Saturday, March 31, 2012

Birds & Cats

I am linking up with Camera Critters

I know there are a lot of bloggers friends that love cats and I hope my post does not make my readers upset with me.  Recently, I read an article about birds killed by turbines in one of our environmental magazines. I honestly think that the wind turbines are horrible for birds, especially sitting in the path of migrating birds. What really surprised me was they listed domestic cats and pesticides kill tens of MILLIONS of birds annually.

 Above is a sweet Hermit Thrush!!

 I would think logically the wind farms can be put in areas away from migrating birds. I read that engineers are looking into various ideas to protect the birds and actually try to keep birds away from the turbines. Suggestions were solid towers rather than lattice style which the birds like to perch on, radar that would slow the turbines down when it detected approaching migrating birds, flashing strobe lights at the top and even changing the color of the tower.

EDIT: As I was playing on the computer this morning and listening to the news I heard the Electric Co or State of Maryland wants to add a monthly fee onto our bills to help pay for a wind farm they want to put out in the ocean. I believe this would be near Ocean City, Md.  Now, this wind farm would be on the Atlantic Flyway for migrating birds and they want me to help pay for it. Are they are out their minds?????


 This is one of the wild cats I have seen recently in my yard. I must find a way to keep these cats out of my yard. Should I call the animal shelter? These cats are wild, they have had no shots from a vet and raise babies in an old car that one of my neighbors keeps in their yard. If anyone has any ideas, I am open to suggestions.



Above my Wingscape Birdcam has captured some cute squirrel shots.


 My Goldie Girl looks a little upset I will not play ball with her. Goldie Girl recently had her long hair cut      and now looks more like a lab than a Golden Retriever. But, she is still my cutie.

 I do have to admit I am a dog lover and a responsible dog owner. We keep our dog in a fenced-in yard and on a leash while out walking. Now, it would be nice if cat owners were responsible too and either keep their cats inside the house or watch them when they are outside or do they have leashes for cats?  I was horrified when I heard how many birds are killed annually by cats. When I see the  feral cats in my neighborhood, that keep coming into my yard all I can think of is trying to protect my birds and the cute chipmunks that must go into hiding to be safe from the cat. If engineers are willing to work on the problems of the birds & turbines I would think pet owners could find a way to protect the birds from their cats. As far as pesticides go, we are not able to use pesticides around our well water so pesticides are a NO-NO for us.. Also, aren't there a lot of safe organic products that can be used on lawns and plants?



Another shot of my sweet Hermit Thrush


Sorry my critter post included a rant. I just care about the birds and wildlife. To see more cute and wonderful critters please visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters..  Thanks to Misty for hosting and thanks for stopping by my post. I hope everyone has a HAPPY weekend and Happy Birding to my birder friends.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

SWF>>>Backyard sunset

I am linking my skies  up with Skywatch Friday


Above is my neighborhood heron, it flew to the trees across from my house. I watched from my living room window as it broke off branches to take back to the nest. Along with the heron near my house, hubby and I noticed at least two other Great Blue Herons moving in the treetops off of the fireroad during one of our walks. There could be more herons that we have not seen. So, I guess I can consider my neighborhood is now a heron rookery.

I thought these clouds would make a beautiful sunset. Tell me what you think of my clouds below.


It is amazing how the sky changes and can light up the whole sky with beautiful colors.





My youtube video of a skywatch sunset, birds sounds and some very loud frog sounds. One of the loudest bird sounds in my video is the Cardinal. They do dine late at the feeders.



I hope you enjoyed my skies and video. Skywatching has become one of my favorite things to do, besides birding. It is wonderful when I can do both skywatching and birding at the same time.

To see more beautiful skies from around the world check out Skywatch Friday.  Thanks to the host of Skywatch: Sylvia, Sandy and Wren.  Thanks, also for stopping by to see my  post and I hope everyone has a Happy weekend. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eastern Bluebirds

I am linking up my Bluebird post with World Bird Wednesday   and Nature Notes

The Eastern Bluebird is a Maryland resident. But, I do not always see them in my yard during the winter months. I do get excited to see the bluebirds using my nesting boxes. The Eastern Bluebird is the reason I am so into birding.  The first time I saw the Eastern Bluebird I was amazed at its beautiful color.


