Monday, December 14, 2009

Walking the winter woods

Quiet and stillness drift through the empty woods in winter, leaving a gentle calmness behind that reminds us to slow down and listen to the winter sounds. One sound that always makes me smile is the soft, muted call of a White-breasted Nuthatch. Nasally and insistent, its voice seems to wrap itself around the bare trees and linger in the air before revealing where the little bird is hiding...

White-breasted Nuthatch walking down a tree looking under lichens for something to eat.
For such a gentle and soft call, it never goes unheard...

White-breasted Nuthatch...part of a small flock foraging along the Little Miami River.
This little fellow was part of a small flock foraging in the trees along the Little Miami River. Five were flitting back and forth, chasing each other and foraging at the same time. Normally I don't see that many hanging together.


White-breasted Nuthatch walking down a tree looking under lichens for something to eat.
...always busy, this little nuthatch was constantly flipping up tiny bits of moss and bark, gleaning the tree for small bugs and spiders tucked away for the winter.


White-breasted Nuthatch walking down a tree
One of the five nuthatches was more intent on saving seeds and hiding them in the bark. I watch as he grabbed several maple seeds and tucked the seed and papery tail into a small crack in a crook of the tree. Unfortunately, he was a little too far away to photograph, so I had to be content to watch him through my binocs.


White-breasted Nuthatch
...I love it when they give you that look, which pretty much says, "Move on now, human, you have enough photos..."




57 comments:

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Oh, Kelly what great shots of the nuthatch.They hardly stay still long enough for me to get them ;-) All but the one that was on my feeder one evening. It just set and set. I thought it had its leg stuck or something. So I got on a glove in case it was stuck. Got right on it and it took off and liken to scared me to death. LOL! Crazy thing acted like it was in a daze.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Roy said...

Good shots, Kelly! They never sit still, so Nuthatches are hard to get a good shot of. I finally got a good series of shots last March, and that was after years of trying.

JRandSue said...

Once again great Images,fab looking Nuthatch.
John.

carolmattinglyphotography said...

Love this header Kelly. Love Love Love it. Your nuthatch images are so gorgeous. I love them. I love bird images I think because I seldom photograph birds. Thanks for sharing these. Carol

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

That top nuthatch shot is just great. And I love the blog header and blue background with snowflakes!

Laure Ferlita said...

Such fun to be able to see these little guys because NO, they're never still! Thanks for sharing!!

Bill S. said...

Beautiful photos. We have the Red-breasted here and they are sure fun to watch. Fantastic shots.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

We have lots of the white-breasted Nuthatches here, Kelly. They are hard to capture on camera since they are constantly on the move. But--they are not afraid to come close even when I'm outside. I too love their little chatter noise. Cute little birds. You got some great pictures.

Love your header..
Hugs,
Betsy

Jain said...

Lovely series, Kelly, I can never get so close.

Dave Lewis said...

I love the holiday header you have!
The Doodles makes the same sound of the Nuthatch, her old nickname.
Great shots!

Larry said...

Great photos of the nuthatch Kelly! It's interesting how some of us bloggers have a similar frame of mind when we go out into the woods.I am a bit challenged when it comes to trying to find the right words to express myself but you do it so well.

Johnny Nutcase said...

really nice pictures! those little buggers tend to be hyper, good job getting their photos!

Little Brown Job said...

Lovely shots Kelly.

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
What a fantastic set of pictures. Well done. I love the song of nuthatch and have seen the red-breasted quite often in France!
Your new banner is awesome, beautiful drawing, you really are an artist!

Sue said...

Hi Kelly
Another great painting. You need to put something on your sidebar that takes us to ALL your paintings-you are soooo talented!!
Great Nuthatch photos-I can never get them-they're always on the move!

Chris Petrak said...

Kelly, I thought I was staying current with blog reading, but I realize that I got way behind - you have had so many good posts - the huge numbers of merganser, the paintings, the book review (thanks), and the nuthatches. Thanks for all. And let's all hope we can slow things down during this season, and enjoy ... just a few more things to do, birds to see, and oh yes ...

Roy said...

Whichever Nuthatch we talk about, they are great characters and make good photographic subjects. You have captured some really good images of this species Kelly.

Shelley said...

They do have such sweet and serious faces. Loved seeing these photos of the busy nuthatch! I always kid my husband that they are laughing at him when they do their famous bird call.

Caroline said...

Charming photos of dear little bird - would love to paint one of these!

Toni said...

Love the seasonal banner Kelly ;-)
Winter birds are my favorite. Your nuthatch photos are are fantastic.

NicoleB said...

Your words are so fitting :)
Yes, they are hard to spot and when you do, they seem to say "get on with it" :)
Sweet catches you got there though :)!

Warren Baker said...

Marvellous Nuthatch shots Kelly. I tried to get some photo's of our similar Nuthatch today, but it was too dark in the woods!

holdingmoments said...

These are excellent Kelly.
Similar to ours here, without the 'bandit' mask.

mick said...

Great photos of a lovely little bird. BUT I don't like the sound of your winter weather. Sunshine and warm water at the beach is more to my liking :-)

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Absolutely stunning shots of the Nuthatch, Kelly. I love these guys,but unfortunately I can't hear their song (I am a bit hearing impaired).

