Friday, April 3, 2020

A Gloomy Day at the Ditch - But I'm Outside!

Just a short walk to the Ditch today. To be honest, since I took these photos on March 24 and March 28, it's a little more green and a bit more lively.


But the red-wing blackbirds are back. They probably have been for a bit and I just haven't seen them. People who follow birds more carefully than I say that these are really the first sign of spring.


And of course, robins are plentiful!


This is the large pond.


If you look to the right you'll see a spot where it juts out. A little closer -- do you see what I see?


I think this Canada goose (actually, there are two there, you can only see one) may be nesting.


 You can see the rump of the other one better here.


Those were from the earlier walk. On the 28th I returned again and saw this handsome fellow -- all black with a gorgeous blue head.


At first I thought it was a trick of the light, except there really wasn't any. As I got closer I could see his head was a gorgeous royal blue. Would any of my favorite bird bloggers be able to identify this one? I couldn't find him in my bird book. My facebook friends think it's a grackle.


There were loads of dog walkers and joggers, but all keeping distance. I realized, though, when I ran into a friend I'd not seen in at least a year, maybe longer, that the initial instinct was to hug each other. Instead, we stood a good eight or ten feet apart, on either side of the paved path so others could pass. It felt very odd.


My neighborhood is under a flight path to our local airport. There isn't a huge amount of traffic and they still fly relatively high where I am. We are aware of their passing but it's not close enough to be annoying. But every day it seems quieter, reminding me of 9/11, when there were no planes in the sky.


On one of the small ponds, we find another Canada geese duo -- if you look to the right, I think there's another nest there.


Maybe soon we'll see this (from last year!)


I hope so!

Sharing with:    Saturday's Critters     /    Let's Keep in Touch     

51 comments:

DUTA said...

What a delight to the eyes!
Such splendid birds, and excellent photos!

Valerie-Jael said...

You had a nice walk and saw lots of birds. The one with a blue head looks like the common grackle. Hope the geese have lots of little ones! It was grey here today, but tomorrow it's supposed to be warm and sunny. Take care, hugs, Valerie

David M. Gascoigne, said...

This is a fine set of pictures, Jeanie, and the handsome bird with the blue sheen is a male Common Grackle. Well done with this photograph, and I am happy to see young Canada Geese, of course. This is a difficult time for everyone, but a walk enjoying nature makes it seem a little more tolerable. Stay well. Give my best to Rick, and make sure you take care of each other.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I thought about Grackle too...maybe with breeding colors! WOW! How beautiful! Love the photos you took of the Canada Goose....what a neat background. Take care of yourself sweet friend. Any good books you want to recommend to me? Hugs!

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

awww, I especially love that last photo and the rest are not the least bit gloomy.

I sat on my desk in the sun for the first time this spring. It sure felt good!

Monica Hein ~ Beauty Diary said...

That black and blue bird is beautiful!

My name is Erika. said...

What gorgeous bird photos. The little gosling is adorable. And the blue headed bird. Wow.I don't know what it is but what a stunning bird. I looked it up because I didn't think grackles had such blue heads. Glad you got out for a little fresh air. It really helps, doesn't it? Hugs-Erika

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Oh, those birds, how wonderful!!! It's like you had some nice company in this time of isolation. But it sounds like you weren't the only human, and even found a friend. Yes it is odd to stand at a distance when you are close to someone, sort of a contradiciton...I've NEVER seen a blue headed bird like that one, not even in pictures!!! Wow! Glad you got out and observed such wonders...thanks for sharing them, Jeanie.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos of the birds. They are such a delight, Jeanie.
Keeping you in my thoughts. Stay well.
blessings,
Penny

Joanne Huffman said...

It was sunny in Kalamazoo today, which lightened my mood considerably.

GretchenJoanna said...

WOW! Your bird pictures are great. I love the one of the geese behind the cattails - they are cattails, aren't they? -- and the grackle is amazing! If I saw one of them my heart would pound.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I've never heard of Grackle, but it's a beautiful bird. Much prettier than the Canadian Geese that live in my neighborhood. Glad you got out, but I am not so adventurous. I was glad you had time to spend with a friend. I know what you mean about worrying you might forget and hug someone, or put your hand on their arm. It's scary times, but you got out and that means you are braver than I.

Iris Flavia said...

Awww, especially the last pic is very cute and so full of hope for better times!
Aw. Cute.

BeachGypsy said...

