Thursday, January 29, 2009

Common Birds and More

White-throated Sparrow

There are too many photos in my files that have gone untouched. These photos are not my best but I can’t let them sit in a folder to never again be seen by human eyes. So here are more January backyard birds.
And isn’t this bird a keeper?


Is there a gentler sparrow? I love these multi-color brown jobs along with the Songs, Chippings, and Juncos.
No mess, no fuss, no ruckus, no riot.


Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit this, but for many years I heard a songbird whistle that I can imitate perfectly. Never knowing who owned the voice, I've been agitated and curious. It wasn’t until last week that I found that little whistler perched in a hedge. HA!


It’s so easy to identify that cute-as-a-button stripy head.


I enjoy watching it work so diligently and quickly, kicking back dry grass and mulch with both feet.

Their arrival in autumn is always celebrated, but sadly, I never notice their departure, along with the sweet Juncos. This year, I want to notice when they begin their journey.

On to the water creatures.


Koi float to the surface on a sunny day, still stunned by cold and looking very tranquilized. I can pet them.


It’s Dove time on the pond at four o'clock every afternoon, year round, when twenty or so balls of chub take a long drink to wash down a few pounds of sunflower seeds. They must have excellent vision as they can see me enter the sunroom from the kitchen. When one panics, they all panic. Gone.

Except for one.

My favorite photo of the week:


Take cover, Downy! Fear that Dirty-throated Sparrow!

Dear Readers,

Please be honest and tell me if you have trouble loading my posts. Does it take too long? Two readers have told me they are having trouble and I believe it could be due to the size and number of photos I post. Thanks!


Kathie Brown said...

Mary, it has been so long since I have seen a white-throated sparrow. Don't you love the yellow lores by the eyes also? Lovely dove too and your koi looks like a mermaid in an evening gown!

dmmgmfm said...

Could not get these photos to load so I went to your flickr site. Spent too much time and had too much fun checking out your pix. Thanks for making me think of summer again.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Mary, I haven't had any trouble loading your posts. The only blogs I have trouble loading are the ones with fancy backgrounds. Black is the worse color of background as it is the slowest to load, for me.

Your photots of the White-throated sparrow are marvelous. I wish I could take such shots. I love to hear them sing their distinctive song.

The photo of your Koi looks like a watercolor painting. Simply dreamy.

Even though the Mourning Dove is as common as an old shoe I just love them. They are so kind and gentle. Around here they are going into their breeding plummage. I love to see them when they look like they have cerulean eye liner and lots of pink rouge. It won't be long and the males will be strutting their stuff.

Anonymous said...

The page loads quickly for me. Perhaps it's a connection problem on the reader's side?

The photos are delightful, I can't believe you've been hiding them away. The koi photo has a dreamy quality that I just love.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I've never had trouble with your post loading up.

You know that I love my sparrows too. Personalities, songs, colors, everything about them. It's hard to notice when the juncos go in spring. The numbers trickle down and then suddensly I notice they've been gone.
Your koy picture is FABBO!!

Larry said...

I don't have trouble loading your posts.-White-throa Sparrows do have that seet song and pretty yellow lores. I like watching sparrows doing the jump-back-scratch method of searching for food.It almost wants to make me try it.-the thing that takes me the longest on anyone's blog is submitting comments.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! As always beautiful photos. I love the koi photos with the ripple in the water.
It takes some time for everything to load, but it is well worth the wait. Don't change a thing. Lisa

Beth said...

Hi Mary: your blog loads a bit slower than some others, but still relatively quickly and the pix are ALWAYS worth the few seconds wait.

Kathleen said...

Mary, I am always amazed by the beauty of your photos. The white-throated sparrow is a dear - and the mourning dove, well they are special too.

Your Koi photo is like an impressionist painting. It should be in an exhibit!

Oh, I've never had any trouble loading any of your posts.

jason said...

I don't have any problems, Mary. Your posts load fine for me.

The koi photo really is spectacular--otherworldly even, although I'm smitten with the the white-throated sparrow and mourning doves--especially the mourning doves who happen to hold a dear place in my heart.

Dawn Fine said...

I use att broadband card...sometimes my connections arent always fast.
So sometimes like today it takes a bit longer to load your pages...
but i dont find it to be a big issue...I like the large size of your pictures..and just wait for it to load up.
Love the white throated sparrows as well...

KGMom said...

No problems here loading your website.
I have had problems with a few other blogs I was reading--I mean consistent problems ALWAYS not loading. So those I reluctantly stopped reading.
But yours comes through loud, clear, and always welcome.

