Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ruddy Turnstones

The Ruddy Turnsotne for my World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes 

I am so happy to have my electric and cable back on, it is a terrible feeling to lose your electric. I hope everyone's electric is back on soon. We were lucky everything is fine here. Just a lot of downed trees in the reservoir and next to the road. I feel for the people who lost more, some were flooded, trees were down on their houses or cars and some lives were lost.

So, now on to a better subject the Ruddy Turnstone. For those who are not familiar with the Ruddy Turnstone it is a shorebird that nests mainly on the coastlines. They winter on beaches and rocky ocean coasts. The breeding adult's head is mentioned to have a harlequin look, ruddy pattern on its back and white and black on its bottom. These photos are from my archives and a previous visit to the Delaware shore.

This shot below has the Ruddy Turnstones, a Laughing Gull and a Dunlin.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my Ruddy Turnstones and to see
more wonderful and pretty birds check out Springman's World Bird Wednesday 
and for more nature post and photos please visit Michelle's Nature Notes

Special thanks to Springman and Michelle for hosting these fun memes and
 thank you for visiting my blog and post. I hope the rest of your week is peaceful and wonderful.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Warbler Confusion

My post for The Friday Ark  and Camera Critters.

Fall time can be a confusing time for iding warblers. The summer males turn a duller color and then there are the first year warblers and the females, so many different versions of the same bird. They can make your head spin trying to id these cuties.

Last weekend during a walk here at the reservoir I came across this little yellow bird. And if Hurricane Irene does not ruin my weekend I will be out there looking for more fall Warblers. I have been following my listserve for Maryland and these lovely warblers are showing up everywhere.  So get out there and go BIRDING!!!!

After help from some of my facebook friends this bird above was id as a juvenile female Hooded  Warbler. I have photo of the male Hooded Warbler below.

 My first thought was a Prothonotary Warbler because it was close to the lake. These warblers have been known to nest close to water.

My picture above is the Prothonoary Warbler from Magee Marsh

This is a summer male Hooded Warbler, the same bird as my first picture of the female Hooded Warbler.

And for more comparison on little Yellow birds I have below a pretty Yellow Warbler. This bird is easier for  me to id because it has reddish streaks going down its front.

I hope you enjoyed my little Yellow Bird post and to see more critters

Please visit the Friday Ark  and Camera Critters

Thanks to the host of the Friday Ark and to Misty Dawn for hosting these fun critter memes.

I hope everyone stays safe from Hurricane Irene and not to mention the earthquakes and aftershocks we are feeling on the East Coast. Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Birding!!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Herons & Hummers

On Saturday, a friend from my bird club and I birded Violettes Lock at the C&O Canal and Hughes Hollow. One of the birds I really wanted to see was the Green Heron. I was lucky to spot this one below almost as soon as we arrived at Hughes Hollow.  A list of the birds seen at Hughes Hollow included two Green Herons, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, two Red Shouldered Hawks, RT Hummingbird, a wren, Mallards, Yellow Billed Cuckoo and a few swallows.

Green Heron at Hughes Hollow

Hummingbird Clearwing moth 

Ruby Throated Hummingbird at Thistle. I see a tiny dot on its throat this might be a juvenile male RT Hummingbird.

Great Blue Herons and DC Cormorant at Violettes Lock and on the Potomac River.  I really was looking for a Black Tern  that had been spotted previously in the area. No luck on finding the Black Tern so my search for a Black Tern goes on.

I was amazed at all the dragonflies, skimmers and moths we saw. They might deserve a post of their own.

For more great birds and photos check out Springman's World Bird Wednesday and
Michelle's  Nature Notes .

Thanks to Springman and to Michelle for hosting and thank you for visiting my blog and post. I hope everyone has a great week and happy birding!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

SWF>>>>Reservoir Sky

I am link up with Skywatch Friday  and I am also adding Klaus"s website Klaus Virtua Gallery.

We all have Klaus to thank for Skywatch Friday. He was a great photographer and friend to many. I've never met him but I really did enjoy his photos. Klaus's bird photos are some of the best I have ever seen. I have to say I am sure I am not the only one who will miss Klaus and his great photography. My deepest sympathy to Klaus's family and friends.

My sky included a juvenile eagle seen over my bird study site at the reservoir. It flew around the clear cut area in a circle, a very cool sight to watch.

It reminded me of the Steve Miller song Fly Like an Eagle. "I want to fly like an eagle, To the sea, Fly like an eagle, Let my Spirit carry me, I want to fly like an eagle, Till I'm Free, Oh, Lord through the revolution.

These shots are fuzzy since I cropped them for a closer look. On the juvenile eagle you can see the white underwing coverts.

Another regular bird seen and heard at my study site the Great Crested Flycatcher. I like its yellow belly. This bird was always in one of the trees next to the clear cut and was very vocal.

A shot of the sky over the reservoir.

I hope you enjoyed my skies and to see more gorgeous skies from around the world click here Skywatch Friday.  Thanks to the host of Skywatch: Sylvia, Wren and Sandy and most of all to Klaus.

Thanks for visiting my skywatch post, I hope your weekend is great...Happy Birding!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Virginia Rail

For my World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes I have some shots of the Virginia Rail.

I mentioned my lifer the Virginia Rail on my post below with all the other birds I saw while touring Poplar Island, Md. But now I am doing a separate post describing the Virginia Rail and showing more of its habitat. The adult has chestnut colored wings, a long bill, and a gray face. The female can lay 5 to 13 eggs on a raised bed of cattails and other plants. Both parents care for the chicks and they are able to fly in less than a month. The rails chicks are black in color.  

Below, one of the Virginia Rails walked out onto the road where we were standing. All twenty five of us stopped and stood still. We were not sure what the rail was going to do and then it stopped right near one of the birders legs. At least on my photo it looks close. As soon as it noticed all of us watching, it turned tail and ran back into the brush. It did not go far because that was were the chicks were.

On this shot below we watched as the Virginia Rail and some of its chicks ran back and forth. The Virginia Rail breeds in upland freshwater marshes and coastal salt marshes. To avoid predators this species can dive underwater propelled by its wings.  They eat insects and aquatics animals.

I was not able to get any shots of the chicks, they were quick. But I think I saw both adults.

I was thrilled to see my new lifer the Virginia Rail!  Rails in general are very secretive birds more often heard than seen. The are fairly common dispite the continuing loss of their habitat. I am hoping they will do well on Poplar Island.

To see more wonderful photos and pretty birds please make sure to visit Springman's World Bird Wednesday  and Michelle's Nature Notes.  thanks to both Springman and Michelle for hosting these great memes.

Also, thanks again for visiting my blog and post. I hope enjoy my Virginia Rail. Happy Birding and I hope the rest of your week is great. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birding Poplar Island, Md

I am linking my post  up with  Scenic Sunday and   Mosaic Monday and That's My World

I read on Dina's blog about the loss of Klaus, he was a great bird and nature photographer and very much respected. Klaus will be dearly missed.. I was always amazed at his photos.

My prayers go out to Klaus's family and friends.

On Friday my bird club had an outing to Poplar Island, Maryland an island located in the Chesapeake Bay. Tours of Poplar Island are given by MES ( Maryland Environmenal Services) reservations have to be made in advance by our bird club or by any group that would like to tour the island. We were met at the Tilghman Island dock by the MES boat and staff. After a 20 minute boat ride a staff person also drove our tour bus around Poplar island, stopping at various places so we could see the birds. I want to say KUDOS to the MES gals and guys that run these trips and to all the organizations are are helping to rebuild Poplar Island.

In earlier days the island once supported a small town, post office, cattle, sawmill and a school. Two US Presidents Roosevelt and Truman used the island as a hunting and a vacation retreat. By 1990 erosion had cut Poplar Island into three sections each around 10 acres. Today, Poplar Island is growing from a group effort and combined efforts of the Port of Baltimore, Army Corps of Engineers and the MES. Their reconstruction and restoration project is using dredged material from Maryland and Baltimore shipping channels. Construction started in 1998 and is suppose to continue thru 2020. During our tour we could see the bulldozers hard at work at the various wetland cells and the upland cells. When the island is completed it will be divided between tidal marsh and upland and will provide habitat for migratory and the resident wildlife. There is an ongoing school Terrapin Connection project for the nesting Diamondback Terrapins. I was able to see the baby terrapins that will soon be going to various schools where school children will be collecting data and taking care of the hatchlings until their release back on the Poplar Island beaches in May or June.  

Wildlife is already claiming Poplar Island as their home, we saw numerous Osprey, Eagles, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Terns, GB Herons,  Avocets, Black Necked Stilts, Black Bellied Plover, various species of Sandpipers, Yellowlegs, Killdeer, various species of Seagulls, many DC Cormorants, Barn and Bank Swallows and lots of Mallard ducks, Redwing Blackbirds, Cowbirds and some Black Ducks. The Diamondback Terrapins are already successfully nesting on the island.

I was able to see two new lifers, one was a Virginia rail and its chicks and the other was the Hudsonian Godwit. The Godwit was too far away but I did get a couple of rail photos. The chicks were too fast but they were cute.

The finished island project is suppose to include boat docking facilities, information kiosks, self guided nature trails and boardwalks, avain observation areas, picnic area and other resting and viewing areas. It sounds great and I am already hoping to go on another one of my bird club's outings to Poplar Island. 

