Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SWF......Birds_Turtles and the sky

I am linking up with  Nature Notes  and   Skywatch Friday 

On the 24th Friday mid-morning. I took a walk to the Prettyboy study area with my hubby and his sister. It has a been a busy week with my SIL visiting from Washington State. But we still took some time to enjoy nature and its simple pleasures and to help with the bird study.

It was a pretty sky and the weather was wonderful. I enjoyed the blue sky and puffy white clouds.

One of the two Eastern Box Turtles I saw while walking on the fireroad. To learn more about the Box Turtles click here Eastern Box Turtle and conservation concerns. And another great link about turtles in trouble is Smithsonian National Zoo

I read that they can live in a variety of differnt habitats they are most abundant in moist FORESTED areas.

I am helping my bird club by taking my walks to the study area at the reservoir near my home. They are doing the study to see if  the tree cutting has an effect on the birds especially the breeding birds. There is a  record of the birds known to be in the area and the study over the time period will show what birds continue in the area and if any new birds appear. There are three areas included in the area is where the trees where just thinned, the next area is the treed area or the edge around the clear cut and the last area is the clear cut area itself. I included the birds seen and heard at my house and yard because it borders the reservoir and the birds should be the same birds seen and heard at the study area. One bird I was hoping to hear or see around the study area was the Wood Thrush but during all my visits to the study area I have not even heard one. Luckily I am still hearing at least two in the woods next to my yard.

We have been seeing these roses growing next to the fireroad near the clearcut area. Maybe more sunlight in the clear cut area is helping these pretty flowers grow.  It could be these roses are re-appearing  when they were actually growing around the farms and houses on this land before the city acquired the land for the watershed protection around the reservoir.

The walk and birding took place from 10:15 to 11:30 on Friday. I have listed the birds I saw in the trimmed area off the fireroad and the clear cut area and the edge of the clearing.

I also had a nice view of the moon with the white puffy clouds at the clear cut area.

In the the trimmed area I saw and heard

Red-Eyed Vireo..many
Pine Warbler

On the trees located on the edge of the clear cut  I saw and heard
Red bellied Woodpecker
Mourning Dove
Pine Warbler

I sat at the clear cut area  for about 30 minutes while my hubby and SIL walked down to the lake

During this time the only bird I heard and saw at the clearing was

Indingo Bunting... while I was there 10:15-10:45. Maybe it was slow due to the time I was there?

Back at my yard the birds seen in my yard and in the reservoir property next to my yard.

Chipping Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Carolina Chickadee
Eastern Phoebe
Scarlet Tanager.. male landed in my weeping cherry tree for a few seconds
Pine Warbler..sounds coming from the adjacent woods..reservoir property
Ovenbirds... sounds coming from the adjacent woods...reservoir property
Wood Thrush..sound coming from the adjacent woods...reservoir property
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
American Goldfinches
House Finches
House Sparrows...nest in yard
House Wrens...nest in yard
Eastern bluebirds...nest in yard
Brown headed Cowbirds
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker....seen in the adjacent woods...reservoir property and in flight over yard
GB Heron...flying over my yard and sounds coming from the adjacent woods...reservoir property
Turkey Vulture in flight over yard

These are scenes and sky shots from my walk, I hope you enjoyed them.  To see more please visit Michelle's   Nature Notes   and  to see more skies from around the world please visit  Skywatch Friday.

Thanks to Michelle at Rambling Woods and thanks to the gang at Skywatch Friday: Sylvia, Wren, Sandy and Klaus. 

Also thanks for stopping by to see my post, I hope the rest of your week and the weekend is wonderful. Take some time to enjoy nature and it's simple pleasures.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Rookery

I am linking up with  Mosaic Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday and World Bird Wednesday. This past week was a busy one and I was not able to do any of my blog post or visit many blogs. My husband's sister from Washington state was visiting us and we had a party celebrating my son's high school graduation. And on Wednesday evening we saw U2 in concert, they are one of my favorite bands and the concert was just fantastic.

A few weeks ago I took one of my birding friends to the nearby rookery I visit every year. This rookery has both the Black Crowned Night Herons and the Great Egrets. The nest are in trees that surround a man made lake and park in the middle of a busy city neighborhood.

