Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Barred Owl

For this weeks World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes I am posting on the Barred owl hubby and I saw on a walk at Riley's Lock. The Potomac River and the C&O canal trail has been a great place for me to see birds. During this walk we saw two Barred owls together. One flew away but one stayed in a tree near the trail and watched us. We saw many other species of birds on our walk but the owl was my favorite sighting.


The Barred Owl is seen in  mixed woodlands and swamp forest. They prey on insects, vertebrates and amphibians.  Their call sounds a lot like "who cooks for you" .




The photo above shows the owl looking down, we watched as smaller birds were determined to make the owl leave and were trying to dive bomb him or her.

To see more great birds please visit Springman's World Bird Wednesday  and Michelle's  Nature Notes thanks to Springman  and Michelle for hosting and thanks for stopping by to see my post.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A few yardbirds

For this weeks Camera Critters I have a few of my yardbirds. Some are just passing thru and some are here nesting.

The bluebirds are one of my favorite yardbirds and probably the first bird that got me interested in birding. Sometimes I can see them year round and sometimes they leave and come back to build their nest.


The Ruby Throated hummingbird look pretty funky.


The Indigo Bunting is one of my summer birds. Summer birds are breeders here in Maryland and have a nest nearby.

The American Goldfinches are here year round but the males turn a duller color in the winter. They look beautiful in the summer.


The female Rose Brested Grosbeak was just passing thru to her nesting habitat. She decided she needed a quick fix of bird seed to keep her going.


I hope you enjoyed my yardbirds and to see more wonderful critters please visit
Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.  Thanks to Misty for hosting and thank you for stopping by to see my post.

 I hope you all have a great weekend.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

SWF and Chimney Swifts



For my Skywatch Friday

Thanks to Jeanne, one of my birding friends this weekend I added the Chimney Swift to my life list. Jeanne told me that the Chimney Swifts were seen flying in and around a church steeple in New Freedom, Pa. New Freedom is just a short drive from my house since I live close to the Md-Pa line.  So hubby and I took a ride to our favorite ice cream place called Bonkey's in New Freedom which just happens to be just down the street from the church. 



I was able to watch my lifer the Chimeny Swift flying around the skies above my car while I was parked near the church eating my ice cream cone. It was sad to see that the church had put up wire fence or netting around their steeple. I guess the birds are not wanted inside their steeple.

The chimney swifts fly around fast like the swallows and they remind me of bats. I wasn't able to see them fly into the steeple but I did see them flying around the neighborhood. Here is a link to the Wikipedia Chimney Swifts so you can see what they look like up close. They were flying much too fast for me to get a close up.


Next, I have some shots of the sunset and a pretty sky on the way home from seeing the Chimney Swifts.





A sundog




I hope you enjoyed my skywatch and if you are ever near New Freedom, Pa you should try Bonkey's homemade icecream.  To see more beautiful skies from all around the world click here Skywatch Friday.  Thanks to the host of Skywatch: Sylvia, Sandy, Wren and Klaus.  Also, thank you for visiting my post and blog, I hope you have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Prothonotary Warbler

For this week's World Bird Wednesday and Nature NotesI have more on the Prothonotary Warbler. The Prothonotary is one of my favorite warblers. Mainly because of its beautiful yellow color. I love colorful birds. They look similiar to the Yellow warbler, but the male Yellow warbler actually has red streaks down the front of its belly.

The Prothonotary nest in cavities like the woodpeckers holes. They like to be near the water or wooded swamps. They line their nest with mosses, sounds nice and cozy. An interesting thing I read about these warblers is that the fledglings can swim if they fall into the water when leaving the nest. I read that the male is a bright yellow-orange, but I say they look more yellow than orange. Their wings are blue-gray in color. The female has more of a white belly. And they have a heavy and spikelike black bill.

During our visit to Magee Marsh we were able to watch both the female Protonotary going in and out of the nest cavity. The male was nearby also, I am not sure if he was seen helping with the nest.