While we were on the island, it looked like a sailboat race was happening on the Chespaeake Bay.

To see more wonderful mosaics and photos please visit The Holley's at Scenic Sunday and Mary's Mosaic Monday and That's My World.  Thanks to the Holleys of Scenic Sunday, Mary for hosting Mosaic Monday and thanks to the hosting group of That's My World: Sylvia, Wren, Sandy.

Thank you for visiting my post this week, I hope you enjoyed my visit to Poplar Island. I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Happy Birding!!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hummingbirds and noisy Catbird

For my Camera Critters  and Friday Ark  post I have my youtube video of the Hummingbird war and a noisy catbird in my backyard.

During the video you can hear the hummingbirds little chattering and a noisy catbird and later in the video you can hear a Pileated woodpecker call.

I believe this is a juvenile Catbird

Two of the many Ruby Throated Hummingbirds in my yard this morning. I have a feeling these are two juvenile hummers. They make the cutest sounds, you can hear if you watch my video.

I hope you enjoyed my hummingbirds and catbird. To see more cute and wonderful critters please check out Misty Dawn's Camera Critters and check out all the animals boarding the Friday Ark.

Thanks to Misty for hosting these fun memes and thank you for visiting my post. I hope your weekend is great and happy birding.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pink Flamingos

For this weeks Mosaic Monday and That's My World I have Flamingo photos from my recent visit to the Smithsonian National Zoo in DC.

This past Saturday, hubby and his cousin and I visited the Smithsonian Zoo in DC. It was a treat to see a juvenile Pink Flamingo along side the adults. I usually like to post wild birds on my blog but this was the first time I have seen a flamingo chick and it was a neat sighting. Look at that bill and those legs and feet.

I learned something new about the Flamingos there are actually six different species: the Greater Flamingo is found in Africa and Asia, the Lesser Flamingo found in Africa and India, the Chilean Flamingo found in South America, James's Flamingo found in high Andes Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, the Andean Flamingo also found in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina and the last one is the American Flamingo found in the Caribbean and Galapagos islands.

Flamingos eat brine shrimp and brine flies which give them their pink color. Flamingo pairs make mud mound nests and incubate one egg for about thirty days. Chicks leave the nest after ten days and join other chicks and watched by the adults.

Flamingos are 42 inches tall from the tip of their head to the tip of their tail. And can stand as tall as 5 feet. They weigh 5 or 6 pounds. Doesn't seem like much does it?  And their wing span is 55 inches.

And to show the Pink Flamingos moving around with the chick I am linking up my youtube video.'

I hope you enjoyed my Flamingo post and to see more wonderful mosaics please visit Mary's Mosaic Monday  and visit That's My World for photos from around the world. Thanks to Mary and to the hosting gang of That's My World.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Birds of Shenandoah Nat'l Park

This is my post for World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes

This past weekend hubby and I enjoyed a daytrip to Shenandoah Nat'l Park. We left early in the morning so I could get to see some early birds on the trail. I was not disappointed with the Limberlost Trail.  I started off see multiple pairs of Eastern Towhee's, Dark Eyed Juncos, Scarlet Tanagers way high in the treetops, Cedar Waxwings, Eastern bluebirds and groups of Hooded Warblers. I was having trouble with my camera focusing on closeups this time and it seemed to work better on the tree top photos. I  took ten or more shots of the Hooded Warbler and they were all blurry. Gee, this was the first time I saw the Hooded Warbler on the ground right just  a few feet in front of me. I did get one shot of the Hooded further along the trail, there we saw more hooded warblers and a Ruby Throated Hummingbird near some Cardinal flowers at a little creek.  The birding was great. 

I believe this is a female Eastern Towhee, with a brown head instead of the black head that the male has.

Male Eastern Towhee showing the black head

I am thinking this is an immature male Scarlet Tanager. I could see the black on it wings. I saw a group of them on this tree tops. They must have been enjoying the berries.

Cedar Waxwings were staying high on the tree tops.

A couple of juvenile Eastern Bluebirds were poking around this downed tree limb.  I guess they were finding bugs to eat. One of the juvies looks like it is almost inside the hole on the tree.
 The cute juvenile Bluebirds have white spots on their feathers.

 We had a nice day in Shenandoah, seeing great birds, bunnies, lots of butterflies and two black bears.

To see more wonderful birds and photos check out Springman's World Bird Wednesday and Michelle's Nature Notes..  Thanks to Springman and to Michelle for hosting these fun memes. Also, thanks for stopping by to see my post and birds. I hope the rest of your week is a great one. Happy Birding!!!!!

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...