A year of magical moments in nature with my camera.

I did a recap in January 2022 of my favorite photos from the previous year and decided an annual recap would be a fun feature going forward. Besides my 2022 “favorites and fabulous finds” I’m adding the calendar page idea which I stole from fellow Michigander and blogger Ruth, i.e. sharing a different calendar page with an inspirational quotation for every month of blogging.

Above is my new calendar’s January 2023 page.

In addition to my favorite 2022 photos, that I’ll insert in a slideshow at the end of this post, I also made some new and fabulous finds, none that were on my perpetual Birdie Bucket List, so that was exciting. You might be surprised to know that in all the miles hiked at various woodsy venues, I had NEVER seen a chipmunk. You haven’t met him/her yet since that story has not unfolded in this forum; I just sorted through those photos over the last holiday weekend.

Ta da! My first “Chippie” is below:

But first … in 2022, the bird was the word!

Believe it or not, every Wordless Wednesday post from August 10th until December 31st, featured a bird, some of them which I spun into fun posts with quirky titles/headlines. I still have a few oddball photos to use.

My 2022 Birdie Bucket List runneth over!

This was last year’s list of hoped-for bird sightings as 2021 came to a close. As the year progressed, I began ticking off several birds on the List:

Canvasback Duck.

I finally saw a Canvasback Duck after years of patiently standing near the water’s edge at the Dingell Park pavilion. On February 27th, I strolled along that park’s boardwalk at the Detroit River as far as I could go, even treading onto private property to view a large raft of these copper-headed beauties. I was happy for that experience, plus some photos, BUT, the very next day I got an up-close view of a Canvasback which spent several days hanging out with the resident Mallards at Council Point Park. Patience is a virtue sometimes.

Bald Eagle.

Likewise, every February and March, I would position myself at that same Dingell Park pavilion, alongside photographers with especially long lenses, as we collectively hoped for photos of the many Bald Eagles that visit nearby uninhabited Mud Island during these two months. The eagles are savvy as they know steam from U.S. Steel, a nearby industrial plant, keeps that portion of the Detroit River from freezing. Thus the eagles will show up like clockwork, scanning for fish, then dragging their find onto an ice floe to devour it. Sadly, that plant has closed down, so likely the eagle sightings will be hit or miss going forward. So, after several years of coming home with brown dots in the trees, I finally had some success and was lucky to fulfill another Birdie Bucket List item, albeit more of a silhouette due to the gray day.

Mute Swans with Cygnets.

After countless trips to Dingell Park hoping to see a Mama Mute Swan with her cygnets nestled in her back feathers, I had to settle for a swan family outing instead. The long-coveted sighting of Mute Swan(s) with cygnets finally happened during a long walk over Memorial Day weekend at Lake Erie Metropark. The family was clear across the marsh, so my shots from the overlook were not stellar, but I crossed that item off the List.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Finally, even with two hummingbird feeders at the house, all I ever got was a shadowy image of Hope, the hummingbird who visits my feeders. This shot, taken at the Oakwoods Metropark at the Nature Center was closer than I’ve ever gotten and I happily ticked “Hummingbird” off my wish list.

I also saw and photographed a Baltimore Oriole, another coveted bird, but it was in the middle of the forest, and not a very good shot.

Brand-new bird discoveries in 2022.

For me, 2022 was a year of feathered friends that I was lucky to encounter and photograph and below are some of those lucky finds.

In my 1,284 miles walked last year, definitely my most-exciting meet-up was with the Sandhill Cranes on June 18th. There I was, exploring a new (to me) grassy cut at Lake Erie Metropark, clicking away happily as a Killdeer crossed my path …

… when I heard some very loud squawking noises overhead. My head swiveled upward and soon thereafter I watched three large birds descend onto the grassy field. I recognized them immediately as Sandhill Cranes, birds I’ve only seen in photos, never up close and personal. They weren’t bothered by my presence in the least, so I took a slew of shots and blogged about them in two posts.

Pied-billed Grebe.

First, I really don’t consider myself a birder, although I have always enjoyed watching and learning about birds and we had many pet birds over the years. I do follow the Detroit Audubon Society’s local adventures on social media and maybe someday I’ll join them. But for now, I glean a lot of info about birds from the photos they post of their year-round trips. So, on July 3rd, standing on the wooden overlook at Lake Erie Metropark, I recognized a Pied-billed Grebe. In between its repeated dives, I was able to get a few shots in, like this one below.

Osprey.

