Saturday, September 22, 2012

Summer Purple Finch

Female Purple Finch
    Shortly after 9am EDT this morning with less than 2 hours remaining in the summer of 2012,  I photographed this female Purple Finch in one of the sycamores in my yard.   It was the earliest fall date for a Purple Finch in my yard, beating the November 1st female I saw eating sycamore seeds last year.  These finches breed in the forests of northern North America and are most likely to be seen in southeast Michigan during the winter season.  They move around erratically from year to year so they aren't necessarily seen in the same locations each year.
  Another bird more likely seen at bird feeders in the winter is the Red-Breasted Nuthatch.  I've been hearing them do their clown-car-horn imitation in my yard since September 13th (early fall date in my yard 9/11/10), but today I got a couple of good views of them and had a chance to get some photos.
Red-Breasted Nuthatch
   While the first winter birds are starting to show up they share the yard with the lingering birds of summer.  I'm still getting a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird or two hanging around my yard, last year I had a late date for them on October 2nd.
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
   With summer and winter birds both represented let's move on to the interesting fall migrants I've had in the yard the past two days.
American Redstart
Nashville Warbler

  Yesterday I spotted a Merlin in my neighbor's Silver Maple tree.  Lighting was about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.  I was able to get a decent portrait of it with a drab background by cranking up the camera's sensitivity to ISO 2500. 
   I also captured a couple of undynamic flight shots after it left its perch and flew past my yard.

     I had a Wood Thrush in the yard yesterday morning, it took off as I started to point the camera at it.  It was a new bird for my yardlist, number 119.

   Trying to keep up with these birds of overlapping seasons is enough to make your head spin

Head blurred at 1/125 second

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