It Must Be Real

Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.

~Fred Rogers

I guess it is really true…I am retired (again). I haven’t had much time to think about it until the last few days what with all the holiday goings-on with family and travel. I have made a long list of chores that need attention, but I also have that precious thing called time, my time. So, naturally, I managed to spend some of it (in spite of the so-so weather last week) testing out my new camera, my first full-frame DSLR. I managed to spend a few hours over a couple of days just sitting and watching birds come to our feeder on the deck. And then a short trip over to B. Everett Jordan Dam in the hopes of seeing some eagles. Here are the results – nothing all that dramatic, but it sure does feel good to spend time watching wildlife and not worrying about that list of chores (I will get to those “tomorrow”).

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White-breasted Nuthatch males have a black crown, females are more grayish. Note the extra long rear toe claw which is useful for clinging to tree trunks as they forage (click photos to enlarge).

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Hermit Thrush breed in northern states and in the high mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. They occur in the Piedmont from about mid-October through April.

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One of my favorite winter feeder birds, the energetic Ruby-crowned Kinglet,

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Kinglets have a lot of personality and are fun to watch as they flit about.

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They can be a challenge to photograph as they are always on the move, but the new camera does a great job in capturing motion.

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The most common woodpecker at our feeders is the diminutive Downy Woodpecker.

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It isn’t always easy to tell why Red-bellied Woodpeckers are so named, but you can actually see the color in this pose as it jumps off the branch toward the feeder.

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A Great Blue Heron takes off as a fisherman walks by at B. Everett Jordan Dam.

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The Double-crested Cormorants were catching a lot more fish below the dam than the human fishers.

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Captured fish were quickly added to the menu.

26 thoughts on “It Must Be Real

  1. Congratulations on your retirement Mike! I’m super happy for both of you. I look forward to reading your blog and if you ever want company on your local adventures, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

    Best of luck to you on this new leg of your journey!

    Sonja

    On Fri, Jan 10, 2020 at 1:11 PM Roads End Naturalist wrote:

    > roadsendnaturalist posted: “Often when you think you’re at the end of > something, you’re at the beginning of something else. ~Fred Rogers I guess > it is really true…I am retired (again). I haven’t had much time to think > about it until the last few days what with all the holiday go” >

  2. Amazing photography! I’m always pleased to see there’s a new blog posting from you?. Thank you for sharing your love of nature.

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