Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Delights


Here in Chicago, sunshine and spring warmth have been especially elusive. My fingers are crossed that more spring-like weather will arrive soon along with a great variety of colorful bird migrants. This post features several birds seen during the months of March and April.


A striking Horned Grebe in full breeding plumage finery


This pretty Horned Grebe still sports its winter plumage


Wading in chilly pond waters ~ Red-breasted Mergansers


Always a magnificent sight ~ Wood Duck


A beautiful Male Eastern Bluebird perches on a budding branch 

Over the last two years we have had an Eastern Bluebird couple occupy one of the nest boxes on our country property. They have raised six broods. In February, we were delighted to see that the pair had returned and claimed the bluebird house once again. We have high hopes that the two bluebirds will be as successful as they have been in the past.


A pretty Hermit Thrush forages for food in the sprouting grass


The interesting feather patterns and colors of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


A busy Brown Creeper makes its way up a tree


The attractive russet feathers of a Fox Sparrow


A handsome Eastern Phoebe perches on a scaffold

Last year, a rather tame Eastern Phoebe pair built a nest inside the garage of our home which was (and still is) under construction. We are thrilled that they have returned and woven a new nest about a foot away from last years location.


A good stretch! ~ Barnacle Goose

This goose was seen at New Buffalo Beach in New Buffalo, Michigan and is not commonly seen in this area. Barnacle Geese breed in Europe and Northern Eurasia. They spend their winters in Europe and the British Isles. Some believe this is an escaped captive bird. No matter, it is most beautiful!


One of many Gray Squirrels seen scampering about this chilly spring


58 comments:

nic.b van es said...

Wat een heerlijke serie het mag dan nog niet veel lente zijn maar dat is aan je log niet te merken.

PoetessWug said...

It's nice to see that you were still able to find wildlife to photograph! Even birds have been scarce around here...as has Spring! :-] Beautiful photos, as usual, Julie!

Digi-Irma said...

Great photos Julie.
My favorite is the first picture.
Greetings Irma

TexWisGirl said...

i always get excited when i see a post from you in my reader! i KNOW that i will enjoy each and every photo - and i did! you share such great beauty. LOVE the sapsucker. LOVE the wood duck. LOVE the mergansers and grebes! your fox squirrel looks like he's mixed with gray! he has a white belly! :)

prairiebirder said...

These photographs are truly "Spring Delights"! I really love the photo of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. It will be awhile until they arrive in our area.

JRandSue said...

Magnificent collection,love the Fox
Sparrow,wonderful shot.
John.

Laurence Butler said...

Wonderful photos Julie, absolutely stunning.
It's a wonder those Eared Grebes don't hybridize more often, they're too gorgeous!

Herman versteeg said...

wat een geweldige serie is dit.
groetjes Herman.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Magnificas capturas al cual mas bonita.Saludos

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Julie,
This is a timely start of the new week with such perfect photos. Not only the quality of the photo itself but far more the keen observing eye behind that lens. LOVED the good stretch of the Barnacle Goose!
Hugs to you and enjoy spring.
Mariette

Gordon said...

What a great set of photos Julie, I like them all, but the Horned Grebe takes the prize for me.
All the best Gordon.

Bob Bushell said...

The best. My favourites are the Grebes and the Brown Creeper, fantastic.

Coppertop said...

Fantastic shots! I love the colorful horned Grebe!

Jim Braswell said...

Awesome post/pix, Julie!

Kerri said...

Always Stunning! WOW! Magnificent capture!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I love birds and these pictures show them at their best. I can hardly wait for many of these same birds to arrive near my home.

Maria said...

Thanks for sharing these beauties. I'm in FL now, so I'll be seeing some of these.

Robin Clifton said...

Wonderful collection, I love the Grebe all decked out! :)

Rosemary Aubut said...

Gorgeous photography! Loved them all!

Robin Robinson said...

Fabulous set of images. We get Horned Grebes here on coastal Maine. My high count is 16. But, I never see them in breeding plumage and by the time they turn, they turn and leave (some call that migration)! Wonderful pics, great sharpness, detail, nice light and composition.

Debbie said...

such gorgeous wildlife, photgraphed so beautifully!!

the wood duck is just magnificant, i don't see any of the ducks you featured today, what a treat!!

KaHolly said...

Delightful images, as always!! Thanks!

Rebecca said...

What great shots! Perfect photo of the bluebird and I love the expression of the gray squirrel!

eileeninmd said...

Julie, wonderful collection of birds and photos. My favorite is the first Grebe. It will be nice to watch the progress of the nest in your garage..I will look forward to some photos of the babies.

Bets said...

Hello Juliu
What a beautiful blog. I like all the pictures.
Greetings Bets

MoiCLouLou said...