Ive seen lots of grackles.....but never with a bright blue head!!---so pretty, I love it!! Hope you're doing well and staying healthy. Hugs and encouragement through our pictures and blog posts, that's what us ladies are doing!

Evi Erlinda said...

The blue head is attractive!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great photos. I'm glad you were able to go for a walk, and that everyone there was respecting the social distancing rules. It's been a little too chilly where I live, for me to want to venture out yet. People in the grocery stores here seem to be respecting the rules, but now my state (CT) put in new rules about how many people can be inside, distance markers on the floor at the check outs, etc. The limited number of airplanes flying overhead and the very spartan traffic on the highways reminds me of 9/11.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Don't ask me why, Jeanie, but I woke up in the night, and was thinking about what you said about Red-winged Blackbirds being considered the real first sign of spring, by many. Count me among them. But let me also tell you this. I cannot even remember a time when birds have not been the focal point of my life, all of nature in fact, but birds lead by a wide margin. And after all those years, and many, many springs, the first male Red-winged Blackbird singing from a marsh, can send shivers down my spine and bring tears to my eyes. There is something primal about it, and it moves me in ways nothing else does. And the feelings are magnified with the passage of the years, not diminished. Thanks for featuring Red-winged Blackbirds on your blog. I hope that, along with Harry the Heron, we may see them again.,

shoreacres said...

I loved seeing that gosling! And your very handsome bird with the gorgeous blue head is a male common grackle. They're often a little bland, but when they put on their colors, they're spectacular. I enjoy watching their antics during mating season, too -- better than television!

Polly said...

Beautiful photos Jeanie, the blue bird is stunning. The last one is adorable, a reminder of better times ahead.

creativeseconds.com said...

Beautiful shots ~ It is weird not to be able to hug, hurts my soul, but this too shall pass. I'm Looking forward to seeing the goslings too ~ Blessings

Mae Travels said...

We have been seeing the grackles too, on recent birdwalks. They have iridescent feathers on the head and shoulders, which means in some types of light, they look incredibly blue, other times the same bird could look all black. The throat of the local hummingbird has the same effect -- the light can change it from very dark to the ruby color that it's named for: ruby-throated hummingbird. Len says to tell you that the color is due to "constructive interference." He will explain on demand.

be well! ... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Lynne said...

Thank goodness for “The Ditch.”
So much to see, many stories to tell.
Like Canadian Geese Nesting!
”It’s the little things” . . . that bring joy,
especially in this ”today world.”
Thank you for the pictures Jeanie.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, I always look forward to your walks to the ditch. Your shots are always amazing, especially of the birds. Being outside is a reprieve from all the bad news. Hope does spring eternal!

thepaintedapron.com said...

Incredible photo captures Jeanie!!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

You have quite a lot of wildlife around you!

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

I love the Red-winged Blackbirds and the Grackles. They both have some pretty colors. Wonderful captures of the Goose and the little gosling is adorable. Your walk to the ditch was a success with the bird sightings. Great photos. Take care, enjoy your weekend!

La Table De Nana said...

It does feel odd..walking quickly by many many feet apart in opposite directions..luckily it doesn't happen a lot..and it's been raining so I have been enjoying Unorthodox on the treadmill..only 25 mins at a time;)
Riveting.

Karen said...

My inlaws have a lot of Canada Geese on the golf course near their house. Those things are vicious when they are nesting!
It's so nice to get out and about. The sun is shining today so we are going to try to spend more time outdoors and BBQ for dinner!
Some people think we are required to stay indoors unless we are out getting essentials. Can't convince them they need to get out and breath fresh air every day.

Danielle L Zecher said...

I have no idea what the bird with the blue head is, but it's really pretty. I doubt we'll ever get used to not hugging our friends and generally keeping our distance from everyone.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

That blue headed bird is beautiful! We have seen robins and a male cardinal. And lots of ducks. Paul would love to see a gosling or duckling. We will see what spring brings!!

It’s a weird feeling to greet people and keep our distance! We have done that, too. I see so many people out for walks. Dogs have probably never been on so many walks! I am glad Paul will sit in his stroller for walks. Long walks are so good for us. We are going to a state park tomorrow that is known for great spring wild flowers. I need something to look forward to and a change of scenery!!

The French Hutch said...

Gald you are out and enjoying some fresh air and sunshine. Looks like spring is arriving there every day. You certainly have a great spot to walk and see birds. I've wanted to walk to our pond to see the ducks but the pollen here is off the charts and I dealing with seasonal allergies. Ugg and more to come before I can get outside. I am a hugger as well so I know how weird it feels not to rush up and hug an old friend. That's really hard! Hope you enjoy this weekend.........