 Above is the pretty female bluebird.



Above, one of my favorite shots of the male Eastern Bluebird.








The Bluebirds make the sweetest sounds, it almost like they are trying to tell me something. I hope you love the Bluebirds as much as I do. If you have a yard it would be fun to put up a birdhouse to see what bird moves in. I have several houses around my yard, that are being used by the Bluebird, Chickadees and usually a Carolina Wren. It is always a treat to see the juvies show up later in the season.



To see more beautiful and wonderful birds please visit Springman's World Bird Wednesday and to see more wonderful nature post check out Michelle's Nature Notes.
Thanks to Springman and Michelle for hosting these fun memes. I am also happy you stopped by to see my post. I appreciate the visit and the lovely comments.  I hope everyone has a happy week.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I love Spring

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday  and Our World Tuesday



I am showing off some of the pretty flowers and blossoms around my yard in the mosaic. Above is a  pretty weeping cherry tree,  a cute Mourning Dove, creeping phlox, forsythia, three Great Blue herons flying over my neighbors yard,  cute birdhouse hanging on the pergola, some daffodils.

I do love Spring, it is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the colors, the flowers and all the cute and colorful spring birds.



Also, this will be the third year the Great Blue Herons have returned to nest in the trees across from my neighbors house. The trees actually belong to the city of Baltimore and are part of the watershed protecting the reservoir. I am happy because I can stand on my deck and watch the Herons fly over with sticks to add to their nest and later on they will bring back food to the baby herons. I took the photo of the herons while standing on my driveway, so they are not far from my yard. The sounds coming from the nest are very strange too, the herons sometimes make noises like they are barking dogs.


The Forsythia is looking so bright and cheery.

Daffodils are one of my favorite springtime plants.


The weeping cherry tree is looking beautiful with all the pretty in pink blossoms.

And I had to show off one of my beautiful male Cardinals. There are lots of pretty colors happening in our yard right now.

To see more wonderful mosaics and photos please visit Mosaic Monday   and Our World Tuesday

Thanks to Mary the host of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group at Our World Tuesday; Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy..  Also, thank you for stopping by to see my post. I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Camera Critters and the Hero Dog Awards

I am linking up with Camera Critters

I was asked by Tonya of the American Humane Association if I would share the news about the Hero Dogs Awards and information about nominating a Hero dog.  Being a dog lover and for such a worthy cause I wanted to include some of the press release on the Hero Dog Awards. Maybe some of my readers knows a Hero dog.  There is not much time left for nominations so if you know of a Hero dog this is your chance to show off your Hero. 

Above is my hero Goldie Girl, always taking care of her Daddy while they are out on a walk. She even knows her way home in the dark. Good girl, Goldie Girl.


Check out their link



HONOR YOUR HEROIC HOUND!
NOMINATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2012
“AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION HERO DOG AWARDS™”
----
Win a trip to Hollywood, honor your dog on national TV, and help win $15,000 for a worthy cause

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us, and given us their unconditional love.  Now you can repay the favor, win a trip to Hollywood, and help worthy charities share $50,000 in critically needed funds – just by clicking on www.herodogawards.org and nominating your capital canine in the 2012 “American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™.”

Presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and broadcast nationwide on Hallmark Channel, the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards are produced by Emmy® award winning MRB Productions and seek to identify and recognize America’s Hero Dogs – often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things, whether it’s saving lives, lending a comforting paw when you're sick, or just welcoming you home at the end of a hard day.

“Americans love a hero, and this year’s inaugural Hero Dog Awards proved that’s true for the four-legged kind as well,” said Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane Association. “The overwhelming outpouring of support for the 2011 Hero Dog Awards instantly transformed this event from a great idea, into a campaign and program that was nationally embraced. Everyone has a hero dog in his or her life, and we want to hear about yours!”