I’d heard and read about the nesting pair of Osprey that live on the fringes of Lake Erie Metropark, yet never glimpsed them. Luckily, I recognized an Osprey overhead during the same trek where I saw the Pied-billed Grebe. After I identified the Osprey, I went to see their nest at the Brownstown Fire Station, just down the road. In the searing hot sun at mid-day I witnessed some serious home renovation with the Osprey’s repeated excursions for new sticks and nesting materials. This was my favorite shot from that day.

Lavender Guinea Fowl.

On September 17th, at the end of a long day of walking, I stopped at Heritage Park. Had I not read fellow blogger Rebecca’s post about Guinea Fowl, I would have had no idea what these plump, rather odd-looking birds were. These Lavender Guinea Fowl were escapees from the Petting Farm at this venue. I helped herd them toward their home and got a few photos of these fast-moving fowl – this shows them scurrying along.

Northern Flicker.

Autumn brought a few more bird finds, which I forgot about until wading through some of my 2022 photos last weekend.

I finally identified an odd bird call I heard in the still of the morning while walking at Council Point Park. The loud call was that of a Northern Flicker, a type of woodpecker and in 2022 I finally caught up with one. Too bad this male (identified by the red, heart-shaped spot on the back of its head) would not pose and instead gave me the cold shoulder.

Belted Kingfisher.

Then, while meandering along the Rouge Gateway Trail, home to several types of birds (including a Wood Duck which I hope to one day see and I have put it on my 2023 Birdie Bucket List), I spied a Belted Kingfisher. I’m not sure if it is a male or female as I can’t see its chest colors. This bird perched on a branch across from the bridge where I stood. Yes, if you squint just right you can see it, but I had to include this Kingfisher with my batch of new bird finds in 2022.

A ducky day for sure!

Then, with just a couple of weeks before year-end, I made my last new bird find of 2022 and I’ve not written about it until now.

That discovery began the evening of Saturday, December 10th when I was perusing my Facebook feed which is flooded with posts by the parks and nature venues which I frequent. The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (“DRIWF”) in Trenton had a Facebook post about a unique duck visitor to the pond.

The car needed a run and even though stubborn clouds and gray skies persisted, after I walked at Council Point Park, I headed out to the Refuge. The Park ranger that posted about this unique duck wrote “pond” but I assumed (correctly) it was the larger body of water known as the Monguagon Delta.

As I neared the long boardwalk that crosses the Delta, I didn’t have to wonder if this was the spot for viewing this duck as two photographers with lenses as long as their arm were sitting cross-legged on the boardwalk, cameras trained on the duck which was splish-splashing and diving, seemingly enjoying being the solo waterfowl in the Delta. I joined the two photographers and soon we were trading bird sighting stories and tips, a few which I tucked away, like the DRIWF’s resident Kestrel. I’ll pursue that bird in 2023.

I admit it was a tad disappointing to learn this was a Juvenile Male Long-Tailed Duck, so it did not yet have that extra-long tail feather as you see in this photo from the “All About Birds” website.

But forget about that long tail feather, because this young duck had some unique plumage; just check out the head with its black cheeks!

I last visited the DRIWF on October 10th but just two months later, on December 11th, I was astounded to see how much the water level had dropped since then. The Delta was so shallow I could see the sandy Delta bottom, plus many schools of minnows scurrying about. With no Herons or Egrets to gobble down those tiny fish, this duck dived over and over again to feast on the minnows, much to the delight of the trio of humans who watched, while merrily clicking away.

How lucky we were not out Christmas shopping, but landed here instead and enjoying Nature’s gifts.

After about an hour’s time, we parted and headed to our respective cars. I learned later in the comments section of the original DRIWF post, that this duck is not uncommon to our state, just not usually found in SE Michigan. That’s fine – it was a lucky find for me.

My 2023 Birdie Bucket List is considerably shorter!

Now, if you’re still here ….

These were my favorite shots of 2022, all which I have blogged about, so if you’ve been following this blog in 2022, you’ve already seen them. I really enjoyed watching Mama Goose at Heritage Park, first while sitting on the nest in early April to seeing her examining her eggs, then seeing her goslings toddling around after her.

With all that is going on in the world these days, I treasure my alone time on each and every walk, especially when I have unexpected nature encounters.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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69 Responses to A year of magical moments in nature with my camera.