Susan said...

Beautiful post Kelly - I love nuthatches too, and we have quite a few...but, they sure never sit and pose like yours appeared to have done! Great photography! The revised Christmas look is very welcoming...

Kerri said...

Not only fabulous pictures but lovely narrative! You have such a way with both! I always enjoy visiting and feel like I've been with you on your walks with nature :)

We have several of these little WB nuthatches....they are one of my favorite visitors to the wreath feeder I have...they love to poke around in it and see what treats they can find.

And I absolutely LOVE your header! You are soooo talented!!

JeniQ said...

Kelly I love that water color of the cardinals you have for your blog title background!!!

Montanagirl said...

Just superb shots of the Nuthatch. I have a couple out back but it's been so cold here, I haven't been out with the camera!

Larry said...

Great winter post of the White-breasted Nuthatches Kelly! Beautiful words to describe a beautiful and fun bird.

Your last photo with the quote "Move on now, human, you have enough photos..." is perfect. And I love your new look!

Greener Bangalore said...

WOW Kelly! yet another group of great evening snaps (or maybe early morning too :)).....time looks like....the sun slowly dips for an evening shower in the sea at that lovely reddish horizon! Amazing composition and clarity! Your snaps always gives the feel that these birds are your well wishers and they happily pose for you.:)...one reason why i always love visiting your blog is that it gives a feel of visiting a serene village! Great going Kelly!

Greener Bangalore said...

and yes the new appearance of your blog is timely and beautiful! i am unable to type...my hands are freezed now!...... ;-)

很悶 said...
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Susan W. said...

Excellent photos and a GORGEOUS header and background! Also a very enjoyable post!

Elaine said...

Lovely nuthatch photos. I've seen that "move on human" look.

Jayne said...

They ARE rather nasally! That's a perfect description Kelly! I love seeing them at the feeders. :c)

Allison said...

The new banner is GORGEOUS! My favorites--the cardinals! I also love nuthatches--this little fellow was such a pleasure to "watch" this morning over my coffee!

Mary said...

I love your header! Did you paint that? Beautiful! Your nuthatch photos are great, too. I need to get outside....been in too much lately.

Kim said...

Kelly, love the new header and new look! Did you paint that header!! So gorgoues!! Great White-breasted Nuthatch shots as well.

NatureFootstep said...

first, thanks for the nice comment on my image.

We have nuthatches also. They are fun birds to watch. Running like they do up and down.

NF Bird

TonyC said...

Beautiful set of shots Kelly, stunning bird!!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Hi Kelly !! This is a beautiful post !! The Bird is so amazing !! I have not seen anything like that before..great..Sorry i am back after a long time.

The Early Birder said...

Hi Kelly. Did you think I'd forgotten you? Trying to catch up with everyone but left the best till last.
FABULOUS new seasonal header and you captured the Nuthatches with words & images so appropriately.
Hugs...FAB.

Laubaine said...

MAGNIFIQUE

Mary Ann said...

Kelly, I hardly ever get around to posting here, but I want you to know that I check your blog every day. It's something I look forward to as a beautiful, uplifting start to the morning. I love the photos and the wonderful way you write, making all us readers see and hear the birds and their surroundings. And your artwork--beautiful! It always evokes for me a feeling of peace and awe at the color and wonder of our bird world. Keep it up!

Mary Ann--your cousin once-removed (removed all the way to California!)

HBFG said...

Kelly, those birds are so lovely! A real treat to look at them since we are in the middle of winter now. It's cold and the only birds that we see are crows, magpies, sparrows and a few blue tits.
Sometimes we see a flock of geese...

Love your header!!!!!!! :)

JPT said...

Like the winter theme on the blog!

Hilke Breder said...

Terrific shots of the White-breasted Nuthatch!! Great post.

Hilke Breder said...

Terrific shots of the White-breasted Nuthatch!! Great post.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly.
I can only re iterate what everybody else has said about your terrific photo's.
You new blog page is very apt for this time of year.

Chad said...

OK, the snow on your site is very cool. I wish I knew how to do these things. I really like you post about the Nuthatch. There is nothing more pleasant that walking in the winter woods with a little snow on the ground... complete peace and then the sound of the White-breasted Nuthatch. Love it!

John said...

Hi Kelly,

Wow, what fantastic photographs, just amazing. Something special about walking in the Woods this time of year. I love the new banner.

JKoenig said...

Great pictures...That last one looks like he is posing just for you! Pretty nifty snowflakes too. Your opening picture is beautiful....Did you paint that?...I know you probably could.

Kelly said...

...thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! I have been so busy all week at work, I haven't been able to update the blog or get out and visit anyone's sites. Yesterday, I spent a very long day walking the winter woods, participating in a dawn-to-dusk Christmas Bird Count. I'll start posting on that in a few days (I hope!). Yes....for those who asked, I did paint the header. It was going to be my Christmas card, but it fit too well with the blog. Today, I'm going to have to paint the Christmas card...I hope I can get it out in time!

oldcrow61 said...

Fantastic shots.

BirdingMaine said...

Loves these Nuthatch photos!

Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year 2010!

John
Birding in Maine

Diane said...

Sweet! Your pictures are great, but your little story lines make me smile - I can almost the little birds talking "your" talk! Thanks Kelly!