“In a very short period of time, the Hero Dog Awards has established itself as the ultimate celebration of dogs and the remarkable things they do to make people’s lives better.  This annual initiative recognizes these tremendous animals through their stories of loyalty, bravery, commitment, and unconditional love,” says Bill Abbott, CEO and President, Crown Media Family Networks.  “As we open nominations for next year, we look forward to hearing and sharing more of these accounts, which are important reminders of how integral the human-dog partnership is to the enrichment of so many lives. I actively encourage dog lovers and everyone who has a four-legged hero to visit www.herodogawards.org and nominate your dog or share in the inspirational stories of others.”
    
Dogs may be nominated in eight categories: Law Enforcement & Arson Dogs; Service Dogs; Therapy Dogs; Military Dogs; Guide Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; Hearing Dogs; and Emerging Hero Dogs (the category for pets). Finalists in each of the eight categories will be selected by the public from the pool of contestants, and flown to Hollywood with two of their human friends to the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California on October 6, 2012.  There they will walk the red carpet, attend the show which will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel, and will be recognized in a video tribute at the black-tie gala where the winning American Hero Dog will be announced.  Each of the eight finalists will win $5,000 for their chosen charity selected from the contest’s list of 45 charity partners. The top winner will win an additional $10,000 for their charity partner.

Nominations close on March 26, 2012, and voting by the general public will begin on April 1, 2012.

Finalists in each category will be judged by a blue-ribbon panel consisting of both celebrities and animal experts, to determine the winning American Hero Dog. This year’s judges include Whoopi Goldberg, Candy Spelling, CBS’ Debbye Turner Bell, “America’s Veterinarian” Dr. Marty Becker, actresses Kristin Bauer Van Straten, Megyn Price, Edie McClurg, and Christie Brooke, Prince Lorenzo Borghese and many other notable names. 


God Bless our Soldiers and the Hero Dog, If you have the time this video is very touching. 


 I  think it is amazing how special and loyal dogs really can be, they all deserve a big { hug }.

Complete rules and entry information can be obtained by visiting www.herodogawards.org.

And since this is my critter post and it is usually about birds I have a White Throat Sparrow at my pond below.


 The sun was setting but I think I got just enough light to show off this pretty White-Throated Sparrow. The sun is shining on the pretty yellow lores on this sparrow above.


  Above is a Song Sparrow singing happily now that it is officially Spring. If I could sing... I would be happily singing that Spring is here too....But, believe me no one wants to hear my singing.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog and critter post.  I know it is a long read but I wanted to show my support for the Hero dogs.  To see more wonderful critters please visit Camera Critters .  Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting and thanks as always for your wonderful comments and visits.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.





Thursday, March 22, 2012

SWF>>>>Atlantic City Sunrise

I am linking up with Skywatch Friday

These are some shots of the sunrise from our visit to Atlantic City last Sunday.  I thought the colors were beautiful and I enjoyed watching the gulls flying over and seeing a few Common Loons in the ocean. It was a very peaceful morning and we practically had the beach to ourselves.

The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
by Blaise Pascal

A pretty Crescent moon and pinkish contrail. 

Every drop in the ocean counts

by Yoko Ono

One of my main reasons for the weekend  in New Jersey was to do some birding at the Edwin Forsythe NWR. I will be doing another post on the birds and ducks we saw at the refuge.

But for now the only birds I saw while on the beach were a lots of gulls and a few common loons seen in the orange ocean. They are quick, diving into the water and coming up in totally different area.





I hope you enjoyed my sunrise and skywatch post. To see more beautiful skies from around the world click here: Skywatch Friday. Thanks to the hosting group at Skywatch: Sylvia, Sandy and Wren.  Thank you also for stopping by to see my skies. I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend. Happy Birding!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Le Conte's Sparrow



I am linking up with World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

On Saturday, I added the Le Conte's Sparrow to my life list. I had been watching my listserve when I noticed the Le Conte's Sparrow was being seen at the local Irvine Nature Center. This bird breeds in Canada and winters in the South Eastern United States as far west as central Texas and as far north as central Illinois. Certainly no way near Maryland, it must have made a wrong turn somewhere.


