Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hermit Thrush

I am linking up with World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

Sunday morning hubby and I drove around to the other side of the reservoir to hike on a different trail and to see the lake from another shore.

For me hiking and birding go well together. I am also on the lookout for anything that moves, LOL!  On this day we watched a large group of Juncos on the fireroad in front of us. They must have found something good to eat. From the fireroad we took a smaller trail down to the lake shore. It was here I found the Hermit Thrush sitting on a log watching us. I was able to snap off two shots before it flew away.

The Hermit Thrush breeds in boreal and high elevation coniferous and mixed wood forest. It forages n the ground for insects and berries. It is the only Catharus that winters north of Mexico. The reason why I am seeing them here during the winter in Maryland. They have spots on their chest and an eye ring. I think they are very similar to the Ovenbird that breeds here at the reservoir. I think they are pretty birds.

Of course it didn't like me taking its photo and took off for parts unknown.

During our hike to the lake we saw a group of Canada Geese and some unknown ducks. 
One of my favorite sightings of the day (but no photo) was seeing two Brown Creepers along with a White Breasted Nuthatch in the same tree. Other birds along the hike were Titmouse and Carolina Chickadees.

I will end my birdie post with one of my birdcam shots of two White Breasted Nuthatches and a Goldfinch.

To see more wonderful birds please visit World Bird Wednesday and Natures Notes .  Thanks to Springman the host of World Bird Wednesday and to Michelle the host of Nature Notes.

Thank you also for stopping by to see my post and birds. I hope the rest of the week is great and Happy Birding.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Birding & Covered Bridges

I am linking up with  Mary's Mosaic Monday  and Our World Tuesday

On Saturday morning I was up early with the birds. On the weekends, the first thing I do (after coffee) is to go out on my deck and feed the birds some extra treats like peanuts and the little peanut suet nuggets. I noticed a pretty pink sunrise and I knew this day was going to be a pretty day to do something outside. I woke hubby up and said lets get out and go for a ride. I already had a place in mind, in fact I had just about the whole day planned.

 In the mosaic above is my sunrise, a couple of Bluejays on my deck and the pretty sky and trees around my house.

 On the way to the covered bridges I had to stop and check out a field that birders have been reporting seeing Short Eared Owls. No luck on seeing the owls but we did enjoy watching two Northern Harrier hawks hunt over the field.

I had read that there is a riding tour in Thurmont, Md where you can see three covered bridges all within a thirty mile loop. These covered bridges are also close to a waterfalls in the Cunningham Falls State Park in Catoctin, Md.   Of course, at all of these places I was checking out the area for birds. When I pulled up to the parking lot for the first bridge. I noticed two Red Tailed Hawks sitting close together in a tree. I tried to get a little closer but one flew off and at least I got in a shot of one of the hawks.

The Covered Bridge in this mosaic is named Loys Station Bridge. This bridge is listed on the National Parks National register of historic places. Each bridge had a different truss system, which I tried to show in one of the photos.

 My far away shot of my Red Tailed Hawk. I was checking out all along the stream for a Kingfisher, It just looked like the kind of area they would be found. The only other birds seen at this first covered bridge were some Grackles.

I think we surprised the female Belted Kingfisher and flew away only to land a little further away. I love their telltale rattle sound.

I will do a separate post on all three of the covered bridges and a waterfall on my travel blog. But I just wanted to do a post on how I spent my Saturday in the morning at home and a preview of our little day trip.  Covered Bridges and Lighthouses are just a few of the historic places that are definitely worth a trip to see. Oh, and waterfalls are great to see and visit.

To see more wonderful mosaic and beautiful photos please visit Mosaic Monday  and Our World Tuesday

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Critters from the NCR trail

I saved some of my NCR critter photos for Camera Critters

During our walk on the NCR trail we stopped and watched this Great blue Heron, the chickens are from a nearby house. They seem to roam free around the trail. We also shared the trail with some locals riding their horses on the trail. And of course Goldie Girl got to go on the walk with us.

