Friday, July 29, 2011

Birding Bombay Hook NWR..Part II

My post for this weeks  Friday Ark   and Camera Critters I have some more birds from my last visit to Bombay Hook NWR. This post and birding list includes the Black-Necked Stilt, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Ibis and what I believe are a Caspian Tern (or is it a Common Tern) adult with a juvie. Also, near the Finnis Pool we saw lots of turtles.

The Black-necked Stilt is a breeding bird at Bombay Hook. So, in the summer months you can almost always see them at the refuge.  They have long slender legs and black and white plumage. They forage by picking prey with their long thin bills.



We watched this juvie tern being fed by the adult. What a cute sight.


Only certain Terns have orange bills and checking out my field guide I see that the Caspian and the Royal Terns have the orange bill. I really had to crop the juvie tern photo and it is fuzzy but I see that the juvie also has an orange bill.  To narrow it down some more the Caspian Tern has black on the tip of its bill. So now I am sure the Tern I saw at Bombay Hook is the Caspian Tern. What do you think?

Edit: I am still not sure of the id's on these Terns. If anyone can help it would be appreciated.




At the time I was birding at the Bombay Hook refuge a White-Faced Ibis was being reported seen.  I saw a flock of Glossy Ibis a distance away and two Ibis that were closer, below is a photo of one of the two I saw. Again, all these birds were too far away for the zoom on my camera but I cropped it closer hoping to be able to id this bird. Now, whether it is the White-faced Ibis or the Glossy Ibis I am not positive because of the fuzziness of my photo. I saw my first White-faced Ibis in Idaho, so it would not be a lifer if it was the White-faced Ibis. I believe they are more rare of a sighting than the usual Glossy Ibis seen in this area.


During the summer months you can be sure to see the Great Egret, Snowy Egret and Great Blue Herons.

I always love seeing the Egrets in the tree and I like how this photo turned out. It was a hot humid day and even the birds looked tired of the heat.




Below, two Great Egrets and a Great Blue Heron.


We usually always see turtles in the Finnis Pool.




To see more beautiful birds and critters check out Friday Ark   and   Camera Critters.  Thanks to the host of  Friday Ark and to Misty Dawn of Camera Critters. I hope you enjoyed my birds of Bombay Hook and thanks for stopping by for a visit. I hope everyone has a great weekend and try to stay cool, I heard it is going to be a hot and humid weekend.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

American Avocets

This is my post for World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes


Below, the taller Avocets mixed in with a few other shorebirds.



This past Saturday, hubby and I visited Bombay Hook NWR. I was hoping to see some shorebirds migrating thru. I was reading my Delaware Birding Trail map and it mentioned migration starts in July and peaks in August. I have to say I love the Delaware Birding trail map. It list all the birding hotspots and it list where you can find certain birds also has a map and directions. It would be cool if every state had their own birding trail map.


There are actually two birds seen at Bombay Hook NWR that made the trip worthwhile for me. The American Avocets and the Black Necked Stilt, they are usually seen at Bombay Hook in the summer months.

Below, that American Avocets are resting. It was very hot and humid on Saturday.


American Avocets...Bombay Hook. The breeding male has a burned orangy head and neck. They search for insect larvae by sweeping their bill along the waters surface. Also, their bill is slightly curved.


Sorry, I will have to learn to keep my hand steady,  my youtube Avocet video. But, I like how the video catches the avocets sweeping the waters surface with their bills. A Glossy Ibis is also seen walking along in the water.



We also saw a Bald Eagle, Terns, Willets, Dowitchers, Sandpipers, Yellowlegs, Plovers, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, GB Heron and Glossy Ibis. We also made quick stops at Woodland Beach and Port Mahon.

To see more wonderful bird please check out Springman's World Bird Wednesday and more great nature post at Michelle's Nature Notes. Thanks to Springman and Michelle for hosting and thanks for stopping by to see my post and birds.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Backyard blooms and birds

I am linking up my post with Mosaic Monday  and  That's My World.  These are some of the flowers blooming in my yard right now and a couple of my yardbirds...the Mourning Dove and the Ruby Throated Hummingbird. Most of our flowers were planted with the hopes of attracting more wildlife like the  birds and butterflies to our yard.

Below,  butterfly bushes, crepe myrtle, trumpet vine and a Ruby Throated Hummingbird.


The Mourning Dove is another year round bird and a regular visitor to my yard. They spook easily and sometimes it is hard to get a good photo of them.


Below, Purple coneflowers and Maryland's state flower the Black Eyed Susan and my sweet looking Mourning Dove.








Black  Eyed Susan's, Maryland State flower.



Over the years hubby has planted many flowers, he has the green thumb and I just help to choose plants and bushes with the wildlife in mind. The butterfly bushes attract the butterflies and the trumpet vine is a favorite of the hummingbirds.



I just love to see the hummingbirds in my yard, this male like to take control of all my feeders and the flowers.