The Le Conte's Sparrow is a small sparrow with a large head, with a short gray bill and short pointed tail. It has a buffy-orange yellow face, gray cheeks and a dark crown with a white central stripe. The neck has chestnut streaks, the back is streaked with brown and beige. Its belly is off white and the sides are buffy orange yellow with dark brown streaks.


This Le Conte's Sparrow enjoys moist open grassy areas with sufficient vegetation to provide cover. It's diet is seeds of grasses in the winter and insects in the summer.


The Le Conte's sparrow was seen in the grasses behind where I was standing when I took this photo.  I have posted about one of my previous birding outings with the bird club here Birding Irvine Nature Center.   At that time this field was covered in wildflowers and looked beautiful. It is always nice to add a new bird to my life list, especially so close to home.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my latest lifer and to see more beautiful and wonderful photos please visit: World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes.  Thanks to Springman and Michelle for hosting these fun memes. Also, I thank everyone for stopping by my post and for leaving the lovely comments.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

More from Hashawha

I am linking up Camera Critters and Sunday Bridges

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!!!

These photos were from last weekend's hike at our local Hashawha Nature Center.  It was a pretty day for a hike and we saw many signs of Spring.


Above is a beautiful male Eastern Bluebird, a footbridge over a stream, turtle and the boardwalk at the Hashawha Lake.


Above a White Throated Sparrow, I believe the bottom left and right are Song Sparrows.


There are a few places where you have to cross these footbridges over the streams on the trails.

I am pretty sure this is a Northern Red-bellied Cooter. I looked up turtles seen in Maryland to find the name of this turtles at first I thought it was a Red-eared Slider but my turtle does not show the red stripe behind its eye.


Another footbridge over the stream, this is where I found a few Song Sparrows near the edge of the stream.


One of the many Song Sparrows I saw while hiking and birding Hashawha.


On the way home we passed by this farm with these cute Alpacas. I just love these cute critters.


To see more cute and wonderful critters, please visit Camera Critters.  Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting Camera Critters.  Also, please visit Louis's Sunday Bridges.   Also, thanks for stopping by to see my post. I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SWF>>>Hashawha Nature Center

I am linking up with Skywatch Friday

On the weekend hubby and I always pick some place to go for a walk, this past weekend we went to the local Hashawha Nature Center. They have miles of trails, a lake, streams, a raptor center and it is great for birding.  The sky was a beautiful blue and it was a lovely day.



A robin perched on the wires with a pretty blue sky for a background.


Hubby and I were trying to figure out what kind of tree this is? It had these little round balls hanging on the branches that the birds were picking at? 


I am seeing hawks just about everywhere I go, I believe this is a Red Shouldered.



The full moon looked beautiful last week.  I hope you enjoyed my skywatch.  As usual thank you for visting my post and for the lovely comments.

To see more beautiful skies from around the world  please visit Skywatch Friday.  Thanks to the hosting group of Sylvia, Sandy and Wren. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Backyard birds

I am linking up with World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

This week I am showing a few of my yard birds. I have been watching the Carolina Chickadees go in and out of one of my bluebird houses.




This Carolina Chickadee enjoys my feeder with sunflower seeds.


A White Breasted Nuthatch outside my window.


The Black Vultures found a carcass of a deer around the corner from my house. Yesterday, I drove by there had to be over a hundred Black Vultures on the ground, on the deer and in the trees. One of my blogger friends asked why I see these Vultures hanging around so much. I think they like my neighborhood because of the deer carcass and the woods for roosting. During the hunting season, the hunters were taking what they wanted and leaving behind the rest of the deer. So that would leave plenty of food for both the Turkey and Black Vultures.

I hope you enjoyed my post and I want to thank you for stopping by and your wonderful comments.

To see more beautiful birds please visit Springman's World Bird Wednesday   and for more nature scenes please visit Michelle's  Nature Notes.  Thanks to Springman for hosting World Bird Wednesday and to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes.