Friday, April 29, 2011

Backyard birds are my Camera Critters

Happy Saturday!! I am linking up with some of my backyard birds for Camera Critters

                                 A few American Goldfinches in my weeping cherry tree

Red Breasted Nuthatch

A female Downy Woodpecker in my weeping cherry tree

Some of my birds like taking drinks or baths in my pond

White Throated Sparrow at the pond

A group of Bluejays seen from my dining room window

A Ruby Throated Hummingbird

A Chipping Sparrow on the top and a White Throated Sparrow below

These are a few of my backyard birds, they seem to like hanging in the weeping cherry tree.

To see more cute and wonderful critters please visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

American Oystercatcher

My post  for World Bird Wednesday and Watery Wednesday and Nature Notes  is of the American Oystercatcher.  This bird nest on sandy beaches and barrier islands. It forages for clams, mussels and crabs in salt marshes, rocky coast and intertidal areas. They are brown in color above and have a white bottom and have a black hood. They have a stout red-orange bill which reminds me of a carrot.

I got to see this bird while visiting Chincoteague NWR, below are four of them in flight.

This one below is banded with a black band and numbered 4P

I think these two were a couple.

If you like birds and would like to see more please visit Springman's site at World Bird Wednesday and for more watery shots visit 2sweetnsaxy's Watery Wednesday and Michelle's  Nature Notes

Thanks to Springman , Michelle and 2sweetnsaxy for hosting and thank you for stopping by to see my birds. Have a great week!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Birding Chincoteague Part II

Hi, I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Sunday. I can not believe how fast the weekend goes, just flies by.

Birding Chincoteague for Mosaic Monday  and That's My World I created my mosaics with photos of the various birds and scenes from Chincoteague Island Virginia. The national seashore and refuge is one of my favorite places for birding. Hubby and I try to take an annual overnight trip to celebrate our 21st anniversary. This was an early celebration, our anniversary is May 4. The shorebirds, waders, and ducks were abundant and always a great sight for me to see.

Birds seen in this mosaic are Sanderlings, Merganser, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Great Egrets and on the bottom row are Dunlins.

In this mosaic birds seen are the Cattle Egret, Tree Swallows, Great Egrets, Northern Shovelers, and bottom corner is the American Oystercatcher.

I hope you enjoyed my birding at Chincoteague and to see more mosaics please visit Mosaic Monday and for more photos from around the world visit That's My World

Thanks to Mary of Little Red House for hosting Mosaic Monday and to the gang of That's My World : Sylvia, Wren, Sandy and Klaus.

I appreciate you stopping by to see my post, I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Birding Chincoteague

My post for Scenic Sunday

MY post on the Chincoteague ponies is here
On both days during our visit to Chincoteague we hiked on the marsh trail. The 1/2 mile marsh trail is restricted to foot traffic only and offers excellant views of the freshwater ponds and habitat and has an elevated observation deck.

Cattle Egret

Green winged teal

I believe these are Dunlins but, I could be wrong. A lot of shorebirds look alike to me. I am still learning by looking at the beaks and leg colors to help iding these birds.

I liked watching the large group of Dunlins take off in flight only to land a short distance away.

By the elevated observation platfrom we saw large groups of Green Winged Teals and Northern Shovelers, Mallards, Black Ducks and Canada Geese.

There were also large groups of Northern Shovelers

There were many Tree Swallows flying about and around this birdhouse.

I hope you enjoyed my scenic view of Chincoteague, it is one of my favorite parks to visit. Please check out Scenic Sunday for more great photos.  Thanks to the host of Scenic Sunday and thanks for stopping by my post.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chincoteague Cattle Egrets

 For my post for World Bird Wednesday   I am showing the pretty Cattle Egrets we saw during our visit to Chincoteague.

My post about the Chicoteague ponies can be found here Chincoteague ponies

These three were standing right on the trail we were walking on, they did not seem to mind us being there.

Chincoteague is a great place for the Cattle Egrets to hang out. I have read that they like to ride on the back of horses and cattle. The plumage on the breeding adult shows a beige color on the crown, breast and back. They are the smallest of all the egrets.

This is my World Bird Wednesday and to see more click on my link and visit Springmans Pine River Review. Thank You Springman and thanks for stopping by to see my post.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Earth Week and Earth Day April 22, 2011

I am linking my Earth Day post up to various blogs.  Please try visit Scenic Sunday and Mosaic Monday  and  That's My World

What are you doing on April 22, 2011? It is EARTH DAY!  I visited various websites that have wonderful suggestions on what you can do on Earth Day. The Nature Conservancy suggest going on a picnic that includes 5 easy choices:  eat smart, eat local, eat sustainably, eat green and eat out. A picnic on Earth Day sounds like a great idea to me.

This is the reservoir just  a walk away from my house and a great place to have a picnic.

My mosiac photos are of a Purple Finch in my backyard habitat, visit a National Wildlife Refuge like Chincoteague NWR, the Bald Eagles have made a huge comeback after the banning of DDT, plant some trees, find a nice place to have a picnic, cleanup a stream or river.