  1. Sandra J says:

    Well, you had some new birds in the list that I have never seen yet. How colorful they all are. I like your not that any hawk’ll do. I am the same way. 🙂 excellent year Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Sandra – I had a great year of discoveries on my walks in 2022. I left the hawks off my list this year as I’ve seen a few down at the Park this year and had several shots last year. Plus, I’ve not written the post yet, but I have a hawk and an owl photos taken at the Oakwoods Metropark when I visited their Nature Center this Summer, (but they don’t count really as they are rehabbed birds living in cages, not out in woods, etc.) The owl never comes up front, but hides in the corner, except this time it was “vet day” and both birds were having a routine check-up which they didn’t like.

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  2. peggy says:

    Well, you certainly recapped your year in this post. Nature presented you with a great variety of birds and animals to photograph. Here’s too a great nature year in 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rajkkhoja says:

    So beautiful a year of magically moments in nature with your camera.
    Wonderful your love birds. Amazing you shar your experience & travel, walked about nature area.
    All birds are very beautiful. I have never seen yet.
    Very well year Linda. Iam so happy. I like birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you rajkkhoja – glad you liked all the photos. I know it was a long post, but I wanted to include every new bird I saw this year, plus some of the birds I’ve been looking to see and photograph for years. I like birds too and had several for pets through the years. I feed the birds at the Park where I walk every day, which I like as they see me and know I am bringing food for them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rajkkhoja says:

        Thank you so much!
        Yes, it’s very good habits to feed the birds. I like feeding the birds 😊! What a target this (2023) year, Linda.
        How there weather ☁️ now?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I used to have a few Cardinals and Jays that I fed at the house a couple of years ago then had to stop as I saw some mice. I was just scattering peanuts and sunflower seeds. I fed the birds for years, then a neighbor moved in and left his dog out 24/7/365 and we got rats. I had to have pest control come and bait traps so I had to stop feeding the birds. That neighbor moved away, no more rats, but I didn’t want to start up again. I gave all my birdfeeders and birdbaths away when the pest control service started. Our weather was nice today rajkkhoja – very gray though. The grayest day of the year is January 10th (per the weatherman). We have a solid day of rain on Thursday and the rain turns into snow Thursday night. I hope they are wrong and we continue snow-free a while longer!

        Liked by 1 person

      • rajkkhoja says:

        Thank you so much. So amazing grayest day. So beautiful weather. Enjoyed the rainy day ., Linda 👍

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’m happy we are not having the usual ice and snow rajkkhoja – so Winter will pass more quickly. We had freezing fog early this morning – not icy, but I had to be careful while walking as pathways were wet, so I didn’t know if it was black ice or not as it was below freezing (32 F for us/0 C for you).

        Liked by 1 person

      • rajkkhoja says:

        So nice weather. I like. But you careful walk. I lik the foggy 🌁 early morning.
        God bless you, Linda 👍

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Do you walk on foggy mornings rajkkhoja?

        Liked by 1 person

      • rajkkhoja says:

        Yes, I do walk, but here is little fog early morning.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It was a year of great pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on your chipmunk encounter! He’s a cutie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a canvasback duck around here. And I love your killdeer shot! And what an amazing encounter with the sandhill cranes, I’ve only seen one in my life, down in Georgia. Love the portrait of the one looking right at you. 🙂 The pied-billed grebe is another one I’ve never seen — lucky you! The young long-tailed duck was a treat. What a good year for unanticipated finds you had. Not necessarily all the birds you wished for but Mother Nature delivered quite a few that you weren’t expecting at all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      When I was compiling the photos for this post, I thought to myself “Barbara will finally see the chipmunk I told her about when I saw it over Fourth of July weekend!” This was about the closest I ever got to a Killdeer – usually they run so fast on those stick-like legs. I sure was lucky with the bird encounters this year. I’m going to keep following the Detroit Audubon Society posts as I’m learning a lot about our local birds. I even bought a book about Michigan birds and took a photo of the book and forgot to use it in this post (which is okay as the post is so long). Yes, the long-tailed duck was unexpected too as I figured the chances of it being in the same pond 24 hours later was slim to none.

