It doesn’t snow here often, maybe once every two or three years, if that, so, it’s a pretty big deal when it does. Even a few inches will close schools for a week and empty the bread and milk shelves in the grocery stores. And, if there’s freezing rain involved, the power usually goes out for several days. Armed with my “hunker down list”, I made a supply run to stock up on, among things, gasoline, to keep the generators running in the event of a blackout. ( The power stayed on and the gasoline wound up in my truck.) The storm which came overnight, topped out at between 3 and 4 inches. It was more than enough to cover the ground and pile up on the evergreens. I packed up my camera and headed out with a sack of black oil sunflower seeds in hopes of catching a few bird shots. Birds must have some sort of Twitter thing that allows them to instantly communicate with other birds. A few scattered sunflower seeds on the ground below my favorite River Birch Tree brought them out in droves.
The smaller birds like the Dark Eyed Junkos and House Finches were first on the scene, loading up before the bigger birds muscled in.
The Northern Cardinals, male and female, who mate for life, usually show up together. It’s interesting how they take turns swooping down to the seeds, pick one up and fly back to almost the same spot in the tree to crack it open and eat. After about an hour, the tree was overrun by Common Grackles. These birds appear to be all black at a distance, but are actually highly iridescent with colors ranging from blue to purple depending on how the light strikes them.
My Nikon D750 was back at Nikon in New York getting its shutter repaired in a recall so I used the trusty D700 to capture these, using a 70 to 300 mm lens which I have had for well over a decade. I had to get close to avoid extreme cropping with the D700 which packs only 12 megapixels. I was right pleased with the results. Maybe by the next time it snows here, I’ll have one of those big telephotos that are all the rage. Maybe! At 72, I’m not one to look too far ahead. Thanks for the visit. Have a good week.