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John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World

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birds

Franconia Raven

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A raven surveys the scene atop Little Haystack Mtn.

I hike the Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains the other day. Two ravens were mingling with the other hikers atop Little Haystack Mountain looking for dropped food or handouts—no doubt a pretty reliable source of food for the birds. Ravens are very intelligent birds (like all corvids including crows and jays). I got the impression that these two birds hung out on the summits a lot as they were quite used to people (not necessarily a good thing…) They let me get within about 3′ of them!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 140mm, ISO 800, f/18, 1/400″ exposure.

Song Sparrow

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A song sparrow perches on a sumac branch in our front field

Song sparrows are an early returning species in our area. Their lovely fluid song means spring has truly arrived. This little fellow was quite patient with me as I took several shots of him.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 1600, f/7.1, 1/400″ exposure.

Osprey’s Breakfast

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An osprey enjoys a morning meal

Robin & I paddled around the mouth of Lewis Creek yesterday morning. We had the pleasure of getting in close to this osprey and its mate who were camped out in a tree on  one of the small (now inundated) islands out on Lake Champlain. This fellow had recently caught a fish and was enjoying a morning meal.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 800, f/11, 1/500″ exposure.

Bluebird!

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Our first bluebird of the season!

No sooner had I cleaned out the nesting boxes in our front field this morning, than a male bluebird came to inspect! Welcome back!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/1300″ exposure.

Nap time

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A female downy woodpecker catches a nap on a nearby birch

This female downy woodpecker was hanging out near our suet feeder. She would fly to the feeder to snack a bit, then fly back to the birch and tuck her head under her wing to catch a nap. I’m not sure if she might have been a bit under the weather, as I don’t think taking a nap in broad daylight is normal behavior. Still, the little ball of fluff attached to the birch was quite cute!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 246mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/640″ exposure.

Evening Grosbeak

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An male evening grosbeak in our front yard birch

We put our bird feeders back up the other day and the usual suspects are coming back. It took the chickadees about 10 minutes to discover the feeders. A pair of evening grosbeaks showed up yesterday. We used to get great flocks of grosbeaks in the winter maybe 15 years ago. In recent years, however, they’ve been quite scarce. I’m not sure why that is, but is was nice to see the pair yesterday. I wonder if they’ll stick around.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 286mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/500″ exposure.

Hummingbird family portraits

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Papa ruby throated hummingbird

We have a prodigious bee balm patch over by the pond that is a favorite of all kinds of pollinators. We also have a family of ruby throated hummingbirds in residence this summer, and they were in full play-and-feed mode yesterday afternoon—zipping about above the flowers, chasing each other, feeding, and, very rarely, perching for a few brief seconds so I could get a shot off. Here are some family portraits.

Shots taken with Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens, ISO 1600, f/5.6, various shutter speeds.

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A juvenile feeding
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Mama hummingbird (or perhaps one of the juveniles?)
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A juvenile male takes a brief break from the action

 

Taking off

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A juvenile red-tailed hawk takes off above Rock River

Robin & I paddled up the Rock River  in Highgate Springs yesterday morning. This juvenile red-tailed hawk (I think…) was perched on wires running across the river near its mouth on Lake Champlain. It patiently waited as I got close enough to get a few shots, then took off to join several other of its probable siblings cruising and squawking above the trees.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 140mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/800″ exposure

Belted Kingfisher

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A belted kingfisher perches briefly above the Poultney River

I’ve been trying for years to get a good shot of a belted kingfisher. These common denizens of streams, lakes, and ponds are quite shy and will fly away chattering as you approach limiting the possibilities of getting a good shot. Yesterday, paddling out of South Bay on lower Lake Champlain and up into the Poultney River, this fellow was a bit more patient with me allowing me to get in range and snap off a few shots before flying off. Mission accomplished!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/2000″ exposure

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