Goldie Girl always seems to get her leash wrapped around her paws, we stopped to check out the stream and fix her leash. The stream is always a good place to see a Kingfisher.

A group of the chickens taking a walk on the trail. Goldie Girl is not so sure what to make of these chickens. But, they did not see to mind Goldie Girl or having us nearby.

We stepped aside to let the horseback riders go by, Goldie Girl likes to see these big critters go by.

I hope you enjoyed my critter post and to see more wonderful critters please visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.  Thanks to Misty for hosting and thanks for stopping by to see my post. Happy Weekend!

To see more cute critters check out Camera Critters

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Skywatch Friday  at the NCR trail. Hubby and I enjoy taking walks along our local bike and hike trail. It was a beautiful day with a pretty sky. While we are walking,  I am usually looking for birds along the trail. This section is near the Bee Tree Preserve and it looks like they are in the process of tree restoration. One of my favorite parts of the trail is where there are some dead old trees left purposely for woodpecker habitat.

Here are some scenes from our walk along the trail and of the pretty sky. There were a few puffy white clouds just hanging here and there in the sky.

We usually see the chickens in the same spot along the trail.

It is great to see new trees shooting up thru those white tubes.

Here is a list of the birds I saw and heard along the trail: Cardinals, Kinglets, Redbellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Turkey Vultures, Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Chickadees and Titmouse.

To see more beautiful skies from around the world please visit 
Skywatch Friday. Thanks to the hosting group of Sandy, Sylvia and Wren. Thanks, also for stopping by to see my skies. I wish everyone a Happy weekend and Happy Birding.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pine Warbler

I am linking up with World Bird Wednesday     and   Nature Notes

The last couple of winters I have had the pleasure of seeing this beautiful male Pine Warbler at my feeders. It seem to prefer suet and sunflowers chips it also loves Meal Worms.

I have  a few feeders outside my dinning room and kitchen windows. On this feeder I see my Pine Warbler and a White Breasted Nuthatch.

On this shot above you can see the olive colored streaking on his chest and his yellow spectacles.

On this shot, the Pine Warbler is on the suet cake by my window and a male Downy woodpecker is on the other suet feeder.

I enjoy being able to see my yardbirds up close. Hanging the feeders right outside my window is perfect for viewing the birds while inside the house without spooking them.

I hope you enjoyed my birds and thanks for stopping by to see my post. I hope everyone has a great week and Happy Birding.

To see more beautiful birds, photos and nature please visit Springman's World Bird Wednesday and check out Michelle's Nature Notes.

  Thanks to Springman for hosting World Bird Wednesday and thanks to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow, Birds and my neighborhood

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday

On Saturday we woke up to a little more than inch of snow on the ground and then freezing rain on top of the snow. The one thing I like about snowy days is seeing my yardbirds and lots of them at my feeders. I have filled my feeders a few times since waking on Saturday morning. The birds are in a feeding frenzy with the snow around and these cold temps. 

My yardbirds above are the Carolina Wren, a pretty Pine Warbler, Goldfinches and a White-Throated Sparrow.

Looking out my dinning room window, I enjoyed seeing the Pine Warbler at the feeder.

Above, I have been trying to arrange my birdcam to catch the best birds. I like this shot of the Goldfinches but I do not like my son's ugly pickup truck in the photo. I also noticed I have not changed the date on the birdcam it was not 10/21/11 it was 01/21/11.

 Standing at my mailbox, I have always love the view looking up my street . The Pine Trees look gorgeous with the snow covered branches.

Since, the weather and freezing rain was unpredictable, hubby and I took a walk locally in our neighborhood. It was a little difficult walking on the crunchy snow, our boots made a loud crunchy sound with every step we took. I would think that would be enough to warn any birds that we were coming down the trail. The reservoir was partially covered with a thin layer of ice. We did see a large flock of Canada Geese, a yellow-bellied Sapsucker and we spooked a Kingfisher away when we got close to the shore.

Goldie Girl was very happy to take a walk to the lake.

To see more beautiful mosaics and photos please visit Mary's Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday

Thanks to Mary the host of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group at Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sandy and Sylvia.

Also, thanks to everyone for stopping by to see my post. I appreciate your comments. I wish everyone a safe, warm and happy week ahead!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow geese

For Camera Critters  I have some Snow geese from the wildlife refuge.

I want to say a big THANK YOU to my followers sometime between this post and my last post I now have 300 followers. Wow!!!!

Edit,  sorry looks like I jumped the gun.. And lost a follower..either way I still thank you all!!  Blogging followers may always come and go but my Goldie Girl is always following me.

In honor of Critter day here is my Goldie Girl.

Overnight we had a couple inches of snow and as I am typing this post we are getting freezing rain on top of the snow. It looks like winter has really hit us now, it is very cold... temps in the low twenties. Oh how, I wish for those 60 degree days. I hope everyone stays warm and safe...Good Luck to our home team THE RAVENS they are in the playoffs tomorrow against the New England Patriots.

Snow Geese are very common and they are increasing in their range. They breed in the Northern Artic and winter  in farm fields and marshes in the US. Sometimes when I see them, it is usually a large flock in the thousands.

I thought it was funny that my field guide mentions they may have dirty faces from foraging. LOL, I guess they need their mommas to wipe off their faces after eating.  The immature Snow Goose is variably grayish in color.

To see more wonderful and cute critters check out Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.  Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting. Thanks for stopping by to see my critters. I wish everyone a great weekend and Happy Birding.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Vulture Skywatch

I am linking to Skywatch Friday   with up my backyard sunrise, a capture of the moon and lots of Vultures.


On Sunday morning there were NOT many clouds in the sky but the few that were there are a pretty pink color.

I like the closeup of the moon, it is cool seeing some craters and shadows. Not bad for my handheld Canon Powershot.

I do not think there is a time that I look up at the sky and NOT see a Vulture. Every morning they fly out of the woods next to my house and every evening they fly back. I can almost time their exits and the time they return. It is like they go to work, like I do every week day. It is amazing the numbers of vultures both the Turkey and Black Vultures that roost in the trees near my house.

My youtube video of the vultures.

Another shot of the moon and a pretty blue sky.

I hope you enjoyed my skywatch.
To see more wonderful skies click on my link Skywatch Friday  Thanks to the hosting group: Sylvia, Sandy and Wren.

I also want to thank you for visiting my post and blog. I appreciate the lovely comments. I hope everyone has a happy and safe weekend. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Northern Pintail

My Northern Pintails are  linking up with World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes

 It is not often that I have the sun shining in just the right spot, but I think these two Northern Pintails look pretty with the sun shining on them.

The Northern Pintail is known as a dabbling duck and is supposedly declining in numbers. The Pintail ducks can be seen vigorously dabbling for plant food.
The Pintail breeds in Alaska and Canada and they winter in coastal wetlands like at Edwin Forsythe NWR.

A nice reflection of the Northern Pintails.

The adult male has a long elegant and patterned neck and a long tail.  The tail is actually two long black feathers. The female has an unmarked head and a marbled plumage.

We saw a lot of winter ducks at Edwin Forsythe NWR during our two day visit. I am amazed at how many different species of ducks can be seen in the winter. The are the Dabbling ducks, Sea ducks, tree ducks, diving ducks. I am not sure why but my field guide book reports that most ducks are in decline except for the Green-winged Teal and the Gadwall. These last two are ducks I hardly see, my most common duck is the Mallard. I seem to see them everywhere and I see them year round. Are you in an area where you see a lot of ducks, if so what species of duck do you see?

To see more wonderful birds and nature photos check out World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes.  Thanks to Springman for hosting World Bird Wednesday and to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes.

I also want to thank you for visiting my post and blog. I appreciate all the lovely comments too. I hope the rest of your week is wonderful.  Happy Birding!!

Saturday's Critters # 533

Welcome to Saturday's Critters!  Hello and Happy Saturday!  If you love all God's creatures like I do and also like to blog about th...