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Welcome to My Heartsong!

My Heartsong came out of a desire to be true to myself and sing the song of my heart,to take the time to do the things that I love to do because I came to believe that to follow this call is to do the will of the Creator and it gives me great pleasure.(when one receives a gift,one must open it). An activity that feeds my soul is photography. I share with you my photos and a little bit about them. Enjoy!
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Time Out

To all my friends and followers on WordPress;

I downloaded  some material last night from the web. Don’t know if this is the problem, but today when I turned on my computer, my monitor is black.It is on, but there is no picture. hope it is just the monitor but have no money now to replace or fix. Hope I didn’t lose all 10,000 photos. I can always take more.

But for now I am on hiatus. Catch up with you soon, hopefully.Be well.

Jane

Mating Behaviour in Magpies plus Sightings of Robins

I saw this strange behaviour between these two Magpies on the steps of  a building where the female would shiver her wings and body, then the male who was sitting above her on a railing , would swoop down on her. This  happened twice.The first picture shows the female shivering for the second time, vigorously flapping her wings close to her body.

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The second picture shows the male swooping down to the female who is tilting her tail and hind end up in the air.

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Then the pair flew to a nearby tree and both disappeared into this nest, entering from the side away from me.

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At the end of the street where I live I observed one lone magpie near an obvious magpie nest.I thought maybe if I waited,  it would go into the nest.

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It went closer but did not attempt to enter the nest.

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Instead, another one came out  of it. The second one appears to be holding a stick  in its mouth. The two of them flew off together.

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I also saw three robins today, the first is a female in the woods.

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The second was a male down the street from the woods, not necessarily the mate.

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And the third was a male singing in a tree  beside the magpie nest.

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There is a nest in the same tree, but not a typical robin’s nest. Who knows?

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There is a lot of activity in the neighbourhood,and plenty of opportunities to observe magpies, house finches, robins, crows, house sparrows, all of whom are nesting in the neighbourhood or nearby. Next month the warblers will arrive. I am looking forward to the upcoming season.

 

 

 

Still Life in Nature

 

 

 

 

 

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Hand held for 1/60 sec at f/ 9, 300mm, ISO 800

Got to give Credit to the Magpies

The black-billed Magpie is a member of the corvid family, making them kin to crows, ravens and jays.To some they are pests, to others they are a source of affection. They are an intelligent bird, storing food in caches and are able to remember where they store their piles and will watch where other birds store their food then steal it. The only time I really hated them was the time I saw a pair of them take the babies out of a chickadee’s nest and eat them, while the parents attacked the larger birds but to no avail.I have seen them chase a rabbit for fun and nip it in the bottom until the rabbit ran away. I have seen magpies play tag with cats, sneaking up behind the felines then flying out of the way just in time to evade the claws of the frustrated animals.

Because I started watching them build one nest I grew more fascinated. They are monogamous and there are a few pairs in the neighbourhood. I have since discovered another nest that is being built.I was watching them for a while the other day and following them while taking photos.They grew more tolerant of my curiosity and as I continued walking they were soon following me. 

Here are some shots from that day except for the second photo which was taken at another time in different light..

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Winter Revisited

Last night while at the library the snow started again. We have had a few “flurries.” This time the weather forecast was for 10-15 cm.

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Today it was not as heavy as forecast but it did cover the ground.

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Some creative women from an apartment got creative and made the most of it.Image

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The golfers may have to wait a little longer to “tee off ” at the golf course below.

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The temperatures are erratic, going up and down , above and below freezing. It may continue for a while so just grin and bear it.

Happy Easter to those who are celebrating!

Nests Revealed-Ones to Watch

This is a good time of year to observe the nests in your neighbourhood, before the leaves grow and cover everything up. There are many kinds and it surprises me how close some are to the trails that we frequent or right out in the open in our own neighbourhoods. Some seem to be abandoned but others are being built up this year. Here are some samples.

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Another Surprise

This gal showed up briefly on this tree in a small urban park beside a very busy road. Keep your eyes open, you never know what you are going to see.

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Black-Billed Magpies Making Nests

Not too far from the path that runs beside the golf course i saw a lot of activity as magpies flew back and forth. They had sticks and were going deep into the valley and coming back uphill to one tree where a large nest was in process of being made. I read in a field guide that it can take 40 days to construct a nest, that both the male and female work together and the entrance is in the side of a dome. At one point they saw me watching and they disappeared for a while. I walked away so they could continue, and they did. A day later i watched them from the top of the hill where it was a good view and far enough away that they were not disturbed.

Here is the first day looking up at the nest.

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Here is the vantage point from the top of the hill. The partner is on the backside or has flown off to get more twigs and the one in the photo is going into the side entrance. The last photo shows the hole .

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Shot in aperture priority with a 300 mm lens at 1/200 sec to 1/800 sec f/6.3, 400 ISO

Ring-billed Gulls and a Surprise

The gulls’ voices were echoing in the sky for a few days so I went to the park to get up close. Here is  a nice photo of one proud adult in breeding plumage. I also took a few shots of the geese hanging out at a big puddle that temporarily serves as a pond. Something showed up in post processing that was not apparent in the initial scene. Surprise! It was the presence of a male mallard, maybe two.  Welcome back, ducks!

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1/1250 sec@f/5.6 ISO 400, 240 mm

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1/200 sec @f/7.1, ISO 400, 190 mm

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The House Finch has Returned

 

He is back this year but the house sparrows beat him and his female to the nesting spot in the cedars. He sits in the nearby tree and sings for hours a melody that drifts through my window and is pleasing to the ear.I shot these with my hand held , fully extended lens as he is a bit skittish-not good shots , but a celebration of spring.

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