Gobblers galore (and a little bonus)

Three posts in as many days—and I am as surprised as anyone.  I’d planned not to spend time on another one today, but the Fates had other ideas for me.  I know that several of my readers will be very relieved to know that no more spiders came to call today.

I was taking things easy this morning and early afternoon, sorting through stacks of decades-old photos, when I happened to look out the back window and saw a wild turkey perched on our fence.  As you may know, we have a resident flock—including, according to some neighbors, up to 23 birds—that shelter in the little ravine behind the row of houses across the street from us, and they roam the neighborhood quite freely, though we see them only occasionally, and get quite excited when we do.  I have been able to get a few decent shots of them (as you may remember from my posts here, here, here, and here) as they explored the ground for acorns and such, but until today I’ve only seen one in the back yard, which is completely fenced in.  I immediately notified CD, and while she reached for her binoculars, I went for my telephoto and slipped out the back shed door.  The bird had come down from the fence and strutted slowly out of sight behind the giant maple in the northwest corner and didn’t reappear again after a minute or two, so I eased my way closer to sit on the back deck to wait for it to reappear.  When it did not for several minutes, I figured it must have gone back over the fence again and came back inside.  Only a few minutes later we saw that a large portion of the flock had followed the first (it had laid down and was resting), and more were following them.  So I carefully went back out, staying by the shed and using the door as a blind and monopod, and spent the next hour in awe of the 17 magnificent turkeys that had chosen to explore our yard for fodder and shelter.

They stayed for nearly two hours, but I had a commitment that drew me away.  As I was having a last reflection on my amazing luck, a small movement in a tree above the fence to the west caught my eye.  It looked almost like a blue jay, but not quite.  I trained my lens on it and saw that it was a small hawk.  I had time for a few quick shots, one of which was sharp enough to work with, before it launched itself at our crabapple tree and made serious passes at the several chickadees that were flitting around, but they evaded the attack, scolding boisterously.  When I had the time to look at my photos, I was able to tentatively identify the little raptor as a merlin.  What a wonderful day!

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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7 Responses to Gobblers galore (and a little bonus)

  1. Peggy says:

    What a thrill that must have been. I felt your excitement as well as disappointment in having to leave. Your editorializing of the visitors is spine tingling. Much better than the itsy bitsy spiders.
    Again, thanks for the post.

  2. Love this, and indeed what a day! The photos are great and I love the Merlin. :)

    • krikitarts says:

      Yup, I couldn’t believe my luck with the sudden appearance of the merlin! I was able to get six shots before it dashed off to try for one our our chickadees, but only one of them (the first) was useable. And, boy, are those turkeys impressive up close!

  3. I recently found your website and am so glad I did. I love your photos! The closest I’ve ever been to a live turkey is at the State Fair. And the gobbler in question really took a shine to me, spreading it’s magnificent tail and chastising me when I failed to notice. So I stayed and admired him. I love these wild turkeys you photographed, too. They are beautiful. Thanks!

    • krikitarts says:

      Nice to see you, Dezra, and I’m happy that you like my site! Oh, yes, wild turkeys are really so magnificent–especially up close! If they ever choose to explore the fenced-in yard again, I plan to sit quietly (except for my clicking shutter) and see how close they’ll come to me. Here’s hoping!

  4. Emily Gooch says:

    Very nice captures! Turkeys are such amazing creatures — they are both ugly and yet beautiful looking at the same time.

  5. MikeP says:

    Sorry love the spiders… wow thats a lot of wild turkeys. I live in the middle of a state forest here in NJ and they have introduced coyotes here. I think that might be why I have not seen many in the last 2 years.

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