Let’s see, a one, a two, a three, a four, a five… uhhh a five…crap! I’m guessing everyone out there is figuring this time I was surely beat. Even with the late blitz I’m STILL one short for the monthly quota. Is it time to panic, time to break out the shame sign and walk the local mall? That would be a big fat NOPE. One advantage of being so far behind on processing my photo shoots is I have a lot to choose from when in a bind. Like the Copperhead posting (link here), I’ve opted with pulling one off the back of the FIFO queue.
This a brand new bird to the blog and to my birding list. My brother once asked me if there were birds that could be considered common that I haven’t had the opportunity to shoot yet. The answer to that thought provoking question is “yes”. One of the birds that has surprisingly alluded me is the Purple Martin. For a bird supposedly in everyone’s backyard around my neck of the woods, it has failed to make its way into my tin. Another supposedly common bird that was lacking from the list is this one – the Northern Mockingbird. Not so common around where I am, but definitely inhabits a large cross section of places Linda and I have been while out on shoots. As you can see, that is no longer the case.
This particular specimen was found while we were visiting the Biltmore Estates near Ashville, North Carolina. We actually spent two days exploring this amazing place. The first day we arrived in the late afternoon and opted to simply explore the grounds and save the house viewing for the next day. When we first arrived the first thing I noticed was how perfectly laid out and clean the grounds were – it was like someone had handpicked the placement of every element of the forest. To my surprise, this ended up being the case as the construction pictures revealed that there was nothing in the area when the house was built. Along with that, they also cared for a massive flower garden. Clean forest and tons of flowers – what better conditions can you ask for when in search of birds. I’ll probably go into detail in a later post on the house, but we managed to pull a Big Ben, Parliament moment when we got there. Somehow we managed to miss the parking lot turnoff which meant we had to traverse the entire grounds a second time before we could get out and explore. If you have never been there, let me tell you, that is not a short drive.
Check out how much meaner this bird looks when you are head on – I can imagine how prey must feel – well, those with eyes – they are omnivores.
Hit the jump to even more pictures of the Mockingbird!