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

glad you're outside and love all your photos

Rita C at Panoply said...

Great photos! Cloudy days I find are sometimes better insofar as people seem to be more spread out or not out at all. We were out today - very sunny and nice, near 70° - and people were everywhere. Lots of people working in their yards, and I saw one family's garage explode with what used to be belongings piled so thick they could barely get their door open, let alone park a car inside, lol. THey had stuff strewn all over their drive and lawn. Funny.

eileeninmd said...

Hi Jeanie,

I just wanted to stop back and say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. You have some wonderful bird photos. Stay well, enjoy your day!

Vagabonde said...

I really enjoyed looking at the variety of birds in your woods. Here I can only see robins and cardinals out of my kitchen window. I also envy your being able to walk outdoor and in nature. I am in Nashville mid-town with now many students walking by my house and people walking their dogs without wearing masks. As you know my daughter is a physician epidemiologist and she does not want me to go out, anywhere. She tells me that being 6 ft away won’t help. She sent me the latest research from the academy of science that says that the virus can be propagated by tiny particles that infected people exhale during normal breathing and speech (not just sneezing and coughing.) So up to 3 hours after someone asymptomatic has walked through and breathed through a space it can still have those bioaerosol particles and spread the virus, scary… that was reported to the White House 2 days ago and that is why the CDC now says everyone should wear a mask while outside. But people don’t here. So far I have not seen anyone with a mask in Nashville. I miss walking outside with the beautiful sun here and 76 F temperature.

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

I loved your walk today, Jeanie. Those geese certainly selected a perfect spot for their nest. It is really hard to see them.
I found a Grackle in my bird book. The head looks somewhat the same, but not the color. He certainly is handsome.
We have been in the garden quite a bit and the sun and fresh air help the situation a great deal.

Continue to take care, Jeanie and enjoy your walks.

Prims By The Water said...

Pretty pics! Spring is almost here. Janice

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Glad you were able to get outdoors, Jeanie, we hope to do that sometime this weekend. After all the recent rains, the park walkways will be too muddy so downtown and side streets will be our route. That was an interesting blue-headed bird and quite sure someone will know the ID.

Cielo said...

I wish we could also go out. So happy for you that you were able to see those outdoors! Keep safe! :)


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Blondie's Journal said...

Ohhhhhh...your nature photos are making me long for the lake. Soon I hope. We are well stocked up here in the city, and I normally clear out the fridge, freezer and pantry at the bakehouse in late fall. It's all past its 'use by' date when I normally head back in April.

I'll be fine. Hopefully you and yours will, too. Sending love and hugs,

Jane😘

Anu said...

Hello. Great serie of photos. Beautiful birds. Take care.

Miss Val's Creations said...

The red wing blackbirds have passed through out neighborhood, I presume while heading north. I have never seen a blue headed bird like that fellow there! What amazing color.

crackercrumblife said...

Red-Winged Blackbirds mean spring to me! And I would call that a grackle too. :) I am glad you are getting out and walking. So important these days. Billy is on a bike ride right now but I am hoping to get out myself later today.

Take care Jeannie!

Kitty said...

Thanks for a beautiful wake up this morning Jeanie. I loveyour posts and your pictures and your words. God bless you.

Victoria Zigler said...

Glad you can still get out to the ditch.

Stevenson Que said...

Jeanie these captures are beyond awesome! Your camera and your eye is so much powerful to deliver photos as clear even the ones from afar! I really am fond of seeing ponds because we used to have those here in Cavite but non anymore because of developments. So seeing this photo you shared makes my heart happy.

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh, those red-winged black birds are pretty, aren't they? And the dear Robin makes me smile. Wow, that bird with the blue head is stunning! Have never seen that one before. And what a precious photo of the goose and the baby. I always enjoy your posts at the Ditch, Jeanie. Glad you were able to get out and see some of nature's beauty.

~Sheri

The Happy Whisk said...

I love the orange belly and the nature. I'm a nature girl so this makes me smile.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, the ditch is a magical place. Dig out your paintbrushes, all those birds would be great models. You take such pretty pictures..xxoJudy

Marilyn Miller said...

Oh I love visiting your Ditch!!! Hooray for the Canadian geese coming back to nest. What sweet little furry character in that last picture too.

Pamela said...

Great photos! I am so happy you are able to visit this place.

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