually 5 degrees outside ( minus 15 degrees C), but that was what my car showed as the outside temperature. Eventually it “warmed up” to about 24 degrees (minus 5 C) during the day, though the occasional gusts of wind made it feel colder.

sunrise

moonrise

cold

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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So how are you feeling about the new year that has just begun? Are you feeling more like the Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) on the left, agitated and out front, or more like the one on the right, mellow and content to remain in the background? (Photographed this past Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.)

I would never have thought of a bluebird when I thought of an “angry bird,” but it sure looked irritated or even angry about something. Perhaps it was a territoriality issue or a fellow bluebird had just cut him off in traffic without even signalling. Whatever the case, I love the intensity of the pose that I managed to capture.

I hope that this first day of the new year finds you at peace and optimistic. Best wishes to all of you for a blessed new year. 

Eastern Bluebirds

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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