Kim said...

Love the white throated sparrow picture Mary. I can't get over how crisp your pictures always look. Every time I come here I want to go grab my camera because your picutres inspire me so much to keep trying.

Love the koi picture. I is simply stunning.

No I have no problems loading your sight. The only sights I ever have problems with are those with automatic slide shows.

Mary said...

Thanks to all of you for letting me know about loading this site. I feel much better now :o)

Susan Gets Native said...

I love WT sparrows, too. That sweet, russet back.
Yes, your posts take a while to finish loading. I noticed that it started when you changed your blog roll to include thumbnails of other blogs. Changing that might be helpful.

Or I might be talking out of my ass.
: )

Mary said...

Hi Beth (Bruss1510),

Thanks for stopping by. No blog yet?


JeanMac said...

Your posts load quickly - the pictures are beautiful.

Vickie said...

Mary, I love the white-throated sparrow that hangs around here, too. I discover him in the holly sometimes or foraging under it blending in with the grasses. A minding-my-own business type. Your photos are beautiful and no trouble loading here.

NCmountainwoman said...

Speed is relative, like almost everything else in life. Your blog loads a little slower than some, but it's hardly a problem.

Anonymous said...

Never had a problem with your site loading. Beautiful pictures!


TR Ryan said...

I've told you time and again, now you are in trouble, you underrate your pond pictures. They are and have always been brilliant. Now, I want to purchase that first one. I have to have it. I'll pay whatever you want.

You should do a photo exhibition of your pond photos - the texture, the color, the ethereal transcendence - stunning, stunning, stunning. I've not seen anything like it. I tried to copy you in China (tao of goldfish) and failed miserably as this evermore reminds me.

Have never had trouble downloading your pics. What pixel dimension do you reduce them to? I've always done a 1000 but I've recently noted others do 400 and the pics are just as sharp in the post. Just "askin" (my word verification).

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hey Mary.... GREAT pictures!!! I always enjoy your pictures. I have not seen a White-throated Sparrow before. Gorgeous little bird. I love the Mourning Doves. Recently I saw three of them here--hiding from a hawk...

Thanks Again.

Anonymous said...

I don't have any problems, it loads instantly for me.
Love the picture of the fish!

Beth said...

Your posts always load up just fine for me even through the frigid internet air of northern new england. Your pictures are beautiful and I just want to look at that little sparrow all day--so gentle looking.

Jayne said...

I don't seem to have any problem Mary. Love your little sparrow. Thanks for pointing out that mine was a chippie. I had several shots, and one was a song sparrow, but I ended up posting the chippie and yet had that song sparrow on my mind. Brain dead I am! :c)

Kerri Farley said...

Mary, I don't have any trouble loading your posts.
I LOVE these White Throated Sparrows too!
The shot of the Koi is STUNNING! WOW!

PS - I LOVE to see the larger size of your pics.

Unknown said...

When I was on dialup I had problems loading blogs that used Flickr. But not anymore when I finally got DSL. The problems people have I believe is their internet speed and the speed of their computer processor. My computer downstairs loads slower than my computer in my studio. So don't worry about it Mary.

For your post I also love these little gems. the first time I saw White Throated Sparrows I was in awe over their coloring. They are sweet birds.

Dog_geek said...

I've never had trouble loading your posts, but if I did it would be a msall price to pay to see your wonderful pictures!

Rurality said...

I love your pictures! But they are large, and do take a long time to load for me. It's worth the wait, but if I were on dial-up, I don't think I'd be able to read your blog.

Normally what I do is click on your blog, then go read another one while I wait for yours to load. :)

Laurie and company said...

I have not trouble loading your posts...which surprises me since my comp. is a dino.
love the sparrow pictures...that fat li'l bird is adorable.
maybe you can answer kids had a bird at their window and said it was brown with some yellow on it's tail...would that also be a sparrow?
have a great day...enjoyed your pics, as always.

Richard said...

No problems here. Even if I did, it would be well worth the wait. Beautiful pictures.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

It loads instantly for me too. The backgrounds on other blogs take so much time to load, if time is limited I have to skip those.

It may be that the person has dial-up or internet issues. For those of us with high-speed the picture size doesn't matter at all.

I hope you'll be able to keep them large. The bigger the better for me. I love looking at them!

The koi picture is truly wonderful! It was a great capture!

Anonymous said...

No trouble here loading your posts. They come right up -- big, glorious, honest photos of delightful birds.

