長嶺徹(Nagamine Toru)@SE on Instagram: “山モミジのお化粧後です♪ちょっと間延び感が残念なのでガッツリ落とすか悩み中。取り木するか(´ω`) #盆栽 #ミニ盆栽 #小品盆栽 #bonsai #minibonsai #shohinbonsai #bonsaitree #bonsailife #bonsaiart #紅葉…”

https://www.instagram.com/nagamine_toru_bonsai/p/BteoZThDaW-/

Kisetsu-en Bonsai on Instagram: “New free video online. Winter care is also about watering and keeping a healthy environment for the roots in the bonsai pot. Watch this…”

https://www.instagram.com/kisetsuen_mortenalbek/p/BtefZySjUGQ/

Powell Butte to Broughton Beach

Portland Birder

Every day is a big day when you bird by bike. At least the way I do it. I was away from home for 9 hours, rode 35 miles, and saw 52 species of birds. My first stop of the day was one of the three highest locations in my 5 mile radius: Powell Butte. The whole ride there was a headwind. I felt like I was in purgatory. I need to get stronger…

The reason for tackling such a hill so early in the year was that there was a report of a Northern Shrike.

Shrikes are great because they are killer songbirds. That, and they impale their prey on pokey things. They are great birds and they are by no means a guarantee in anyone’s 5mr. This Shrike was well worth the climb and 2 hours searching. I’m happy I got it on my first try!

While on…

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Unexpected Visitors

Photo by Chris Kilpatrick

What an unusual summer we have here in Willamette valley! Back in February, we celebrated early sunshine and came in April, all things were blooming and thriving. This is definitely the most colorful summer I have enjoyed around our house. Then, high temperature began to emerge in May, above 90’s and it seemed to stay this way for couple of weeks now. Except maybe two days, I have not seen the hi’s go down below 90 in a 10-day weather forecast.

The good news is, when all the flowers are in their prime, fragrance and pollen are flowing in the air, birds seem to become extremely active. I like to sit on our porch and work from my laptop when the temperature is still mild in the morning. To me, luxury is to be surrounded by flower aroma, birds chirps and pampered by pleasant breeze. It is now late spring and baby…

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It’s all about Kingfisher

Photo by Chris Kilpatrick

It was 34 degree. The wind was blowing. A complete furnishing set of coat, scarf, stocking cap and glove is still not sufficient. I wondered where to find birds in this bleak weather and environment at first.

One red-tail Hawk perched on a distant tree and one Northern Harrier were digging something on the ground, but they were so distant that my longest lens could not do justice. On the way out, we spotted this Kingfisher on the limb (if you can find it in the picture) and Great Blue Heron down below. Apparently, they were aiming at the same target – fish. Far as it appears, this is probably the closest encounter I ever had with a Kingfisher. Closer but still not close enough. Considerable details are lost after cropping and zooming. Still, this is so far the best Kingfish picture I have. The quest for a BETTER bird…

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Bird Talk and Thoughts

Photo by Chris Kilpatrick

Passing through northern California, I was attracted to the sea of Snow Geese. They are the resemblance of Canadian Geese in our area. It’s so fun to watch their large community gathering on the field, taking off, and marching in the air. Birds have no place to ‘go home’, but their habitat is much beautiful and peaceful than ours. As a single, they might not look as distinctive as other exotic birds. As a whole, their uniform movement is quite interesting.

This is not the first time I intended to communicate with the birds. I could not get a good shot of the hawks until recently. When this Red-tailed Hawk turned his head to acknowledge my greetings, I was thrilled.  

First I saw the Hawk was harassing the Crow. Without having them exposed by the camera, I would never notice that it’s now the Hawk was running for life.  In our…

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Raptors

Photo by Chris Kilpatrick

Raptors are larger birds, such as Hawk, Eagles, Falcons, Owls, and Kites etc. the so-called Birds of Prey. They have strong talons and beaks to hunt their prey in a flash. It’s a photographer’s joy to capture them in action. I am an incidental photographer. Every once a while, I got lucky. If not, I am content with a clear shot.

American Kestrels are everywhere, but most of the time, way up there on the electric wires. This guy was not too far from me and the light is good, but he was just not looking in my direction. Out of desperation, I yelled and made all sorts of noise. Finally, he turned his head.

Usually, I either saw hawks hovering in the sky or perching on the fence by the road while I was driving. On this route recommended by my birding group, I saw at least 6 of…

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Ospreys might be the greatest of all fishermen

tedmanzer

I wish I had more time to spend on and around the water. I love to watch the ospreys patrol the skies in search of fish. Some people call them sea-eagles or sea-hawks. In many places, ospreys can only be observed during certain parts of the year, but here in eastern North Carolina they live here year-round.

Forty years ago, sighting an osprey was rare. They faced the same decline as the bald eagle and many other predatory birds. Certain pesticides didn’t break down in the environment very fast. DDT is the one everyone talks about, but there were others.

These chemicals accumulated in the bodies of animals. Those at the top of the food chain became the most contaminated because of a phenomenon called biomagnification. Plants and insects were sprayed and whatever ate them also absorbed the poison. Animals couldn’t rid themselves of these toxins, which became more concentrated…

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