      Today I had a group of ducks (maybe 25-30 Mallards) come out of the water as they saw me feeding the squirrels … I felt badly as I had nothing to give them, so I shook my head, shrugged my shoulders and they went back into the water. I’d start buying corn for them, but they will get accustomed to it and I can only lug so much down there, especially in Winter when for sure I don’t drive there and we have a lot of ducks (and a lot of squirrels). I didn’t take my camera as it was so gray, then the sun peeked out of the clouds while at the Park. Yesterday I took walnuts for the squirrels … it’s fun to do this and I kind of rolled the walnuts to them like I was bowling. Maybe I should buy a Mega Millions ticket. I’d get a wagon and tote it around filled with goodies every day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Now that would be a sight to see, Linda pulling her wagon full of critter goodies, something special for each and every creature encountered on her long walks! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I think it would be a fun adventure and a fun video wouldn’t it Barbara? I know you liked the video that someone made where they hauled a wooden sled into a wooded and snowy area. The sled was filled with nuts and seeds and some apples, then a video was made of the critters that came to visit. I wish I could do something like that. I have to be content for the “safe places” I feed them or give them treats. I worried the other day as I saw a hawk gliding overhead and it went into a tree and I lost sight of it. I thought they were all gone for the Winter and I had been doling out walnuts and peanuts along the trail which essentially made my squirrels sitting ducks. I stayed a long time til they were done feasting, sated and back in their nests. This morning I watched the Chickadees perched on a low branch as they waited politely for the squirrels to feast, then tried to sneak down for a sunflower seed. No ducks today. Yesterday they were everywhere! There were geese everywhere on Sunday – I had to watch the seeds and peanuts as the geese were going after them.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent shots and effort last year Linda! You saw more birds then I did!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Wayne! What a year I had and I can’t imagine surpassing last year’s slew of interesting and unusual birds – it was just an extraordinary year. The two photographers at the pond with the duck gave me a few tips and it’s funny because I never see anything at the DRIWF/Humbug Marsh except the occasional Egret or Heron and lots of Seagulls. They see lots of songbirds in the forest that I’ve not seen, even an owl. The guy said he sees Wood Ducks there all the time and told me where to go to find them – I would love to see one of them. The gal told me about the Kestrel, which I knew was a type of raptor but I had to Google it to see what it looked like. So maybe I’ll see these two in 2023!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jessica says:

    I LOVE your enthusiasm for nature! Such gifts in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Jessica! It truly was a remarkable year out in nature for me – I have been walking since 2011 and going to the bigger parks since about 2015 and have never had a year like this one

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  8. You had lots to write about and lovely photos to show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Anne – it was an exceptionally long post … what a great year I had and I can’t imagine finding that many new discoveries in 2023. Even the Creek filled with shad was pretty amazing to see for me. We had a raccoon at the Park a few weeks ago – I wasn’t sure if it was sleeping or dead, but the next day it moved and one of the walkers saw it moving around. That’s something new. I didn’t take a photo as I only saw it sleeping and its head and tail were under its body, so wouldn’t have made much of a photo.

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      • You did have a lot of new things last year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I was lucky. Anne, I meant to tell you yesterday in my reply to your comment, that it was you that told me the bird I heard every morning was a Flicker. A few years ago I described this bird call that sounded like one of those exaggerated noises you’d hear in the jungle (like some kind of Toucan or jungle bird) and you identified it right away as a Flicker. On this day, a group of birds flew by me into the baseball field at Council Point Park. I tried to figure out what they were as they were big and I knew they were not doves, so it was then I recognized the plumage from when I Googled it to see what a Flicker looked like. They all flew away but this one.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. trumstravels says:

    Congratulations on the chipmunk sighting! I like those Canvasback ducks and the Grebe, not sure if I have seen either before. There is always something to see when we are out and about !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Susan – I’m probably the only person in the world who has never seen a chipmunk. There was actually a pair of them and unfortunately, what I will be writing about in an upcoming post, there was a wooden overlook that suddenly started listing and breaking away from the land, so to keep everyone off it until it can be repaired, they had caution tape all over the place. So, these cutie pies were peeking out from underneath and finally I got one, who was running across the overlook. Talk about seizing the moment! The Canvasbacks are very pretty, looking similar to “Redheads” only their back is white, thus their name of “Canvasback” and this Grebe has such an unusual look, I knew it right away. I can’t imagine having such a lucky year for bird sightings again, but I’ll try!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ally Bean says:

    Such a variety of birds. I like all your photos but am taken with the osprey. It seems *exotic* to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ally – I had heard about these nesting pair of Osprey for a while. They have built their nest inside the fire station alarm. Talk about a rude awakening if there is a fire! I am glad I went over to the fire station to check it out after seeing an Osprey toting nest materials back and forth.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. GREAT to revisit your year Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ruthsoaper says:

