Where the wild things are, in our yard.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is Where The Wild Things Are.

As someone who photographs wildlife this should be easy for me. Then I remembered a visitor we had in the yard one afternoon. I was sitting on the deck when a Raccoon came wandering into the yard. I grabbed a camera which happened to have a portrait lens on it for a reason I don’t remember. It turned out to be an ideal lens as the Raccoon ignored me as it checked out what the birds had dropped under the feeders.

After shooting a selection of portraits of the animal I started trying different things. In the shot below I focused on the animals front claws rather than the eyes. I can’t decide if it’s annoyed or amused but it looks wild.

A wild Racoon.

Week 22. Simply a Sparrow.

I say simply a Sparrow but the Chipping Sparrow is one of my favourite North American Sparrow species. But they never seem to want to cooperate with me if I’m behind a camera.

This particular Chipping Sparrow appeared in the yard, messed about hiding behind feeder poles and blades of grass before flying up onto the roof. After mocking me from the roof for a while it flew down and posed for a couple of photos.

Chipping Sparrow.

The eleventh young Eurasian Blue Tit.

The eleventh youngster in the nestbox wasn’t ready to leave. All its siblings have left and are being fed and taught to survive by the adults. At times I could hear one of the adults calling to encourage the youngster out of the nestbox but it wasn’t leaving. Despite having ten young to look after the adults would still bring in a caterpillar occasionally for the one left behind.

I checked that the youngster was still in the nestbox several times during the day and it was still there that night. I got up the following morning and the nestbox was empty. The bird must have left the nestbox as soon as there was some light in the sky.

Left alone.

It would occasionally get up at the entrance hole but wouldn’t leave the nestbox.

The last young left in the nestbox.

Close to leaving.

The young are getting close to leaving the nest. They’ve been getting up to the nestbox entrance hole and looking outside. At this point they will leave any day now and as they normally leave the nestbox as soon as there’s enough daylight for them to see I’ve got my alarm clock set to be at the nestbox half an hour before sunrise.

Looking out of the nestbox.

They’re also exercising their wings in preparation for flying the nest. This doesn’t go down well with their brothers and sisters at times.

Exercising its wings.