Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Anhinga

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes;

I am featuring the Anhinga  we saw on the Anhinga trail in the Everglades National Park this week.  It seems only right that they have a trail named after them in this park. We saw so many Anhingas, I would think their population is not at risk.


 COOL eyes!

The Anhinga species is found all over the world. They are sometimes called a Snakebird, American Darter, or a Water Turkey. 


Anhinga rookery in the Everglades National Park. They are cute fluffy babies.






Juveniles will stay brown until after the second or third winter.


Within two weeks the tan down is replaced with white down. After three week from hatching the juvenile's first feathers will appear. The baby on the nest a the bald head, the down will appear later.


The female Anhinga has a light brown head and neck and upper chest. And the male is a glossy black-green and it wings and tail a black-blue. The tip of the tail has white feathers. The back upper part of the body is streaked with white.

 Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your nice comments.
Join in and post your birdies and to see more beautiful and wonderful bird photos please visit:
 Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Michelle's  Nature Notes.
Thanks to Stewart for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday and thanks to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes.
I wish everyone a happy week ahead and Happy Birding!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Around the yard

 I am linking up with   Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday

Just an FYI: A friend on Facebook said she rec'd an email from me using using a yahoo email address and was asking to open a link. First I did not send any emails out the last couple of days and I do not use YAHOO for email. So if anyone should see my name on an email please do not open any links. LINKS are bad to open no matter what, so be careful.


For my post this week, I have some shots of Spring time around my yard and of course I have some of my spring birds. So, I will take you for a walk around my yard.







The Goldfinch looks pretty sitting in the weeping cherry tree.




The dogwood tree is one of my favorites, I love the dogwood blossoms.



I've been seeing a lot more bluejays around the yard.


The bleeding heart plant is one of my favorite spring blooms.


The Chipping Sparrows seemed to have arrived in big numbers, I am seeing a lot of these cuties around the yard. I am looking forward to seeing some of the spring migrating birds around the yard. I hope you enjoyed the walk around the yard.

Thanks for visiting my blog and post. I really appreciate your comment too.
Join in on the fun and for more wonderful photos please visit  Mosaic Monday and more from  Our World Tuesday
 Thanks to our host: Mary our host of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia, Sandy and Jennifer.  Thanks also for stopping by to see my post.  I wish everyone a happy week!



Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Variety Show

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

I am sharing more birds from my trip, I have not been anywhere since my trip except to work. And I have been waiting to see some spring birds show up in my yard. This is a short report of my yard sightings this week. I am seeing  a lot of Chipping Sparrows suddenly, I had a male Ruby Throated Hummer zoom by my head. The Juncos seem to have disappeared but I am still seeing a few White-Throated Sparrows, Pine Siskins, Red-Breasted Nuthatch. I also see a few Purple Finches and some House Sparrows And my cute Pine Warbler is back. As soon as I get some decent shots, I will do a yardbird post.


So for my post this week these shots are from our quick stop at the Shark Valley, Everglades Nat'l Park.


 There must have been a big fallout of the Palm Warblers in Florida while we were there. We saw Palm Warblers everywhere. LOL, this one fell out of the sky right on the trail in front of us. You see he is looking up waiting for more of his warbler buddies to fall out of the sky.


One of my favorites the Green Heron



Another one of my favorite herons a Little Blue Heron.


Above is a juvenile Night Heron, I believe it is a Black Crowned Night Heron. The juvenile Yellow Crowned looks similar except for bill color.


Shark Valley had plenty of rookeries. You can see two Night herons tucked inside this tree. One is just about hidden except for the white belly and spots here and there.


Two Anhingas and a fish jumping out the water. The jumping fish seem to be happening a lot while we were there, maybe they were escaping from an alligator.


One of the pretties..A Roseate Spoonbill.