A mockingbird just moved itself from its favorite perch in my winterberry shrub out front to a new post on the feeders out back. I imagine I'll be having "conversations" with it soon, as you do with yours.

Wayne, PA

Cicero Sings said...

No problem loading your posts ... would hate to see less pictures!!

Mary said...

Thanks for your nice comments and letting me know about viewing my page.

And Heather, beware of the Mockingbird... He'll own that new post and YOU before you know :o) My word verif: domenize

Angie said...

*ducking and cringing* alas, my sister and I both have trouble loading your blog. :( *peeping through fingers* Most of the time none of the photos completely download for me. :( I just didn't want to say anything cuz I LOVE you and your's out...but I still 'visit' you every day! :D

The Quacks of Life said...

who am i to complain of too many pics?

not a problem here but have you increased the file sizes?

I do like that little chirpy little bird in the last picture :D


No problem loading your page at all. Loving the photos. :o)

Anonymous said...

Mary, don't change a thing. I love the size of your pictures.I would have trouble loading your blog at home because I have dial-up internet. At work it loads up just fine.

Rose said...

Mary, I'm one of those people who think of all sparrows as sparrows...but I'm learning:) They are such beautiful birds; your photos, as usual, are fantastic.

I noticed a little message in the corner of my computer screen "downloading 36 items," but it didn't take that long. I enjoy your large photos.

Wendy said...

Your pics are so clear and delightful! Oh, to pat a koi fish!!! Wow! I have no trouble downloading your blog.
Keep on blogging. LOL!

Anonymous said...

since I have satellite internet . . . I have had problems opening all your pictures but only takes a second for me to view them on flickr first! for sure those who have problems have connection problems (like myself) will find ways to visit great sites like this! And by the time I finish reading your comments . . . everything is loaded! Keep up the great work my friend! And love the photos!

Anonymous said...

I was just going to say your koi photo is highly-TR-worthy but then TR chimed in and beat me to it. Great shot, so ephemeral...

No problem loading here!

Corey said...

Don't give in to the dial-up mafia! Keep posting the hi-res photos Mary!

Unknown said...

Great Shots. They are a little large but very much worth the wait to load. You have a wonderful eye for nature and photography. Thank You

Les Barr said...

I don't seem to have allot of trouble loading your Site, but it is a bit on the slow side. This could be due to a number of factors, including my Provider.

Even though I am not much of a bird watcher, I always have appreciated Nature at her finest. Your photos of the common birds are very nice. It must take some good patients to get these pictures. To see a Eagle or a Hawk of some kind always is great to see! - Les

Kathi said...


When I was on dial-up, I didn't visit your blog every day. I only came by when I had the time to let your photos load, since it took quite a while then. Since I have gone to DSL, they show up much more quickly than in the past, but still the slowest of any blog I frequent. Still, it is well worth the wait, so don't change a thing.

That koi photo alone made the whole post for me - beautiful! Very impressionistic.

Glad you have some good birds back; watch out for the nasty HOSP!


Heidi said...

Well, as one can tell from my blog I don't remember what it's like with dial-up. I haven't had dial-up in at least 6 years. We had DSL and now cable... so I have no problems on your site.

I wonder though, why for some it is easier to see the pics on Flickr than on here. My experience with Flickr is that flipping from pic to pic takes longer than I would expect on a good connection. Just one of those things I'll never figure out.

By the way, I can imitate that sparrow too, lol... never knew it before either. I looked up its range, and it does winter in my area. I wonder if I heard it once before. I'm pretty sure I've never seen it.

Peg Silloway said...

I'm on cable so the time loading is not a problem. If it were, I'd just wait because your photos are always exquisite!

Love that sweet little bird with the spot of yellow.

Diane AZ said...

Beautiful tribute to your more common birds. Your pictures of the cute sparrow with the striped head and your sweet doves are too lovely to file away without sharing.

Mary said...

To Heather, Mandy, and ANON,

Thanks so much for commenting!

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, I have never had a problem loading your site until now. Are you doing something different? Do you resize your photos? Troy taught me that and it has helped alot. Love your blog as always. What is your Big January total? I'm trying to post a list on my blog.

Kathie Brown said...

BTW, I resize down to 1260 x 800 pixels approximatley. It saves me tons of space in my Picasa Web albums.

Unknown said...

mary mate, why bother bullying common scruffy sparrows, Peter, Billy and Joey arenot happy with you they are camera shy so back off, and get a life you bird perv !!!

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