    Such a great post Linda. I bet that Audubon group would be happy to have you. You are so observant and a great photographer. I love the quote – makes me feel like dancing. 🙂 Looking forward to checking some of those 2023 boxes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ruth! I know it was a long post, but I had such a fun and lucky year with all these birds I “discovered” as well as birds I’d long wanted to see up close, I had to include everything! I met a few of the Audubon members the day I saw the raft of Canvasbacks and they were the ones who told me to keep going as far as I could go to see those ducks. The guy had binoculars and he could see them from Dingell Park. I had mentioned that the Audubon Society always sees them on their Winter trips (the Canvasbacks are only here in Winter) and they told me they go on all the trips. The local Audubon Society has field trips nearly every weekend year round and I always look where they go and what they see – I think it would be fun. I bought a “Birds in Michigan” book and took a photo of it and forgot to include it in this post … just remembered now. I like the quote too – I liked the photos and the quotes and this will be a fun addition to my blog, just as your calendar page is. I hope to check some more boxes off as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Laurie says:

    Wow! You are turning into quite the nature photographer, Linda. Great bird photos. I liked reading about your 2023 list. I hope you get an owl. They are tough to get – you typically have to be out at dawn or dusk. I have never seen a snowy owl, even though I have chased them a few times. I can’t believe chipmunks are so rare in Michigan! We have sooo many in the woods behind our house. They pose on our retaining wall regularly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Laurie! I had such a fun year with these new discoveries and ticking off long-coveted items on my Birdie Bucket List. We had a snowy owl in downtown Detroit a few years ago and people were posting pics of it flying around their office building windows during the day, so that was when I first thought I’d try my luck going to bigger marsh sites, but no luck. I can’t imagine what it was looking to eat down there, unless it was a fish at the Detroit River and it took a wrong turn. I’m not usually out later in the evening, but I did see an owl at the Nature Center this year, but that’s not quite the same. That owl always stays in the back of his cage, but the vet was doing check-ups on the owl and a hawk that day, so I saw it up close, albeit on its back while the vet tried to cover it with a towel to contain those talons! I am sure I am the only person who has never seen a chipmunk before! I bought a book on Michigan birds and took a photo of the book cover and forgot to use it in this post.

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      • Laurie says:

        I think snowy owls follow what is called an irruptive pattern. That means that every few years they visit more southern areas like Detroit or Lancaster when food is scarce in their normal range. There have been sightings of them near me; I just have never seen one. I think it happens only in the winter. Good luck! I hope you see one!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That was interesting Laurie – thank you for sharing that info. We have a few office buildings in Downtown Detroit where Peregrine Falcons nest. I hope to see one and will keep it on my List!

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  14. Rebecca says:

    You were able to capture quite a number of birds this past year along with other interesting critters! Nice recap!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Rebecca – what a fun year this was and I can’t imagine getting to see so many new and interesting birds and critters in this area in one year again. Right up there were those odd-looking Guinea Fowl that I would never have gone to see them had I not seen your post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca says:

        You never know what you’re going to see if only you keep your eyes open. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s for sure Rebecca. Then you have those moments when you’re looking at one thing and miss something else. I was looking at the movement in the bushes and thought it might be a fox. I have never seen a fox before. So I was intently watching to see what was hiding there and missed a huge murmuration of starlings overhead. It turned out it was a cat and then I noticed the tail end of the mururation. Oh well …

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca says:

        I know you were disappointed to miss that. Large groups of starlings in flight are so interesting to watch. Yes, I know that feeling. My husband occasionally pulls me away from looking at one thing because I’m totally missing something else.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It is like a ballet to watch those starlings in flight isn’t it? I am going to have to learn to swivel my head around and upward more as I walk alone. You’re lucky your husband is watching for nature events and potential shots for you!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Joni says:

    Wow what a great year you’ve had for birding – my favorites were the cranes, that long tailed duck, and the flicker woodpecker with the red spot on it and of course Bambi. I’ve never seen most of your list, or a chipmunk either. I don’t see/hear anything about bald eagles on the river this year, I suppose because there is no ice in the river and the weather has been so mild, they are not hanging around their usual spot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I did have a great year Joni and don’t expect I’d see that many new birds again in one year. Those cranes were a real treat as I have been following a photographer, Jocelyn Anderson on social media. She goes to a metropark nature center (not near me) every morning and uses her iPhone to capture videos of the birds that eat from her hand. She also does videos and still shots of the birds at that park and many are Sandhill Cranes. They are not around here at all, so I felt lucky to see them. I was glad I went for the long-tailed duck that Sunday. The Flicker I hear calling all the time at the Park, but that was a first-time sighting and that deer was such a nice and unexpected encounter. I had another deer encounter, four or five of them passing in front of me, while I was looking for wild turkeys. Almost missed them! I had my back turned at the time, turned around and there they were pretty close to me. I haven’t looked through those October photos yet. We may have had ice down at Dingell Park, but I didn’t go down there due to the car leak, plus it was way too cold over Christmas weekend, so I would not have gone, plus we had a wintry mix. I hope we don’t get brutal weather like that again – my electric/gas bill was $150.00 – never had a bill that high before.

