Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More on the Evening Grosbeak

I am linking up my Evening Grosbeak with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

First, I want to say so far my family and I made it safely thru the storm, our electric is on as I type this and I am happy to have a cup of coffee first thing this morning. The wind and rain was scary last night so I went to bed early. I hope all my blogger friends have also made it thru the storm safely. Maryland has had heavy rains and winds on the east side of the state and blizzardlike conditions and snow on the west side of the state. It was a very strange storm.

I was a happy birder to be one of the few people last weekend to have a "rare" visitor to my yard. The Evening Grosbeak is another species of bird like the Pine Siskins for Maryland birders to see in an irruptive year. Irruption is like a migration of birds moving south due to the availability of seeds and their food source.


The first day I noticed the Evening Grosbeaks there were three of them, the second day I only saw one. I was told that I was seeing one female and two immatures.


The Evening Grosbeak is a larger size finch around 8 inches. Their breeding habitat is coniferous and mixed forest across Canada and the western mountain area of the United States. The adult has a short black tail, black wings and a large pale bill. The adult male has a bright yellow forehead and body. You can see the adult male here male Evening_Grosbeak . The female is mainly olive-brown and greyer on the underparts with white patches on the wings.


The Evening Grosbeak mainly eats seed, berries and insects. On the photo above you can see a faint yellow collar. The Grosbeaks were in  my yard and visiting my sunflower seed feeders for at least a day and a half before they moved on. I wished they would have stayed longer, maybe I will see another group arrive again this winter. I will be on the lookout for any new bird arriving due to the irruption.



To see more beautiful and wonderful photos please visit: Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes.
Thanks to Stewart for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday and thanks to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hemlock Gorge Walk

Hello, I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday.


These are some of the scenes from our walk at the Hemlock Gorge yesterday.Such a calm day before the big storm SANDY. I am hoping our electric stays on, they are already announcing school closings. If I am not around visiting your blogs the next couple of days, it will be because I will not have the internet access. I hope everyone in the path of SANDY ..Take care  and be careful and I hope no one has any serious damage.


Above we saw a few falls colors, hemlock trees and a cute Carolina Wren. I also saw the YC Kinglets in the same area as the Carolina Wren.



Our walk on the trail next to the river and goes into a Hemlock forest. We saw various hemlock trees that look like they are dying most likely from the insect called Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. It was sad to see that these same beautiful hemlock trees in the Smoky Mountains are also dying from this insect.




Above are some photos from around my yard: top right is our red maple tree, Clematis is blooming again, more of the red maple, our colorful weeping cherry tree and one of the many Pine Siskins I have been seeing at my feeders.

I love the colors on our Weeping Cherry tree.


More of the blooming Clematis.


Here are just of few of the Pine Siskins in my yard today. You can see their pretty yellow stripe on their sides. At the same time they were also on other feeders and in the weeping cherry tree. My biggest flock of Siskins so far this season.


They are a fun groups of birds to watch, sometimes getting a feisty with each other. I hope you enjoyed my walk and my Pine Siskins.

To see more wonderful photos and mosaics please visit Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday
 Thanks to Mary of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy .  Thanks also for stopping by to see my post.  I wish everyone a happy week!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wishes do come true


I am linking up with  Green Day and Camera Critters and I'd-Rather-B-Birdin.

As a birder I had an exciting last couple of days. I posted in my last post about the irruptive birds moving thru the area and everyone should be on the look out for new birds in their yard. 

The excitement started on Thursday, I came home from work and was reading some blogs. I was commenting on Gary's Me, Boomer and the Vermilon river. I loved Gary's Evening Grosbeaks and I commented that I would love to see one in my backyard. It was no more than a minute goes by and I turned my head to look out my window and what do I see three Evening Grosbeaks at my feeders. YAHOO!!


My ever popular feeder looks like a favorite with the Evening Grosbeaks. I have been told that out of the three Grosbeaks I had one female and two immature.  Now for a pretty male to show,  would just make my weekend.


The Evening Grosbeak is a "RARE" sighting in Maryland and I was one of the few birders reporting that they were seen. I have a feeling more sightings will be reported this weekend. I reported my sighting on EBIRD and on my MD listserve, I started getting emails from birders asking if they could stop by to see my Evening Grosbeaks. I am happy to share, I just hope they stick around for awhile or maybe even more will show up.