Lovely birds Julie! Some we can see here like the fox sparrow which is one of my favorite...
Beautiful ducks with sharp colors are always nice, like you say.
It's always nice to see a bird couple return to the same spot for breeding. We have a couple of Eastern Phoebe that are always at the rendez-vous in spring and we are delighted they do.
Hope the warm weather is there, here it is on it's way!
Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures and sights!
Louise

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful birds, the squirrel looks as if it is about to say something profound.

Larry Ostby said...

I saw your first photo and to myself said "aah" with a smile. Love the Creeper and Wood Duck. The Barnacle Goose is something I haven't seen around here. Your posts are always inspirational to me. You present your post with the utmost detail and professionalism. Thank you.

Noushka said...

Hello Julie!
Back from a holiday,I discover all your latest posts!
Each and everyone of your pics is absolutely stunning!
My sincere congratulations!
Cheers and keep enjoying us with the beauty of your environment!

CabinGirl said...

Beautiful capture of the Horned Grebes, Julie! Have fun enjoying your phoebe family this summer :-)

Daniel LaFrance said...

Amazing clarity and detail in all your photos. Wow!

Mia McPherson said...

Beautiful images as always Julie!

Julie Brown said...

That horned grebe is absolutely gorgeous, Julie! I just scrolled down through your entire page and really enjoyed all of your lovely images. Superb color and detail in your work.

Gladys said...

Awesome photo's, Julie. What do you use for a camera? Photo's show so much detail.

dreamfalcon said...

Beautiful again - I can feel the sun thru your photos!

Julie G. said...

Thank you kindly, Gladys! These photographs were taken with a Canon 7D camera, Canon 100-400mm lens.

Marco Alpha said...

Hey Julie,
What a great shots you've made again. It's always really nice to see your results with much birds which I've never seen before.
The Sapsucker and Bluebird are amazing.

Many greetings,
Marco

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

Oh my another wonderful post filled with MANY incredible photos. Love that barnacle goose, I have never seen one. Love that stretch.

John's Island said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John's Island said...

Hi Julie, As always, a wonderful post! Your photos never disappoint and your postings are always an inspiration for me. This time I am impressed by the variety is in your birding photos. I appreciate the way you identify the birds! The more I get into photographing birds, the more I appreciate YOUR photos! I also wanted to thank you for such a kind and wonderful comment as you left for me recently on my blog. Julie, you are so kind and encouraging! Wishing you and your family a wonderful spring! John PS Had to re-post due to a typo! :-)

Tammy said...

Hi Julie, This is such a beautiful collection of images of your local birds! The Horned Grebe is absolutely stunning! The Creeper is very cool, also! Take care!

Guy said...

Hi Julie

This is a stunning series of photos. The Horned Grebe was a great shot but all the photos are so beautifully detailed it is a real tribute to your skill.

Guy

KaHolly said...

As always, Julie, your photos are exquisite. I can't help but wonder how you get all those birds to pose for you so nicely!! Well done!!

Edu. Matos said...

Seleção de fotos incrivelmente bonitas.

Scott (@NESASK) said...

These are gorgeous photos, Julie. The Barnacle Goose must have been a surprise. I'm hoping to see most of these birds here soon, as the migratory birds make their way back to Saskatchewan.

Debbie said...

thanks julie, for stopping by so often and for leaving such lovely comments!!

i hope you have a beautiful, sun filled weekend!!

subranar said...

Fantastic pictures Julie. I liked the Brown Creeper stealthily climbing up!

Kalyan said...

Simply beautiful colours...lovely!

Jann said...

Oh Julie, what wonderful captures as usual! Similar to the hermit thrush, we've got a brown thrasher visiting our feeders now...your grebes make me miss watching the eared grebes I'd found in S Dakota!

ZielonaMila said...

Beautiful photos, the nature is wonderful:) Greetings

Julie Hargreaves said...

Beautiful photos

Mary said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog, and commenting on my doe pictures. I love trying to get the "perfect" shot and have been watching birds since I retired. Now I am working on improving my shots of birds. Your pictures are beautiful. Thank you for giving me inspiration.

Carole DeAngeli said...

What a beautiful blog you have. I always enjoy my visit.

forgetmenot said...

What a variety !!! All great shots, but I love the little bluebird. Eventually it will be summertime, but the weather has been "crazy" everywhere this year. How is your house coming? Hope you are close to moving in--what an exciting time. Have a lovely weekend. Mickie :)

Vito Coppola said...

Immagini molto belle...complimenti

Un saluto
Vito

Giancarlo said...

Fotografie fantastiche...ciao

Mary said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate your comments. You are doing what I would like to do. I have loved to take pictures all my life. So enjoy nature and all it has.

KaHolly said...

What a wonderful series of photos! I was out hiking deep in the forest yesterday and saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker feeding on a Yellow Birch that it had already prepared. Then a hummingbird flew in for its midafternoon snack. What a special treat to see!