These photos are fuzzy due to the heavy cropping. I was not that close to the nest.








I hope you enjoyed my Prothonotary Warbler and to see more wonderful birds please click on my links for Springman's World Bird Wednesday and Michelle's Nature Notes.  Thank you to Springman and Michelle  for hosting and thank you for stopping by to see my birds. Have a great week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Birding Magee Marsh

I am wishing GOOD LUCK to Animal Kingdom, he is running in the 136 Preakness here in Baltimore Maryland today. I would love to see a Triple Crown winner this year. It's been too long since we had Triple Crown Winner.  GO Animal Kingdom.

For my Camera Critters post I am showing some of the birds I saw at Magee Marsh, Ohio last weekend. I went with a couple of friends from my birdclub. I was amazed with Magee Marsh and I would highly recommend to anyone that is into birding that they visit Magee Marsh during the spring migration.


My first lifer was the Common Moorhen, it was seen the first evening we arrived at the Metzger Marsh.

The next day on the boardwalk we saw the Common Nighthawk resting on a tree branch. The nighthawk was another lifer for me.

Also seen the second day on the Magee Marsh boardwalk the American Woodcock another lifer for me. It is a cute bird with big eyes.

Not the greatest photo but this is the Mourning Warbler, another lifer for me.
Another lifer the Whip-poor-will, he is hiding down below in between the leaves. A great sighting for me even if it is hiding in the leaves and sticks. Look for the white spots mixed in with the brown feathers. Once in awhile it would open its eyes.

Another lifer on the Magee Marsh boardwalk the Blackpoll Warbler


A pretty female Prothonotary Warbler at the nest.

A gorgeous male Prothonotary warbler, this warbler looks similiar to the Yellow Warbler but the male Yellow Warbler has red streaks going down the front of his chest.



Peeping around the leaves is the male Yellow Warbler showing the red streaks on his chest.

 I was happy to pick up another lifer with this Chestnut Sided Warbler


This beautiful barn owl is a captive bird but still very cool to see at the visitors center. I would love to add this owl to my life list by seeing one in the wild.


I am still going over my list of birds from our Magee Marsh trip and adding up my lifers. I believe I was able to add ten new lifers to my life list.

I hope you enjoyed my birds and to see more wonderful and cute critters please visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.  Thanks to Misty for hosting and thanks for visiting my blog and post. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blackburnian Warbler


For my World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes post I am showing the Blackburnian Warbler. It was one of the first warblers we saw as we arrived at Magee Marsh boardwalk. Magee Marsh in Ohio is a great place to go birding and to see warblers. During my two and a half day visit there I saw 19 different warblers. The spring warblers are so colorful and pretty. Magee Marsh is a resting place for the warblers before they hop across Lake Erie to Canada to their breeding place. I must say if you are into birding Magee Marsh during the spring migration in May is a great place to see the birds.


The male Blackburnian  is a beautiful and colorful warbler and was one on my most wanted to see list.



The male is one of the most striking warblers I have ever seen.  It breeds in spruce, fir and hemlock forests as well as mixed hardwoods. It is an active forager.





 The male's head has a pattern of orange and black, it's back has white braces and extensive white in coverts.  I have seen the female here in Maryland and I was so excited to finally see the gorgeous male in Magee Marsh, Ohio this week.  The warblers are fast moving birds, hopping all around the trees. And of course as soon as I spotted the birds and focused my camera they had moved on to another spot on the tree.



To see more wonderful and beautiful birds please visit Springman's World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes.  Thanks to Springman and Michelle for hosting and thanks for stopping by to see my post. Have a great week! Happy Birding!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Edwin Forsythe NWR Whimbrel

For this week's World Bird Wednesday I some shots I took of the Whimbrel I saw while visiting the Edwin Forsythe NWR. The Whimbrel is a shorebird that nests on the Artic Tundra. It winters on coastal marshes, tidal mudflats, sandy and rocky beaches. These sites also serve as a stopover during their migration.  Whimbrel usually forage on invertebrates by shallow probing or picking. The breeding adult has a stripe head and a long curved bill.