To see more wonderful mosaics and photos please visit Mary's Mosaic Monday and That's My World.. Thanks to Mary for hosting Mosaic Monday and to the gang at That's My World: Sylvia, Wren, Sandy and Klaus.  Also, thanks for stopping by my post and blog. I hope everyone has a wonderful week and try to stay cool during these HOT days.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Goldfinches & Sunflowers

I am linking up my Goldfinch post  to the Friday Ark and Camera Critters  Both are great memes for the animal and bird lover. The American Goldfinch is a year round bird for me.  The male Goldfinch is a beautiful bird, such a pretty bright yellow in the summer months. The female is pretty but a much duller color. They have such a sweet sound, I love to hear them in my yard.




Watching and feeding my yardbirds is one of my favorite things to do. The sunflowers growing in my yard are from the birds dropping the seeds. They love the Black Oiled Sunflower Seeds also known as BOSS. And now it is a treat to see the birds pecking at and eating the seeds on my sunflowers.



On this day I was able to catch the American Goldfinch perched on top of the sunflower and chowing down.






I like to leave the flowers in our yard even after they are past their beautiful flowering stage because I know the birds like to eat the seeds from the dead flowers. The Coneflowers are another flower popular with the birds in the fall time. In a small way it helps me to cut back on my bird seed purchases, if the birds are eating the seeds from my flowers.

I chose to plant coneflowers in our yard because I read that the birds love the eat the seeds in the fall.



To see more wonderful birds and critters please visit the Friday Ark and Camera Critters.  Thanks to the host of the Friday Ark and to Misty Dawn of Camera Critters. Thanks also for visiting my post and blog. I always enjoy your comments. I hope you all have a great weekend and try to stay cool. It's HOT out there.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bermuda's White Tailed Tropicbird

My lifer the White-tailed Tropicbird is my post for World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes

During my short stay in Bermuda I was able to pick up one lifer..it was the White Tailed Tropicbird. It is also known as Bermuda's bird. The white-tailed tropicbird  is seen on Bermuda quarter and nickel.
In Bermuda it is locally known as the long-tailed tropicbird. It was a common bird seen all over Bermuda.  I thought it was a beautiful bird white it's long white tail feathers.







 Horseshoe Beach was the one place I was really able to watch them. They would fly all around the beach and ocean just like seagulls. It was neat to see them land on the rocky cliffs. They are known to lay one single egg on the ground or on a cliffs edge.


Below I was able to watch the Tropicbird flying into a small crevice on the cliff.



They disperse widely across the oceans when they are not breeding. The adult is a slender white bird with long white tail feathers. It feeds on fish and squid by surface plunging.

To see more wonderful bird visit Springman's World Bird Wednesday  and visit Michelle's Nature Notes.  Thanks to Springman and Michelle for hosting these fun memes.  Also thanks for visiting my post. I hope the rest of your week is great.  Happy Birding!!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bermuda birds and scenery

With this post I am link up my mosiacs with Mosaic Monday and the yellow chested Great Kiskadee for  Mellow Yellow Monday and with the beautiful blue water of Horsebeach Beach and the lovely skies  for Blue Monday. I recently read that Smiling Sally is in the hospital, please say a prayer for her and wish her well.




Ruddy Turnstones seen on the Horseshoe beach


I think by now everyone knows I love to go birding and that includes birding while on vacation. During our port of call stop in Bermuda I was able to check out the birds on the Horseshoe beach. A popular beach with pretty blue water and pink sand.








Hubby was able to go snorkeling while I did my birding so we were both happy. At Horseshoe beach I saw a bird I see on the beaches at home, the Ruddy Turnstone. Other common birds I saw in Bermuda, the Eastern bluebirds, Cardinals, Mourning Doves and lots of pigeons, starlings and lots of house sparrows. I did add a lifer to my list with the white-tailed tropicbird. I will do another post on my lifer the Tropicbird.

Below we were at Tobacco Bay, known to be a great snorkeling spot. Hubby was happy seeing pretty Parrotfish while snorkeling. Here, the birds I saw were more of the Great Kiskadee with their pretty yellow chest and lots and lots of House Sparrows.








These birds below the Great Kiskadee were seen all over the island.  I watched these two Kiskadees while hubby, son and his friend were snorkeling at Tobacco Bay. They have such a pretty bright yellow belly.




Please visit these fun memes: Mary's Mosaic Monday and Drowsey Monkey's Mellow Yellow Monday and Sally's Blue Monday.  A special thanks to these great hosts:  Mary, Drowsey Monkey and Sally. Thanks for visiting my blog and my post. I hope you all have a great week.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Birding Bermuda

You can find my post for My Today's Flowers

This is my post for Friday Ark  and  Camera Critters

I had a short time to do some birding in Bermuda,  our port of call during our 5 day cruise this past week. Bermuda birds are pretty much the same birds I see here in Maryland. One exception was the Great Kiskadee.
  The Great Kiskadee was seen all over the island



This Great Kiskadee was nearby while we were waiting for our turn to tour the Crystal Caves.


He/She was not a shy bird and did not seem to mind posing for me.






The Kiskadee a large tyrant flycatcher was one of the most common birds I saw during my day and a half stay in Bermuda. The Great Kiskadee has a black head with a strong white eyestripe. The Black Bill is short and thick.