The view from my window and two of the three Evening Grosbeaks.  Sorry, the chair and curtain are a little in the way. I took the shot from my desk chair at the computer.

Now, I am thinking I can wish for any bird to show up in my yard. I am wishing to see some Common Redpolls  and it would be cool to see a Saw-Whet owl in the woods next to my house. A Bohemian Waxwing would be a cool visitor too.

Another surprise in my yard, the clematis started blooming again. It is one of my favorite plants and look so pretty.




I hope you enjoyed my Evening Grosbeaks and clematis.

To see more beautiful photos and cute critters please visit: Green Day  and Camera Critters and I'd-Rather-B-Birdin. Thanks to the gracious host Fiona of Green Day, Misty Dawn of Camera Critters and to Anni of I'd Rather-B-birdin.  Thanks for visiting my blog and post. I wish everyone a very safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Around the Yard..Part V

Another week has disappeared and now it is time for some of my favorites memes Skywatch Friday and  NF Winged. Are your weeks flying by? I hope you are all having a great week.

 These are some shots from the last couple of days, the sky, moon and some of my yardbirds. Some were taken in the morning, afternoon and in the evening after work. I am not looking forward to changing the clocks back an hour on November 4. 












There are always Mourning Doves in my yard. Some times there are just a few Doves and other times they seem to take over like the squirrels. The Doves are timid birds like my Cardinals, they will fly off if they catch me looking at them. Some times I am quick with snapping off a shot before they realize I see them.



The Carolina Chickadee is another year round yard bird for me. I've been checking out my Chickadees looking for the Black-capped Chickadee.  I have seen both in my yard, so maybe this is the year for Black-capped Chickadees. The Carolina Chickadee is actually a little smaller than the Black-capped Chickadee and has a shorter tail. I just wished they would stay still long enough for me see get a good look at them.














 

To see more beautiful photos and pretty skies please visit Skywatch Friday
and to see more of the winged critters check out NF Winged

Thanks to Sylvia and Sandy for hosting Skywatch Friday! Thanks to Monica the host of NF Winged. Also, thank you for stopping by to see my post. I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pine Siskin Irruption

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

I love the Pine Siskins and it seems like lately they are coming in large groups. On this day below I counted 20 Pine Siskins on my feeders and deck railing. The Pine Siskins were missing from my yard last year so this means we are in an irruption year. An irruptive year is where you will see birds that do not normally winter in your area. Some of these birds are the Pine Siskins, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Purple Finch, Common Redpoll and the Evening Grosbeak. Another bird that will also shift from its wintering ground is the Red breasted Nuthatch.  I am seeing the Red-Breasted Nuthatches on my feeders and many are in the woods around my house.


The Pine Siskins are brown on their upperparts and pale underparts with heavy streaking. They have short forked tails and a real tell-tale sign is the yellow streak on their wings and tails. You can see the yellow streaks in my photo above. They are similar in color to the house finches.






They say irruptions are due to a lack of food in their normal winter grounds. I am happy to help provide food for these pretty birds and I would love to see an Evening Grosbeak or Common Redpoll at my feeder.



Pine Siskins on 10/20/12
A few years ago during one irruptive year I counted as many as 100 or more Pine Siskins on my deck and feeders. I was joking in a previous post that one Pine Siskin was sent as a scout well a few days later the scouts friends all arrived. I am not seeing 100 but above I at least 20 in the photo. It is hard trying to capture them all in one photo.



 First Pine Siskin arrived 10/15/12




You can look for the irruptive species in your area and I read that there is an Irruptive bird survey on the Cornell Website. They would like to know what irruptive birds you are seeing, when did the irruption start and how long will it last also they would like to know you location. This looks like the start of a fantastic winter for seeing great birds in my yard and around the state of Maryland.


To see more beautiful and wonderful photos please visit: Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes.
Thanks to Stewart for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday and thanks to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Morning Walk

Hello, I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday. 

The last few days we have been enjoying the Autumn colors locally around our lake and of course I am always watching my yardbirds.


On Sunday morning , Goldie Girl and I took a walk down to the lake. I think the colorful reflections on the lake were pretty.


 I tried hard to get a clear shot of the lake but between the slippery mud near the edge and the tree limbs I could not manage a perfect shot.



On the way to the lake I took shots of the beautiful and colorful trees along the fireroad.



Taking walks is one of Goldie Girls favorite things to do next to playing with her tennis balls.




This mosaic includes some of my Pine Siskins and a pair of Purple Finches.


Last weekend, I starting noticing one Pine Siskin hanging around and I thought to myself he was a scout and would be bringing back lots of his friends. I was right yesterday I counted around 20 Pine Siskins  on my deck railing and feeders.





Above is a male Purple finch that is visiting my yard with his lady friend below. The male is a pretty raspberry color.


The Purple Finches have that white line on their face near their eye.



To see more wonderful photos and mosaics please visit Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday
 Thanks to Mary of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy .  Thanks also for stopping by to see my post.  I wish everyone a happy week!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Smoky Mtn Critters

I am sharing some of our birds, critters and scenes from the Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park  for Green Day and Camera Critters

 This post takes me and you back to the Great Smoky Mountain Nat'l Park to see some critters there.  As I said in a previous post most of the birds in the Smoky Mountains were camera shy. Except for these chickens, I guess chickens are still in the bird family. We also saw bears and elk.







The chickens were seen at the homestead at the Cherokee Visitor center.



This is the Mingus Mill not far from the Cherokee visitor center in the Great Smoky Mountain Nat'l Park.




The Elk was seen in a field not far from the Cherokee visitor center.




 This bear was seen on the Roaring Fork Motor Drive.




This was a bear we saw along the Skyline Drive on the way home, we were in the southern most part of Shenandoah Nat'l Park. Seeing the bears is exciting to me and they are one of my favorite critters. I maybe be putting a post on my travel blog on the Smokies and Gatlingburg so for now I am done with the Smoky photos. I hope you enjoyed my critters.



To see more beautiful photos and cute critters please visit: Green Day  and Camera Critters . Thanks to the gracious host Fiona of Green Day, Misty Dawn of Camera Critters.  Thanks for visiting my blog and post. I wish everyone a very safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Around the yard Part 4

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

For this week I have some bird from around my yard.  Some are at my feeders, or the pokeberries and just perched in my Weeping Cherry tree.



A White Breasted Nuthatch eating seed off my deck railing.

The Northern Mockingbird in my weeping cherry tree.

Eastern Phoebe in the same weeping cherry tree. I think this is one of my prettier shots.

For a peanut they do not mind posing for the camera.


It is amazing at how many peanuts can fit into a  Bluejay's mouth.


A female Purple Finch is waiting patiently for her turn at the feeders.

I am looking forward to seeing some new "winter" birds moving into my yard. Over the weekend I did manage to see a Eastern Towhee in the weeping cherry tree and one Pine Siskin on my deck. I am hoping the Pine Siskin was sent as a scout to check out my feeders and come back with lots of his friends. On my walk on the nearby fireroad I am pretty sure I saw a flock of White-Throated Sparrows. Their sound is unmistakable.




To see more beautiful and wonderful photos please visit: Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes.
Thanks to Stewart for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday and thanks to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Local Colors

Hello, I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Since we were away last weekend we did not plan much for this weekend. We took a walk on the bike trail looking for some fall colors there and around our lake. When I am home on the weekend I have to check out all my feeder birds. I miss seeing them while I am at work during the week.





Photos in my mosaic are some fall colors from the local bike trail, Goldie Girl, some geese on our lake and my yardbirds.


A mockingbird also seems to like to eat the pokeberries.


Above is a pretty Purple Finch and a Tufted Titmouse.


Some of the brighter colors from our walk on the bike trail yesterday.


 A Great Blue Heron we saw at the river next to the bike trail.



Goldie Girl went to the bike trail for a walk too.


On the way home from the bike trail we rode around the lake look for a bit of color.



There was just a little bit of color around the lake. The leaves on the trees are either still green or just turning brown. Are you seeing lots of fall colors where your live?



A chickadee and the Purple Finch on my feeder.



So these are shots of the local color and a few of my yardbirds.  I hope you enjoyed my post and photos.

To see more wonderful photos and mosaics please visit Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday
 Thanks to Mary of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy .  Thanks also for stopping by to see my post.  I wish everyone a happy week!