The Whimbrel was just one of the great birds I saw while birding the Edwin Forsythe wildlife refuge. If you are ever in the area this place definitely deserves a visit.


To see more great and wonderful birds please visit Springman's World Bird Wednesday.  Thanks to Springman for hosting and thanks for stopping by to see my World Bird post.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Birding Cape May

I hope everyone had a GREAT Mother's Day!!

For Mosaic Monday I have a little of my Cape May birding from last weekend. Hubby and I took an overnight trip to the Jersey shores last weekend and stopped at a few of the birding places that are known to be good in the spring time.


In this mosaic I have the Purple Martin birdhouse and the Cape May Lighthouse, Swallowtail butterfly, one of the many bunnies we saw,  a few baby geese, and the beach.


We practically had the beach to ourselves.


A mute swan on the trail, swan in flight, Terns and Laughing Gulls, Egret, Oystercatcher and a Coot

This a Great Egret you can id this Egret by the large yellow bill.

I hope you enjoyed my Cape May photos and to see more wonderful mosaics please visit Mary's Mosaic Monday.  A big thanks to Mary for hosting this fun meme and thank you for visiting my post. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Birding the Edwin Forsythe NWR

For Camera Critters I have some more birds seen at the Edwin Forysthe wildlife refuge. We saw a lot of great birds along the 8 mile wildlife drive. These are a few that were seen at the end of our visit. In the water next to the road we happened to see these four Snowy Egrets and along side of them some Cormorants were diving and on a sign post we noticed the Osprey.
It almost seemed like the Cormorants were following the Snowy Egrets. The Egrets even moved to the other side of the water and the Cormorants followed. We stopped and watched this scene and these birds for awhile. All these photos were taken out the window and from the comfort of our car.

Below are the Snowy Egrets and the Osprey on the sign post. The Cormorants are there but they must have dived.



And here is a closer look of the Osprey on the post. Yum, it must be lunch time.
Next are the Snowy Egrets and a couple of Canada Geese. If you look closely you can see the Snowy Egrets have yellow feet.

Here is one of the Cormorants surfacing next to the Snowy Egrets
In the field beyond the Egrets and Cormorants are a couple of Willets having some fun.


I think the wings on the Willets are very pretty. Don't you?

And here are the four Snowy Egrets and the Cormorants in the water closer to the road. I think the Egrets wanted a fishing spot all to themselves and the Cormorants were still tagging along.


So this is my critter post and I hope you enjoyed my birds of the Edwin Forsythe wildlife refuge. I can not believe how fast these weekends are rolling around, I hope everyone has a great weekend and to all a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!  To see more cute critters please visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.  Thanks to Misty for hosting the Camera Critters meme and thank you for stopping by to see my post.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SWF..Edwin Forsythe NWR

For Skywatch Friday  I have these shots of the Atlantic City skyline and the turbines viewed from the Edwin Forsythe wildlife refuge.  I have mixed emotions about the turbines and these wind farms. I  love the idea of emission free energy and that the natural resource of wind could supply energy needs to our population. On the con side is definitely the birds I love, especially the migrating birds being killed by the turbines.

Here are some of my sky shots I took this past weekend while visiting the wildlife refuge. It was a nice day but the sky was cloudy. I would much prefer a sunny day but at least it was not raining.







A large group of Brant with the turbines in the background


It was cool to watch this eagle and I believe an osprey battling.


To see more beautiful skies from around the world click here Skywatch Friday.  Thanks to the hosting team of Sylvia, Wren, Sandy and Klaus.

Thanks for stopping by to see my skies and I hope everyone has a great weekend.