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  16. Sorry I missed this post, but glad you linked with Sunday Stills, Linda. Your bird shots and bucket list are impressive. I plan to visit the Turnbull Recreation area in West Spokane this spring to capture birds with my lens. It’s exciting to not only see the birds but to get sharp images of them. That’s how I feel about the Bald Eagles when I get a great shot. We have a ton of northern Flickers that nest in our neighbor’s pine trees and they never miss an opportunity to eat the black sunflower seeds I put out on top of our snow. Their call must be what I hear all the time. Your list for 2023 looks great–I have seen the wood ducks and Western Bluebirds here frequently, and we know owls are here because we can hear them at night. I can’t even make a list of birds, it would be too long to publish, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      No problem Terri. I am always behind – though tonight I may just catch up. I had a great year of discoveries and I’m pretty sure, without traveling to other parts of the state, I wouldn’t be able to rival this year. The Bald Eagle was my #1 shot until the Sandhill Crane encounter. I am hoping to do the Bird Count Day 2023 but it is in mid-February, so it will be “the regulars” I see daily. One of the photographers at the Refuge said “I see Wood Ducks all the time” and pointed where to look, so I will make that Kestrel and Wood Ducks my mission every time I go to the Refuge. Putting out sunflower seeds at the Park gets me closer to the birds, but I am not always quick enough to get photos of them. I also put out suet and suet nuggets for them. I’ll see how I do on my list in 2023 and if I should expand it for 2024!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You had a fabulous year of variety Linda. You captured ducks I have never seen before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Diane – my best year since I started walking at any parks (2013) and taking pictures. I am a realist and doubt I’ll see that many in one year again, but this year sure was fun. I had never heard of that black and white duck, so that was a treat to see and the Canvasbacks as I wanted to see them for so long.

      Like

  18. Nancy says:

    Wow! Loved all the birds and ducks! Amazing shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I love how organized you are in your pursuit of birdies to discover. You’ve captured so many beautiful photos, it’s fun seeing them all collected here in one post. I remembered seeing your favorites from 2022, and seeing them again reminded me of how much outside time you did get in 2022. Yay for carrying on with birdie goals for 2023!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Shelley. I knew this would be a longer-than-usual post due to all my birdie/critter “finds” this year. For sure this was my best year yet for critter encounters and photographing them. My July was pretty busy as to going to bigger parks on weekends – the weather was good, but it was very hot, but I have a ton of photos I flipped thru to look for the Kingfisher, but that was September and through the Fall where we had good weather each weekend, so I got out and walked and walked, all the while taking photos. Hope I meet my birdie goals in 2023!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Prior... says:

    Linda – I love how you ended with those well selected closing photos – I recognized many and was glad the tattoo hands made it (loved that post)1
    But I can tell you spent time giving us those images
    And the First part of the post with the BIRD is the WORD theme was well
    Written and you really have such a love for our avian friends
    Cheers to the list for 2023

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I had such a wonderful year of “finds” Yvette. I could not believe my good fortune on seeing long-coveted birds and discovering new ones. I hope to get my remaining bucket list birds this year, but know I could never rival my luck last year. I did like the tattoo hands carefully petting the baby squirrel as Jennifer cradled it in her hands. If it was not for Jennifer and Terra taking that baby home, then to a rehabber, it might not have lived. I have always liked birds, from our domestic birds over the years, to the backyard birds and park birds alike.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. bekitschig says:

    Wow! That’s quite a list! Hoe cute is that Male Long-Tailed Duck? But what happende to the peacock?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I did have quite the year Jeanine … oops, I just remembered I was supposed to put the peacock on the list after telling you that. I forgot because I have to go to the zoo to see that peacock. Must. See. It. Though. That Male Long-Tailed Duck was in its glory – enjoying all the human attention and had the entire pond to itself.

      Like

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