Archive for category Birding
It was a lovely morning for a long walk in the woods of Ridley Creek State Park. I got out there at 10 am (yeah, I know…) and spent about three and a half hours wandering. It is a good way to clear the head.
As you can tell by now, I am not the best photographer. I’ve been too lazy to learn all the settings for my camera, to poor to get Photoshop (and too busy to figure out how to use it), not to mention I have poor eyesight and shaky hands. No matter. I take pictures anyway. But today would’ve been a good day to be fast and steady with the camera, because lots of little creatures kindly made themselves available for a photo shoot.
Check out the eyes (click for enlargement):
I really like Baltimore Orioles and their cheery whistling. Here are some pics:
Ovenbirds are easy to hear (“teacher teacher Teacher Teacher TEACHER!”), but not so easy to see. But today one very kindly made himself available.
Being still relatively new to birding, I hadn’t seen a Kentucky Warbler before this morning. I took about 70 shots of this guy, but “Old Shaky Hands” only came away with a few slightly worthy ones. Too bad, because this kind of closeup does not seem to happen every day.
I thought this was a nice shot of a Veery:
And, just because I like ’em, an Eastern Towhee:
Birded the Bridle Trail in Ridley Creek State Park this morning. It started clear, but quickly clouded over. That did not detract from our enjoyment (and that of so many other birders we met out there today). The Oven Birds and Wood Thrushes were singing up a storm, but then again so was everyone else. We saw 38 species, including 3 new ones for us: Hooded Warbler, Chestnut Sided Warbler, and
Evening Grosbeak (at least that’s what the seasoned birders said it was…). [UPDATE: The Evening Grosbeak report was disallowed as being too unusual to be credible. Scratch that one. See here for a report on the disappearing Evening Grosbeaks.]
It was a beautiful morning in Okehocking Nature Preserve. It is always fun when you can see birds singing their little heads off…even better if you can snare a picture of them caught in the act. Here are a few:
The complete list of our sightings today is as follows:
Canada Goose – Branta canadensis
Wood Duck – Aix sponsa
Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Red-tailed Hawk – Buteo jamaicensis
Solitary Sandpiper – Tringa solitaria
Rock Pigeon – Columba livia
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Chimney Swift – Chaetura pelagica
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
White-eyed Vireo – Vireo griseus
Warbling Vireo – Vireo gilvus
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor
Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
Carolina Chickadee – Poecile carolinensis
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
White-breasted Nuthatch – Sitta carolinensis
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
American Robin – Turdus migratorius
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
European Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Yellow Warbler – Setophaga petechia
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Song Sparrow – Melospiza melodia
White-throated Sparrow – Zonotrichia albicollis
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Common Grackle – Quiscalus quiscula
Baltimore Oriole – Icterus galbula
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis
A couple more pics (just ’cause I like ’em).
Around here, it’s finally getting to be warbler time. We saw our first Pine Warblers around these parts a few days ago and our first Palm Warblers today. I know other birders in the area have seen warblers before us, but the first ones you see for yourself are always fun. Some pics…
These were taken at Tyler Arboretum.
This was one of the 4 we saw this afternoon at Okehocking Preserve.
We, of course, see lots of other birds. Here are a few favorites:
(I can’t help it. I’m addicted to TV…Turkey Vultures, that is.)
This weekend, after 1 year 7 months & 20 days, we saw our 200th life bird – the Eurasian Collard Dove (which may be common where you are, but not so much in Cape May, NJ). We saw all three that have been hanging around town recently. It was a great weekend, despite rain on Saturday and generally overcast skies the rest of the time. We clocked about 17 hours in all and were rewarded with 75 birds (76 if you count the Guinea Fowl we saw on the road; 76 if you count the roosters that also wandered onto the road). Included were a dozen Glossy Ibises, a half-dozen Snowy Egrets, an adult American Bald Eagle, a Northern Harrier, several Red-Headed Woodpeckers (a target bird for us, and our 201st lifer), a dozen+ Ring Necked Ducks (our 202nd lifer), the first Chipping Sparrows of spring, and some other new birds for us: Northern Gannet, Black Scoter, Red Breasted Merganser, and Red Throated Loon. Lots of Yellow Rumped Warblers, of course. The Piping Plovers were active along with the Sanderlings. In all, we had lots of fun and our feet are tired.
And now for some pics. As always, you can click them once or twice to enlarge them.
First up, our #200 – the Eurasian Collard Dove:
And our most recent “most wanted” – the Red Headed Woodpecker:
(I’ll have some more pics of this bird and his friends soon…).
How about a Red Throated Loon?
(There’ll be some more of this one, too.)
You know I like the Red Tailed Hawks. Here’s a nice one:
A Piping Plover:
How about a creepy Northern Mockingbird?
(I actually like the Mockingbirds a lot, but this one…yikes!)
This Great Egret is a bit more pleasantly situated:
Here’s a flock of Glossy Ibises:
A Great Black Backed Gull:
Mute Swan, up close and personal:
What’s this thing doing here? (Guinea Fowl)
Two pairs of male & female Ring Necked Ducks:
The first (more or less) Snowy Egrets of spring:
I named this Tree Swallow “Thomas Nagel,” as the bird is clearly wondering, “What is it like to be a bat?” (pdf):
(Pardon the philosophy reference….)
Okay, one more. Since we’ve been wanting to see a Red Headed Woodpecker for so long, here’s how we saw it for the first time:
I’ll post some more pics in the near future.
Some from around here, and some from our recent trip to Florida.
First up, the Carolina Wren:
Belted Kingfishers in flight:
A Red-Tailed Hawk overhead:
A Wood Duck on the pond at Okehocking:
And, for you non-birders, a chipmunk, just for fun:
And from Florida, a Common Moorhen (or Common Gallinule):
A Black-Crowned Night Heron:
And a Palm Warbler: