Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Bye bye blackbirds

The Red winged blackbirds are gone from the pond and I haven't seen a robin for some time. Since I am not quite ready for fall (or winter) I thought I would share these Red winged blackbird pictures that earlier in the summer.

I took the first few pictures in May.

As you probably already know:
"The Red-winged Blackbird is sexually dimorphic; the male is all black with a red shoulder and yellow wing bar, while the female is a nondescript dark brown." (Wikipedia)
First there is the male, watchful but not very involved in the raising of the chicks.


Here is the female gathering food: seeds and insects make up the bulk of their diet.

Sometimes I take a picture and don't realize until later that I have something special. This next picture is of the female glaring at me from the reeds in the pond at Jericho Park. Later when I looked more carefully at the picture I realized that I had managed to get a picture not only of her nest but also the young in the nest (bottom right of the picture).

Red winged blackbird females build a nest in the reeds, over the water, and are rather secretive about its location. Had I known that I had caught sight of her nest I would surely have taken more pictures, but I am more than happy with just one.
The next series of pictures was taken in July, perhaps (probably not) the same pair of birds, but this time the young are fledged and fending for themselves.

It was raining lightly but I met a man who comes each day to feed the birds, and they come and eat from his hand. Naturally I had to stop and take a few pictures. Some of these birds are young, some immature males judging by the markings.

Notice how slim the one below is, and striking a very elegant pose for the camera.


Here is the "old guy" again, I loved the range of expressions.

As the title of my post suggests, the blackbirds are gone now, they left in September, migrating south for the winter.

The blackbirds, swallows and robins are all gone, but they'll return next Spring and I'll be waiting.

""Bye, Bye, Blackbird" is a song published in 1926 by the American composer Ray Henderson and lyricist Mort Dixon. It is considered a popular standard and was first recorded by Gene Austin in 1926." (Wikipedia)

Here is that first recording thanks to You Tube:

 Well this week I have some paintings to share with you. The first one is of Red winged Blackbirds, it is one that I have been working on for more than a month. I "lost" it somewhere along the way and I have done all I can to save it but I am still not happy with the result, I like parts of it very much, and I have spent so much time on it that I am sad to say enough is enough. It is called "Triangles" and is a watercolour:

I also finished another painting this week, on last week's theme of Dahlias. Is is a poured watercolour that I have called "White Lightning" and I am very happy with this one. Here it is:
Well that is about all for this week, except to say that I have been having some trouble with my computer and with blogger freezing up on me, very frustrating, and so the last two posts have ended up "published" when they are not supposed to be and I have sent them back to draft. Anyone who is following the blog by email feed will have gotten an email when such post available, so I apologize if  this has happened to you.

Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week.......