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Old Dec 17, 2009, 5:32 AM   #1
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Default Barns and birds

Still quite busy these past few days, cleaning and fixing trails after our recent storms. But had time to take along the camera on one trail work expedition, and spotted this Yellow Bellied Sapsucker. Sapsuckers are kind of "oddballs" among our local woodpeckers - most woodpeckers peck diseased or dead trees for insects, but sapsuckers peck healthy trees for sap (and then for the insects that are attracted to the sap).
This sapsucker was very shy - too far away for a really decent photo. But I did want to document some unique behavior - he was drinking rainwater out of a knothole!
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 5:34 AM   #2
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On down the trail from the big trees is an old field habitat. This Mockingbird must think he's the king of the old field. He always chooses the highest perch, close to his beloved berry thickets, to watch the intruding humans!
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 5:36 AM   #3
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On the other hand, the White Tailed Deer in this old field are very shy - this is at the edge of our park boundary, and there is a lot of deer hunting just outside the park. Here's a typical deer pose in the sage grass.
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 5:38 AM   #4
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Later, while pedaling over to a nearby school to share some nature education with the young students, I noticed that many of the farm ponds are still quite full from recent heavy rains. This made for some interesting reflections (and some happy farm ducks too!)
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 5:39 AM   #5
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Even the old unused silos look good on these bright wintry days...
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 5:40 AM   #6
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With Christmas vacation coming, hope to have more time to enjoy hikes with family members, and to bring back some more photos of the great Tennessee outdoors!

Hope you enjoyed these views along the trails and byways. Would be delighted with any comments/critiques!
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 1:10 PM   #7
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Another great series Mole.
That's some really blue sky!
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 2:56 PM   #8
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Hi mole,

Another very nice series!!!

I've only seen a couple of YBSS, and couldn't get close enough to get any shots even approaching as good as these, so you definitely did well here. Though we have a ton of Downies and Red Bellies with an occasional Hairy, the other species of WPs have been very elusive to me.

Scott
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 6:59 PM   #9
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The shots of the Mockingbird are very nice, and the subtle shot of the deer works for me too.

Tom
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 5:59 AM   #10
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GW - Thanks! Yes, we've had some lovely bright days lately. Today the forecast is snow - maybe up to 5 inches by tomorrow night!

Scott - glad to hear from you again! Those sapsuckers are indeed hard to sneak up on, but I sure would love to get a better photo of one... Glad you enjoyed these.

Tom - Thanks for your kind and helpful comments!
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