Wednesday (27-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

While taking the trash out for the weekly pickup, one of the tiny hatchlings from the Eastern Phoebe nest jumped out of the nest. It could barely fly, mainly a controlled landing. I got some pictures of the bird on the ground. I have a strong suspicion that it is a Brown-headed Cowbird. The remaining two birds in the nest are much smaller. Also, the Eastern Phoebe parents didn’t seem to be too concerned about the bird down on the ground and continued to feed the two birds in the nest.


Eastern Phoebe or Brown-headed Cowbird?. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Birds of the Day — Brown-headed Cowbird, House Finch, Northern Cardinal, Chipping Sparrow, Carolina Wren, and Red-bellied Woodpecker. Many of the birds at the feeder these days are young and are trying to figure out the pecking order.


Birds of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Spring flowers of the day — Poppies (California, Oriental, Red), Allium, Cosmos, Forget-me-not, Rhododendron, Baby Blue Eyes, and Johnny Jump Up.


Spring Flowers of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Poppies of the Day – Portrait. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Poppies of the Day — Landscape. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (43.0 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (58.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Fog in the morning, Sun and clouds in the afternoon. A surplus of 15.8 kWh.



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Monday (25-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the Day — Brown-headed Cowbird, House Finch, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Gray Catbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Mourning Dove, Carolina Wren, and Eastern Phoebe. Many of the birds are young. There continues to be lots of action at the Eastern Phoebe nest with both parents feed the new hatchlings.


Birds of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Spring flowers of the day — Poppies (California, Oriental, Red), Dame’s Rocket, Five-spot, Rhododendron, Johnny Jump Up, Babies Blue Eyes, Bachelor Button, Cornflower, Sweet William, Dianthus, Siberian Wallflower, Daisy, Foxglove, Babies Breath, Grass Lily, Forget-me-not, and Tulip Tree.


caption. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


caption. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


caption. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


caption. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

While watching the birds, I caught a squirrel running across the backyard with a black walnut it burried last fall.

Squirrel with a Black Wallnut.  Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Squirrel with a Black Wallnut. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)


Squirrel running with a black walnut. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (47.1 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (55.0 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sun and clouds. A surplus of 7.9 kWh.


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Saturday (09-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Today was “Global Big Day” for observing and counting birds. Starting at first light in the morning I kept watch on the bird feeders and backyard. The outdoor temperatures dropped below freezing overnight, and the bird bath was frozen over. The bird feeder was stocked with a mixed feed (I was out of the high oil sunflower seeds) and an apple. By the end of the day I observed and took pictures of 15 bird species. Mourning Dove, Turkey Vulture, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Gray Catbird, American Robin, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird, Northern Cardinal, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is new, and I only observed the female. Looking forward to seeing the male. The female is larger than the local sparrows and finches and does not have the rose coloration of the male. The large beak helps with the identification. The bird images from the day are presented based on observation time.

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak (?). Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak (?). Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)


Birds 06:45 to 07:30. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Birds 12:20 to 13:00. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Birds 16:50 to 17:10. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Birds 17:50 to 18:00. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


19:50 to 20:00. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (54.0 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (74.2 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sunny in the morning with some clouds in the afternoon. A surplus of 20.2 kWh.



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Saturday (02-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

More birds at the feeder today. In the morning: Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, and Chipping Sparrow. In the afternoon: Northern Cardinal, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Carolina Wren. The Carolina Wren actually was on the roof with a grub in its mouth. It was also calling out letting folks know it had a grub. I’m not sure if it was trying to attract a mate, or to get a young bird to fledge and get out of the nest. In the afternoon, I mowed the lawn for the first time this year. The grass was getting to be ankle high. I hadn’t mowed earlier because a tire on the lawn tractor was flat. While mowing, I noticed a number of small wildflowers already blooming. I haven’t planted andy wildflower seeds yet this spring, so these are either native, or have self-seeded from last year. Later in the afternoon, I went for a walkabout in the yard to document the early May flowers: Johnny-Jump-Up, Blue Forget me Not, Grape Hyacinth, Plum Tree, Siberian Wallflower, Five-Spots, Prunella Vulgaris (also known as Self-Heal, Heal-All, and Woundwort), Baby Blue Eyes, wild Violet (Viola), Jack in the Pulpit, Lilac, California Poppy, Allium bud, Star of Bethlehem, Strawberry, Yellow Tulip.


Birds in the Morning. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Birds in the Afternoon and Early Evening. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Carolina Wren with a slug. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 320, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Carolina Wren with a grub. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 320, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)


Early May Backyard Flowers. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Early May Backyard Flowers. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (45.9 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (69.5 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sunny, but the power was out for a couple of hours in the afternoon. A surplus of 23.6 kWh.


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Saturday (25-April-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Morning birds: Female Northern Cardinal and Chipping Sparrow. Midday birds: Carolina Wren and Black-capped Chickadee. Evening bird: Male Northern Cardinal.

Female Northern Cardinal. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Female Northern Cardinal. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Chipping Sparrow. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Chipping Sparrow. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Black-capped Chickadee. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 640, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Black-capped Chickadee. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 640, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Carolina Wren. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 800, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Carolina Wren. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 800, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Male Northern Cardinal. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Male Northern Cardinal. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (60.0 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor was offline for several hours after a power glitch, and had to be rebooted before it started recorded again. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (64.8 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy (and confirmed by a meter reading). Some clouds, but lots of sun. A surplus of 4.8 kWh.


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