The Nature Conservancy also helping Fernando Veiga to plant one billion trees in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil.. One dollar plants one tree. Click on the link to donate a dollar.

                            I say plant a tree and stop the deforestation!!!!!!!

According to the WWF website the United Nations have declared 2011 the International year of the forest . WWF plans to work to increase and strengthen the protection of the worlds forest.

Here is a link to help protect your watersheds Adopt your watershed.  Stream cleanup sounds like a great idea, you get to be outside enjoying the sunshine and if you like to bird you might see some great bird sightings. 2011 marks the 20th  anniversary of National River Cleanup. My hubby will take a trash bag along on his walks to clean up the areas he likes to hike.

The Wilderness Society has some great suggestions too, volunteering on trail maintenance or leading wildlife tours in the refuges. Monitoring wildlife is one of my favorites and eBird makes it easy to record your bird count. Most of my ebird counts have been from my backyard and the reservoir's watershed around my house.

The National Wildlife Federation Certified Backyard habitat  is a website were you can learn how to make your backyard into a wildlife habitat. My yard was certified years ago, it is easy to provide food, water, shelter and a place for the birds to raise their families. My pond attracts frogs, birds dragonflies and other critters.

We planted various berry bushes and some nature provided like in my mosiac below. The birds just love these berries. I have a heated birdbath and a pond that provides water for the birds and wildlife. Trees, bushes, the wood pile and brush piles provide shelter for the birds and critters. I also provided houses for the birds, I see Bluebirds, Chickadees and wrens all using my housing.

                                 The Purple Finch is just one of the many yardbirds that visit my backyard  habitiat.

How about Pick 5 for the Environment here you are given many choices to pick from, simple easy ways to take action. Some actions that I like are protecting your water from pesticides, planting a trees or many trees, learning about the native species in your area and recycling is probably one of the easiest things my family does and last but not least please do not litter. Collecting rain water is another great idea.

I also would like to link Linda Lear's website  in memory of Rachel Carson a scientist and an ecologist with my Earth Day post.  Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring " spurred a reversal in the national pesticide policy. The book led to a ban on DDT. Thanks to the ban we are enjoying an increase in the population of Bald Eagles. Pesticides have a negative impact on our health and environment. Rachel Carson has some award winning books The Sea Around Us and The Edge of the Sea and here is a a link to a few of her ebooks.  We live in an area with only well water so pesticides are a no-no. There are various types of organic fertilizers that can be used safely.

I feel Earth Day should be recognized by all and hopefully some of you will do one action or more I listed above. Even if it is just one action it could make a difference.

Thanks to all the hosts of the meme's I listed above and thanks for stopping by my post. Have a great Earth Week and Earth Day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Birding The Oxbow Lake

Last Saturday my hubby and I  birded and took a hike on the trails at Oxbow Lake in Maryland. The main bird I was after was the Wilson Snipe, during the week 90 or so Snipes were reported being seen at the lake. I have been running all around Maryland for the last couple of years hoping to get a good look at a  Wilson Snipe. I guess you could say I was obsessed with my quest to see a Wilson Snipe. Well it seems the Wilson Snipe really like muddy areas and on Friday it rained and rained. By the time I got to the lake the muddy spots were mostly gone along with the Wilson Snipe.

It wasn't a bad birding day in fact I had some great sightings. One fantastic sighting was seeing two otters laying on a downed tree and on the opposite end of the tree was a Green Heron. Very cool, my first sighting of otters in the wild and I just love Green Herons.

The otters and the green heron were a distance away so here is my bad photo, the heron on the end is barely noticeable. I thought it was a cool sighting anyway.

Below the otter is eating a fish.

The Green Heron

Northern Flicker

Yellow Rumped Warbler, it is spring and the warblers are finally arriving.

Great Blue Heron with a frog for dinner

Three Caspian Terns

So my bird sightings at the Oxbow Lake were the Green Heron, GB Heron, Caspian Terns, Juvenile Bald Eagles, Unknown Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Yellow Rump Warblers, other unidentified Warblers, Pine Warblers, Tree Swallows, Mallards and Wood Ducks. My favorite sighting was seeing the Otters in the wild.

This is my Camera Critters post and to see more cute critter click on my link. Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting and thank you for stopping by to see my post.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Little Blue Heron

This Little Blue Heron was seen this past Sunday at Chincoteague National Seashore and wildlife refuge.

The Little Blue Heron is similiar in size to the Snowy Egret but has a heavier bill. The bill is bicolored. It's deep blue body contrasts with the maroon head. This heron has black legs and feet. It stalks prey slowly and prefers shallow fresh water.

This is my entry for World Bird Wednesday ...Please visit Springman at Pine River Review to see birds from all around the world.

Thank you Springman for hosting World Bird Wednesday and thanks for stopping by to see my post.
Have a great week!

Happy Monday!

Wishing everyone a great day and a ha ppy new week! "If a flower can flourish in the desert, you can flourish anywhere." Saguaro N...