Lake and Cottage Country Birds

Baldwin’s Birds


I am writing this on a somewhat dismal day, but I hope that it isn’t enough to dampen your spirits! Mine were certainly buoyed up yesterday when visiting some friends at their lakeside cottage and got a chance to go for a boat ride and also enjoy the woods surrounding the lake. What a beautiful sunny day, with lots of boat activity going on for us to see and enjoy, as we too took a water-borne tour, to see things for ourselves, such as some of the birds that were not being disturbed with all the somewhat noisy action! Meandering through the water and around the smaller islands, we came across one which housed a small Cormorant colony and a number of them were sitting up in the pine trees observing the surrounding scenery, with their black feathering and distinctive beaks being silhouetted in the bright sunlight, making photography a bit awkward. There were some though that were down at water level on some rocks, accompanied by a pair of Black-headed Gulls, so all was not lost! Surprisingly, apart from these sightings, there wasn’t much other bird activity taking place on the actual lake itself. We passed a loftily and substantially built Osprey or eagle’s nest, and saw the odd one or two Common Gulls bobbing up and down on the water but that was about it! However, on the shore at the cottage, it was a little bit more lively!

Our friends have got two Hummingbird feeders, located right on the rail of their house deck, which also has a couple of flower boxes too. The flowers were being ignored but the feeders were not and it was possible to sit on one of the benches surrounding the deck watching the Hummingbirds feed within a very close range, without them being too perturbed. It sounds like I should have managed to get plenty of close-up pictures of them, but, –  my, how fast they can move, as you may well know, and they are the masters of disguise when they do put down on a branch! Zoom, zoom! One second you hear them, the next you might see them, but they are never still, it seems. The one that I tried to watch, perched hidden in the green leafed trees, on their barest branches even, and tried to get a good camera shot of, was almost out of the question! It was either in a shaded spot, or close to a leaf, but never in clear view! When it did appear to feed, it never seemed to be hovering just in the right place, or was partially hidden by some part of the feeder! Wow! Talk about frustrating! Anyway, it kept me occupied for quite a long time trying, and then came along a complete surprise!

I was ready “to call it quits”, when a bright red flash caught my eye high up, in one of the tall green leafed trees. Swinging my camera and eyeballs round, I was determined not to miss whatever it was. This bright red visitor was a Scarlet Tanager and I was able to get only a couple of minutes seeing it before it disappeared from whence it came! I managed to snap off only 9 shots of it, but at least I got something, so I was well pleased, – great!

I hope that you too are managing to see and enjoy your regular birds and, maybe now and then, a surprise visitor or sighting. Stay safe and well,


John Baldwin



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