Below my mosiac includes the juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron and the adult Black Crowned Night Heron.

I love this juvie Black Crowned Night Heron stretching his wings.

The adult Black Crowned Night Heron has a black crown and back, the chest is white.

The Great Egrets were also nesting in the trees along side the Black Crowned Night Herons.

Below is one of the many Great Egret nest at the rookery. How many of the big yellow bills do you see in this photo?  This momma looks like she has a lot of mouths to feed.

Besides the big yellow eyes, the Great Egret has a long yellow bill. The Great Egret  is a foot taller than the Snowy Egret and they have dark legs and feet.

I hope you enjoyed my post and photos on the rookery. To see more wonderful mosaic and photos, please visit Mosaic Monday  and Mellow Yellow Monday . To see more beautiful birds and photos please visit World Bird Wednesday.  Thanks to Mary for the mosiacs at Little Red House, Drowsey Monkey for Mellow Yellow Monday  and Springman  of Pine River Review for hosting these fun memes. I hope everyone has a great week and happy birding.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birds, Blooms and Butterflies

Hello, I am linking my post up with Mosaic Monday and Ruby Tuesday. I hope everyone had a Happy Father's Day!

This is a link to my You tube video of my backyard bird sounds and the Hummer. If you turn the sound up loud you can hear the Great Blue herons juvies in their nest. The juvies get loud when the adult flies back to them with food.

These are some shots I took of the Bluebird taking a berry to feed its young in the nest and a couple shots of the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds. The flowers are on my deck and the hummingbirds and the butterflies seem to love my blooms. I have some petunias and lantana in these photos.

Tiger Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail

I hope you enjoyed my birds, blooms and butterflies and to see more great mosaics and photos please visit Mary's Mosaic Monday  and the other well known Mary at Ruby Tuesday  Thanks to both Mary of the Little Red House and Mary of the Work of the Poet for hosting these two fun memes. Also, thanks for stopping by to visit me and I hope everyone has a fantastic week.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Birding the Hashawha Nature Center

I am linking up with Camera Critters

Hubby and I like to visit the Hashawha Nature Center often to look for birds and to hike. It is nice because it is maybe no more than 30 minutes from our house. But then almost everything is about 30 minutes from our house.  The nature center includes Lake Hashawha and I believe a stream by the name of Bear Branch. There are about 5 miles of trails on about 380 acres. So far we have not come close to hiking all 5 of those miles yet. Mainly because we have our favorite sections we keep going back to see.

On this day we were watching some turtles in the lake sunning themselves and listening to the sounds of the Red Winged Blackbirds that were all around us.

Also, along the trail we notice this cute Common Yellowthroat warbler bathing in a small creek.

 We were back on the boardwalk when we noticed  a couple of Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers were flying all around us. That is when we notice their nest. The nest was in a tree not too far off from the boardwalk. They did not seem to care that we stopped and watched them.

They were adding to the nest, which I think looks really neat.

While watching the turtles and the blue-gray gnatcatchers we saw this guy swim by. I think he is part owner of the dam that is located on the edge of the boardwalk.

I hope you enjoyed my critter post and 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 blog. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Black Bellied Whistling Ducks visit Baltimore

With my most recent lifer the Black-Bellied Whistling ducks I am linking up with World Bird Wednesday and Watery Wednesday and Nature Notes . The Black Bellied Whistling duck is common resident of the Gulf coast states. Their habitat is freshwater marshes, swamps and ponds. They nest in tree cavities near the water. I have seen a lot of ducks like the Harlequin and the Long Tailed and they really are beautiful ducks but there is just something about these Black-Bellied Whistling ducks that is just darn cute.

I am not sure if anyone checks on the website Birding on the net but if you are a birder it is an easy way to see what birds are where. I check my state list called Maryland Osprey daily on my emails. But the website Birdingonthenet has an archive list for just about all the states. It might be worth checking the list for your state. You never know when a new bird might show up and one that is not too far away for you to see. Especially if it is a life bird!

The Black-Bellied Whistling ducks showed up in a Baltimore City park days before was able to see them. I was happy they stuck around till the weekend so I could see them. I think these are just the cutest ducks and as far as I know they do not visit Maryland often. There were a total of five of these cute ducks. These three below and two more hidden in the reeds.

