Winter doesn’t get much better here in eastern Iowa as we had it this weekend. Plenty of sunshine, lots of powder snow, and temperatures that were manageable. The camera was out on the tripod several times and it was fun to shoot with an abundance of light the large numbers of birds that choose our woods as their headquarter at this time of the season. So, who was here? Since a few days a single White-throated Sparrow uses the amenities we provide for the birds, water, food, and protection by bushes, trees, and shrubs. This is not an uncommon bird but usually we see them in early spring.

The Dark-eyed Juncos are here in large numbers all winter long. They prefer to feed on the ground but since competition is very high we see them sometimes picking at suet feeders as well. Because of their dark upper body it is not easy to photograph them under low light conditions. Today it was easy to make the click and many pictures made it onto the hard drive.

We always have some Mourning Doves around the house. At least one couple breeds during the summer here. This winter I have seen up to twelve doves sitting in the trees together and warming up in the sun. This one hit me by surprise and just landed in front of me while I aimed at another junco.

All images: Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm / f5-6.3 DG OS HSM S, Induro GIT 404XL tripod, Induro GHB2 gimbal head, Nikon SB 800 speed light, MAGMOD MagBeam flash extender