Archive for category Nature
We are in the thick of the intensive summer sessions at school, but we still find time now and then to go see what’s flying about. Here are a few recent pics.
First, a “twofer”:
A couple of vireos:
The very colorful Chestnut Sided Warbler:
Everybody’s favorite, the Carolina Wren (in full throat):
And, keeping the mosquito population down, a couple of bug-eating birds:
A Red Winged Blackbird cutting loose:
And lastly our old friend the Barred Owl, which continues to be seen on the Bridle Trail, Ridley Creek State Park (PA):
We saw our first owl in the woods this morning. Our “lifer” was a Barred Owl who floated around near the old cemetery off the Bridle Trail at Ridley Creek State Park (PA). Some photos:
The owl’s presence caused quite a stir with the “locals.” Tufted Titmouses (Titmice?) in particular screeched worriedly among a general cacophony of yelling. A couple birds buzzed the owl, hoping to run it off. But one brave Wood Thrush seemed completely unbothered. I shall call him “Rodney King,” as his behavior clearly begged the question: Why can’t we all get along?
The owl has always been the symbol of wisdom (and so they are quite meaningful for those of us “lovers of wisdom”). This Barred Owl struck a pose of quiet contemplation, with a hint of world-weary melancholy.
It was a good thing very early this morning to have a close encounter with such a magnificent creature (but aren’t they all?). All good things come to an end, however, and our new friend flew off, perhaps in hopes of finding more hospitable surroundings for its pondering.
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).