I hope you enjoyed my birds and  post. I hope everyone has a happy weekend. Thanks for stopping by and I always appreciate your comments. To see more beautiful photos and cute critters please visit:  Camera Critters and I'd-Rather-B-Birdin. Thanks to the gracious hosts Misty Dawn of Camera Critters and to Anni of I'd Rather-B-birdin.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Florida Sunset & more

Linking up with NF Winged   and  Skywatch Friday

 Sorry, I still have so many vacation photos I am going thru. These shots are from the evening of the 4day and some from the morning of  the 5th day of our vacation. I hope I am not boring everyone with more vacation shots and birds. I took probably close to 1500 photos and we put 1641 miles on the car. LOL, we see and do a lot during our vacations.

On this evening we had dinner near the coast of Bonita Springs beach. I was loving the fish tacos and conch fritters. After dinner we checked out the sunset on the beach, it was a little cloudy but still some colors in the sky.




The sanderlings found the one section of sand that reflected the sunset.


The next morning we packed up and headed south once again stopping at Shark Valley in the Everglades National Park. During the tram ride, we stopped to take a walk on the trail to the tower and overlook. This tower reminds me of the tower in the Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park, it is just missing the steep hill before the tower. LOL, I do not think there are hills in Florida.



We only had a twenty minute break to get to the top of the tower and back to the tram. There was only one obstacle in the way. Luckily our ranger and guide Cynthia came along and spooked this gator away with a stick. Cynthia insisted they are more of afraid of us towering over them, she banged the stick on the ground and off it went back into the water. 


From the the top of tower, I could not believe all the birds roosting in the trees. Above is a flock of the Spoonbills, I love their pretty pink color.


When you are high up in the tower and looking down, we could see the birds landing in the treetops.


I was really enjoying the flock of Roseate Spoonbills in flight.


We saw some cool clouds formations. A beautiful day in the Everglades National Park. We made this a quick stop in the Everglades Nat'l Park, our main destination for the day was Key West. So after the tram ride and a quick walk, it was back in the car for more fun. The Everglades Nat'l Park will appear later again during our vacation with more birds and lots more gators. I hope you enjoyed this post.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I always appreciate your comments.

Happy Skywatching  to everyone!

To see more pretty skies from around the world please visit  Skywatch Friday
and to see more of the winged critters check out NF Winged

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Burrowing Owls

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes;

During my Florida vacation I knew I just had to see the Burrowing Owls. It was my only chance to see them, since they are not in Maryland or anywhere close by. Before leaving on our vacation I check Ebird to see where the Burrowing Owls were being sighted and with some luck on my side they were being seen not far from where we were staying on our 3 and 4 night. Oh, and I should mention it was a life bird for me, YEA!!


They are adorable little owls, I  am so happy to see they are being protected. I made sure not to disturb them by standing across the street to take my photos. They are living in a regular neighborhood with a parking lot on one side of them and the street with houses on the other side. A very public place and they seem to be happy there. Can you imagine walking down the sidewalk and having one of these cute owls perched right next to you?

The Burrowing Owl is about 9 inches tall and has a wingspan of about 21 inches. They live as single breeding pairs or colonies of two or more families. They eat insect, grasshoppers and beetles. The Florida Burrowing Owl is classified as a "species of special concern".

There were stakes sticking in the ground that this Burrowing Owl was using as a perch. And near the stakes were the burrows. We rode by some areas that had so many stakes and a few of them had the owls perching like above.


The sign says it is a protected bird site. I would think the stake also warns the mowing crews not to cut there. Also, no pesticides should be used around the burrows. I would also think with the housing development going on the Burrowing Owls are losing their habitats.

I hope you enjoyed my cute Burrowing Owls, thanks for stopping by and for leaving your nice comments.
Join in and post your birdies and to see more beautiful and wonderful bird photos please visit:
 Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Michelle's  Nature Notes.
Thanks to Stewart for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday and thanks to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes.
I wish everyone a happy week ahead and Happy Birding!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island

 I am linking up with   Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday

The Ding Darling NWR was a must see during our Florida vacation. It is located on Sanibel Island in the Gulf of Mexico. The Ding Darling wildlife refuge is named after the cartoonist Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling. I heard it is closed on Fridays so the workers can do their thing and to give the birds a break. So, we saved Ding Darling for an early morning visit on the 4th day of our vacation. 