The park lake held mostly Mallards and Canada Geese.  I guess you never know what might turn up in a city park. The lake has a nice walking trail around it and some of the trail was a boardwalk. As we walk around the lake we saw a Black Crowned Night heron standing in a tree.

Black Crowned Night Heron,  the tree was on an island in the middle of the lake. 

The lake also had a lot of white waterlilies. Very pretty!

The ducks were still a distance away but my camera was able to zoom up on them some, I was happy with this photo.

I think I got there during their nap time.

To see more wonderful birds and post please visit World Bird Wednesday and Watery Wednesday and Nature Notes.  Thanks to Springman of Pine River Review and 2Sweetnsaxy of Watery Wednesday and Michelle of Nature Notes  for hosting these fun and great memes. Thanks also for stopping by to see my birds and post. I hope the rest of your week is birdie and wonderful.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Backyard Birds and Blooms

Is it just me or are these weeks just flying by, I am linking up with Mary's Mosaic Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday.  I am lucky to even get on the internet today. Our power went off last night during a scary thunderstorm. Our electric came back on around 10am this morning and I got the internet back around 2pm. I was happy this morning to sit outside and watch my birds and check out all the flowers blooming.

                    Poppa Bluebird has been hanging around my weeping cherry tree. He looks very hot panting below.

Mooma Blue has been hanging her head out of the box, I think she is tryong to cool off too.

The Stella O'Doro lilies seem to be doing great this year. I have a big group of them growing near my blueberry bushes. I am sure the birds can not wait until the blueberries are ripe.

One of my crazy house wrens, they are very fussy birds.

I am pretty sure these are called Tiger Daylilies.

I hope you enjoy my mosaics and post and to see more great mosiacs and photos please visit Mosaic Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday..  Thanks to Mary for hosting Mosaic Monday and to Drowsey Monkey for hosting the Mellow Yellow meme. Also, thanks of course for stopping by my blog for a visit. I hope everyone has a great week.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Birding Blackwater NWR

I do not think I have shown my photos from my last visit to Blackwater NWR. So for my Camera Critters post I have some shots of the Osprey on a nest and a large snapping turtle crossing the road.

The Osprey are great birds to see, they are dark brown above and white below, they have a dark eye stripe. Their huge stick nest are conspicuous on bouys, channel markers and large trees. The Blackwater refuge has nesting places set aside for the Osprey. They hunt by hovering over the water and then plunging down to graps the fish with their open talons.

This Osprey couple were working on building their nest.

This big dude looks like he just got out of the water. We watched him walk across the road.

This snapping turtle is smaller in size but still kind of neat looking.

One of the many Bald Eagles seen at the Blackwater NWR

This morning I am off to help my bird club do a count at the clear cut area of the watershed near my house. They are trying to keep a record of the how the tree cutting has affected the breeding birds.
I hope you enjoyed my Osprey, Eagle  and critter post and to see more cute critters please visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.  Thanks to Misty for hosting and thanks for stopping by to see my post. Have a great weekend. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Birding the Hemlock Gorge

For this weeks World Bird Wednesday   and  Nature Notes I am showing the pretty White Eyed Vireo I saw on a walk we took this past weekend. Hubby and I will take to hiking the local trails that are close by if we do not have much time. Just like my post on birding the Gunpowder River trail below, these trails are all just minutes away from our house. The Hemlock Gorge trail which is above the dam starts off near the road and runs along the Gunpowder River has mixed forest until you hike further back into the Hemlock forest.

The White Eyed Vireo like deciduous forest such as stand of oaks near the water. This is exactly where we found these birds on the trail near the river. The male has yellow on its head and breast and has a heavybill. The juvies are often compared with the duller Pine Warbler.  I was lucky to see three or four of these White Eyed Vireo hopping around the trees. I believe it was a family and they were in the process of foraging for their food. They did get a little fussy when we stopped to look at them. Maybe the nest was nearby?

The habitat  mixed forest along the Gunpowder River

To see more great birds and photos please visit Springman's World Bird Wednesday  and Michelle's Nature Notes  Thanks to Springman and Michelle for hosting this memes. Thanks also for stopping by to see my post. I hope the rest of your week is wonderful.

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...