I hope you enjoy my Great Kiskadee and to see more wonderful and cute critters make sure you visit the Friday Ark and Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.  Thanks to host of Friday Ark and to Misty Dawn for hosting these fun animal memes. Also, thanks for stopping by to see my post. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Birding the back roads

I am linking up with Camera Critters

I have been enjoy listening to the Great Blue Herons and their babies from my deck. The adult Great Blue Heron comes back to the nest and the babies go beserk and sound like they are fighting over the food. I linked up my you tube video. My neighbors thought they were some wild animals in the woods fighting. You have to listen for yourself to actually hear the noises and sounds coming from these heron babies.

Great Blue heron nest


Last weekend after listening to my herons in the morning at home and then hiking at the Catoctin National Park I decided to take the back roads home to look for Dickcissels reportedly seen in the area. I missed seeing the Dickcissel hopefully someday soon but I did see a Redheaded Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird and a beautiful Eastern Meadowlark.

I was a happy birder to see the Meadowlark. It had been over 20 years since seeing my first Meadowlark. My first Meadowlark sighting was seen over 20 years ago on a farm right down my street. It is a beautiful bird and has a lovely song. I have never seen them again on my street and last weekend was my second sighting of the Eastern Meadowlark in Maryland.

This beautiful bird inhabits open areas such as meadows, prairies, farms and grasslands. It can often be found singing from a fence post while searching for insects. It is sad to see that development of farmland means a loss of habitat for the Meadowlark.


The next bird we saw while on the back road was the Redheaded Woodpecker.  I knew this bird was being seen in the area after reading my listserve emails. It is one of my favorite woodpeckers.



The Eastern Kingbird was another bird I saw perched on a wire over the road. I usually can tell a kingbird by the white on the bottom of their tails.



To see more wonderful and cute critters please visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters
Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting the Camera Critters meme and thanks for stopping by to see my post. I hope you enjoyed my birds and I hope everyone has a great weekend and happy birding.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Birding & Hiking Catoctin National Park

With this post I am linking up with That's My World and World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

This past Sunday, hubby and I hiked the 3 mile roundtrip trail to Chimney and Wolf Rocks in Catoctin National Park here in Maryland. The first bird I sighted was the Wood Thrush ...right on the trail in front of us as we started up the trail to the Chimney Rock formations.

The Wood Thrush  is a breeder in the eastern US and is found in mature deciduous forest. It populations have undergone a decline in recent decades for unknown reasons. A guess on my part for their decline would be the loss of forest and clear cutting. After all the forest is their habitat and home. The Wood Thrush is reported to have one of the most beautiful songs of all the North American birds. It was wonderful to hear them while we were walking along the trail.


The Chimney Rock formations offer some great views of the mountains.





The Eastern Wood Pewee was another bird I heard along the trail to the Chimney and Wolf Rocks.  Along with the Wood Thrush, this Wood Pewee was another bird we enjoyed hearing as we hiked along the trail. They have a cute sound  "pee-ah-wee"   sounds almost like their name.


After stopping at Chimney Rocks we continued on the the Wolf Rock formations.







It was at the Wolf Rock that I noticed these five-lined skinks together. They had a  tail area was a pretty blue.





Here is a list of the birds I saw during my hike at Catoctin National Park: Wood Thrush, Wood Pewee, Great Crested Flycatcher, Red Eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, Pileated Woodpeckers, Ovenbirds, Chickadees, Bluejays and Crows.

Thanks for stopping by to see my post and I hope you visit both That's My World and   World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes.  Thanks to the hosting group: Sylvia, Wren, Sandy , Fishing Guy and Klaus of That's My World and thanks to Springman for hosting World Bird Wednesday and to Michelle of Nature Notes.

I hope everyone has a great week :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

HAPPY 4th of JULY critters

Happy 4th of July, I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July weekend.

I am linking of my post with Misty Dawn's  Camera Critters.

I have a few of my yardbirds, the cardinal and the goldfinch and some critters seen around my deck and neighborhood.

This pretty cardinal is showing off his patriotic red color for the 4th of July.


From my archives, because I needed to add the color blue for my July 4th post. These Bluejays would be happy to have a feast on my deck for the 4th of July. Just make sure there are some peanuts for them.



This American Goldfinch is showing off his pretty bright yellow color.




This cute chipper likes to join in on the July 4th feast too. They look adorable filling up their cheeks with the birdseed.



I like driving along the back country roads looking for birds that like to be in the fields and grasses. I am on a quest to add the Dickcissel to my life list.  The Dickcissel can be found on pastures, farm fields and on fences or utility wires.  I see these donkeys everytime we go for our favorite ice cream, they are just so cute. They seem different for some reason. I not sure what kind they are but they look adorable.



I think this cow is happy we like to eat ice cream.


My Goldie Girl got a hair cut for the summer, now she looks like a yellow lab instead of a golden retriever. They put red and blue bow on her ears, so Goldie Girl is ready to celebrate the 4th of July too.


I hope you enjoy my critters and to see more cute critters please visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters. Thanks to Misty for hosting this fun meme and thanks for stopping by to see my post.  Be safe and have a great holiday weekend!