American Goldfinch

25 07 2011

Finally—my first-ever shot of the elusive, quick-moving American Goldfinch (male), photographed at Green Spring Gardens yesterday morning. My friend Gina saw one of these in her garden yesterday too (perhaps he followed me home?) and thought for sure she had discovered something rare and exotic—much like a sighting of Bigfoot or even rarer, the Dodo bird. She even thought it was perhaps a flyaway pet looking for its home. That is, until she started a web search and learned what it really was. She was so excited doing the research that she is contemplating a career change from flight attendant to ornithologist. This morning her voice had morphed into that of the character Miss Jane Hathaway (the love-starved-pith-helmet-wearing-avid-bird-watching perennial spinster) from The Beverly Hillbillies. (P.S. I advised Gina to not quit her day job.)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Birds of a feather…

6 07 2008

This afternoon, after lunch at Austin Grill, Regina, Jeff, Michael, and Nancy (Michael’s sister) and I went to check out the Hidden Pond Nature Center just down the road from the restaurant. Jeff had noticed the sign for it some time ago and wanted to check it out. Hidden Pond encompasses 25 acres, and is a little gem of a place with a peaceful duckweed covered pond and lots of turtles, dragonflies, frogs, snakes, rabbits, and birds. We saw every one of these critters during our visit. Regina discovered the snake (I walked right past it and it was less than two feet away from me!) and a giant bullfrog. We spent at least 45 minutes in the visitor’s center, watching various birds land on the bird feeders just outside the 2-story building. The nature center staff members were very helpful and even offered me a chair and opened the window near the feeders so I could have an unobstructed view while shooting. They said visitors rarely stay as long as we did to watch the birds, so they were quite helpful. I was able to get some nice shots of a variety of birds. It is so close by that we’ve vowed to go back again soon. Below: Mourning dove, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, female Cardinal, Northern House Wren, female House Finch (thanks, Regina!), male Cardinal, American Goldfinch, and a White-breasted Nuthatch. (If you are an avid birder and I have identified any of these incorrectly, please enlighten me!).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.