Ding Darling NWR was established  in 1976 to protect the country's largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems. It is also known for its migratory wading bird population.

In my mosaic above, is a scenic view of Ding Darling, top right is a Pied-bill Grebe, assorted White Ibis and Egrets, bottom left is a Tricolored heron, middle shot Egrets and  White- Ibis, bottom right Little Blue Heron and a juvie Little Blue.


This shot above shows some of the migratory birds we saw at the refuge. They are the Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, White Ibis with the red bills and legs and I believe on the right end near the Great Egret is a juvenile Little Blue Heron as a juvie they are white.


Above is another one of my Florida life birds the Swallow-tailed Kite. This photo looks better smaller, it is way to fuzzy enlarged.

Above top right is a Summer tanager, Osprey nest, Great blue Heron,  Great Egret  with White Ibis, bottom right is a juvenile Little Blue Heron.


The Anhinga must be a common bird in Ding Darling and in Florida, we saw them everywhere.


Not a lifer but still a treat to see was this Summer Tanager. They are a beautiful rose-red color.

I hope you enjoyed the birds and our tour of the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Thanks for visiting my blog and post. I really appreciate the comment too.
Join in on the fun and for more wonderful photos please visit  Mosaic Monday and more from  Our World Tuesday
 Thanks to our host: Mary our host of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia, Sandy and Jennifer.  Thanks also for stopping by to see my post.  I wish everyone a happy week!



Friday, April 19, 2013

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Part 1

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

My prayers go out to the victims and people of both Boston and West, Texas. 

 During our Florida vacation we visited the Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary twice. And I have way too many photos to sort thru some good and some to be deleted.  Corkscrew is an awesome place to visit, I rate it close to my visit to the famous Magee Marsh. The birds are awesome and the property includes a 2.25 mile boardwalk and it is said to have the largest remaining stand of Bald Cypress forest in North America.


The Redbellied Woodpecker, one of the many Corkscrew Swamp birds.



Above is the lush habitat that makes up some of Corkscrew Swamp.


The juvenile White Ibis were seen in various spots of the Corkscrew Swamp. The juvies have some brown and turn all white as adults.


The Wood Storks were a life bird for me, I think they are awesome looking birds.


The Roseate Spoonbill is another awesome bird. Their pink color is gorgeous and the spoon shaped bill is cool.  I was happy to see these birds up close, my first sighting was from a far distance in Costa Rica.



We saw more than birds, there were quite a few alligators there too. This one was about a foot long, just a baby.

I hope you enjoyed my tour of Corkscrew Swamp, birds and critter. Thanks for stopping by and I always appreciate your comments.
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.

Have a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sanibel Island Skywatch

Linking up with NF Winged   and  Skywatch Friday

On the third day of our Florida vacation hubby and I went south and spent 2 nights in Bonita Springs. Located on the gulf and midway down the coast. We toured Sanibel Island and Ding Darling NWR and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. All great places for birding and pretty scenery, so I am sharing birds for NF Winged and some sky shots on this post. 


This Sanibel Island lighthouse is a different design than what I am use to seeing. But, I do enjoy seeing lighthouses and will take a few photos of each lighthouse that I visit.


The Brown Pelicans were plentiful in Florida. We saw a lot of them on Sanibel Island.


The Snowy Egrets seemed to like hanging around the fishing pier, maybe hoping for a free meal.


Some of the Sanibel shorebirds..the cute Sanderlings and some Ruddy Turnstones.


Juvie Osprey on the nest, testing out the wings.


Now, it's time for the sunset on Sanibel Island.


Love the pretty pink clouds in the shot above.


These sky shots are in order as we watched the sunset. By the time we arrived at the beach the sun had set, the colors and reflection was still pretty. Stay tuned more to come from Corkscrew and Ding Darling NWR.
Thanks for visiting my blog and I always appreciate your comments.

Happy Skywatching  to everyone!

To see more pretty skies from around the world please visit  Skywatch Friday
and to see more of the winged critters check out NF Winged

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