Wildlife Activity in May

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 Spring is wonderful season because it is a time of lots of wildlife activity and the swamp on the Backyard Wilderness property begins to get active with geese, ducks, turtles, etc.

Of course I mentioned this many times in my blogs that I love photographing the Great Blue Heron and recently I had that opportunity.

Spring is also a time of wildlife reproduction, and there are new young animals on the Backyard Wilderness property this season, which I enjoy photographing. Last blog I wrote about the Canada Geese with their three Goslings. They are getting bigger as each day goes by.

As you can see from the photo below the Geese, as are all animals, protective of their young when an intruder comes nearby…

One morning I looked out the window and there was a Goose high up in a tree and no other Geese were nearby.

Two days later there appeared a new Geese family with five Goslings on the property (maybe the Goose in the tree two days earlier was shouting from the tree limb that it was a new daddy).

Even a young fox stopped by for a visit one day in May…

In the past week I have seen two young Ground Hogs near the house.  I was able to make a photograph of one of them.

On several different days a Great Blue Heron hung out in the swamp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were also two young Squirrels running around the property.

April Wildlife Activity

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My favorite season for photography is spring because there is so much wildlife activity. During the month of April a variety of wildlife visited the Backyard Wilderness property.  Some of the different types of wildlife can be seen in the following photos:

Ground Hog

Gray Squirrel

Chipmunk

Red Fox

Tufted Titmouse

 

Blue Jay

Male Cardinal

 

Sparrow

Tree Swallow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Blue Heron

Male & Female Eastern Bluebirds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I especially enjoy the new life that happens during the spring season:

Female Canada Goose on nest

Male & Female Canada Goose with Goslings

Red Fox with Kits

Spring Wildlife Surprise

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This month I have noticed a Red Fox hanging around the Backyard Wilderness property a lot.  One day when I looked out the front window I saw the Fox close to the house by some props I placed there. (The Fox does not typically come so close to the house.) So I grabbed my camera and photographed the animal through the window.

A few days later I started to walk the dog and noticed the Fox by the barn. I ran inside and got my camera and was able to take a photo as the Fox ran off.

Later that day I saw the Fox on the property again through the front window.

As I watched through the window he approached the props near the house again.

A minute later the Fox ran off toward the woods.

The next day as I left the house I saw the Fox sitting by the shed.

I quickly ran in the house and got my camera. When I came back out I quietly walked toward the shed. From a long distance away I saw that the Fox was still there and there was also another animal next to it. I thought it was a Ground Hog but that made no sense. So I slowly crept closer to the shed and hid behind a large tree trunk.  As I looked at the Fox I thought maybe the other animal was a cat. Next as I looked through the camera lens I realized it was a young Fox; typically referred to as a Kit or Pup.

 

All of a sudden I saw a second one…

I walked a little closer to get a better look but when the animals noticed me the female Fox ran away and the Kits scurried back into the shed.

About an hour later the female came back.

My thought, as I decided to go back into the house, was what a wonderful surprise to see the Fox family.

Much later that day when I went outside I got even a bigger surprise; I saw an amazing sight. Of course I ran and got my camera in hopes of getting some photos.  I ran back outside and was able to photograph something truly remarkable. The female Fox was still standing on the lawn with four Kits suckling at her nipples. One of the most beautiful natural wildlife sights that I have had the privilege to photograph.

The last photo shows the Foxes walking away.

My favorite season is spring, presenting opportunities to see nature in action. The natural world is wonderful! It truly is the spirit of life.

March Wildlife

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The month of March had some wild winter weather. There were a number of warm days and a variety of wildlife enjoyed the not so frigid winter weather such as the Ground Hog drinking from the birdbath.

 

And a Hawk that circled around the Backyard Wilderness property and then landed on a tree limb for a few seconds.

Even the pond and swamp thawed out. I was fortunate enough to look out the window one day and spot a Great Blue Heron walking through the unfrozen water.

While I was watching the Great Blue, to my surprise, I noticed another Great Blue Heron in the swamp as well. What a wonderful sight! I just happened to look out the window at the perfect moment.

About a week later March got hit with a severe snowstorm. The biggest one all winter. Again as I happened to look out the side window a Great Blue Heron, at that very moment, landed on the frozen swamp. I grabbed my camera and as I was photographing through the open window (it got very cold in the house) I watched the Great Blue Heron try to walk on the ice and its wings started to flutter as it began to slip. I had not seen a Great Blue Heron on ice before.

At some point later that day I looked out the front window and was rather surprised. I grabbed my camera and went out on the front porch and made the following photo of a chipmunk on the snow. I do not ever recall seeing a chipmunk out when there was snow.

While on the porch I also made some photos of the different types of birds that were out in the snow.

 

As you can see below the snow was so deep it covered a good portion of the water pump and the seven inch tall bucket which is next to the water pump.

 

Just five days later spring arrived- hooray! Compare the photo below of a squirrel next to the water pump after the snow melted to the photos above to get an idea of how much snow we had during the storm.

Guess the squirrel was looking for a drink…

… but unfortunately will not find any water there.

I am thrilled that spring has finally arrived because it is my favorite season to photograph wildlife.

February Wild Weather

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February is supposed to be one of the snowiest months in New Jersey; however it might end up being one of the mildest Februarys on record in the Garden State, according to New Jersey State Climatologist David Robinson, who teaches at Rutgers University. http://www.nj.com/weather/index.ssf/2017/02/7_strange_facts_about_february_2017_weather.html

The month of February has seen a mix of weather conditions.  Typically it is one of the coldest months of the year and the swamp and pond usually remain frozen.

Yet, this year February has seen numerous days that  were  extremely warm. For example a couple days the temperature was in the 50’s causing the frozen swamp and pond to thaw out.

One day later we had a sever snowstorm bringing eight inches of snow and bitter temperatures.

Also, there were even several days where it reached the 60’s; which brought out lots of wildlife on the Backyard Wilderness property.

While looking out the window I noticed a Chipmunk run across the porch. It was the first Chipmunk that I’ve seen this year.

Next the oddest site; at first I was not even sure what I saw, and then I realized it was a Ground Hog with lots of leaves in its mouth. I took photos as it approached the house and went under the porch.  Guess there may be baby Ground Hogs this spring.

Every year a couple of Canada Geese mates hang around the front of the property. (In the spring they have their Goslings. Typically they have five to seven Goslings and the Goose family spends several months near the front of the house.)

The real treat came on the last day of February. It was sunny and the temperature was about 60 degrees. While looking out the window a Great Blue Heron landed in the swamp. I quickly grabbed my camera and photographed the Heron out the window.

As I have mentioned so many times in prior blogs one of my favorite birds to photography are Herons. I love watching their graceful movements. While making a few photos I noticed there were a couple of large Turtles sunning themselves on the edge of the bank. They are the first Turtles I have seen so far this year.  You are able to see them in the close-up below.

Wonder what weather the month of March will bring us.

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