Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, April 22, 2012

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday.

I guess everyone knows by now that I enjoy nature and the birds.  Yesterday, hubby and I took the local hike on the Shamberger Peninsula trail at our Prettyboy Reservoir. So we celebrated Earth Day a day early. Today we are getting some much needed rain.

 The mosaic above show my study area, the birds seen in the clear cut area were a few Mourning Doves, Chipping Sparrows and Cowbirds.

 It started out as just a walk to the study area where the foresters did a thinning and a clear cut. I am helping out my bird club by keeping track of the birds seen in the area of the thinned and clear cut. This is the start of the second year for the study and my second 2012 walk and count for the study area.

Above is the study area were I am keeping track of the birds seen in the thinned and this clear cut area. The clear cut area looks kind of sad to me. The white dogwoods around the edge are the only pretty sight for me. I am by no means an expert on forestry but what we saw in the clear cut area does not make sense to me. The trees that were cut are now growing back from the stumps they left behind. So why cut, when the same trees grow back but just take a long time to be mature. We did see a few Pine saplings growing. I do prefer seeing a pine forest over the deciduous trees even though both are nice. The Great Blue Heron that is nesting near my house is in one of the large pine trees in the watershed property.

I am also keeping track of the birds seen in the thinned area and the edge of the clear cut. At these areas I did see and hear more birds than at the clear cut area. My list of birds for the thinned area are Eastern Phoebe, Titouse, Carolina Chickadee, WB Nuthatch, House Wren, Goldfinch, Bluejays, Pine Warblers, Yellow Rump Warbler, Downy woodpecker, Pileated, and Crows.

At the edge of the clear cut I heard and saw Cardinals, Bluejays, Redbellied Woodpecker, Pileated woodie, Crows, Cowbirds, Carolina Wren and Goldfinches and on the way back the Ovenbirds.

After doing my bird count in the study area, hubby decided to continue on the trail and do the 4 mile roundtrip  hike to the peninsula tip.  I am so happy we decided to go on further. I found so many more birds. Ovenbirds were plentiful, Pine Warblers all along the trail, and at the tip of the peninsula the Northern Parula's and a Palm Warbler. Canada Geese and a group of Cormorants were at the lake.

 My first of the year Ovenbird. The Ovenbird along with the Northern Parulas are breeding birds at the Prettyboy Reservoir and watershed area.

 A pretty Palm Warbler seen at the Peninsula tip.

 The reservoir and my Goldie Girl.

At the end of the Shamberger Trail and at the peninsula tip I saw and heard many Pine Warblers, Northern Parulas and the Ovenbirds. On the lake we saw Canada geese and a large group of Cormorants.

So this is how I celebrated Earth Day, are you doing something special for Earth Day? To see more wonderful mosaics and photos please visit Mosaic Monday

Thanks to Mary for hosting Mosaic Monday each week, it is one of my favorite memes. I hope everyone has a safe and happy week ahead. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for leaving your nice comments.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cavity Nesters

I am linking up with Camera Critters

Tomorrow is Happy Earth Day, I hope everyone can do something outside to enjoy nature.

Last weekend I just happened to see a few cavity nesting birds at work.  One was the Northern Flicker and the other was the Downy Woodpecker. They both seemed hard at work and really into excavating their nesting cavity.

The Northern Flicker will excavate a nest in a tree, post or even a cactus 8-100 feet off the ground.

Not the best  Northern Flicker photos, the lighting was horrible and the bird was still a good distance from me. But you can the see the black mustache which id's this as a male flicker. They have a black necklace-like on their upper chest and their lower belly is beige with black spots.

The Downy Woodpecker hard at work clearing out their nesting cavity. The Downy's breeding habitat is mostly forested habitat and mainly deciduous trees.

The Downy Woodpecker has a black back and white spotting on its wings, has a white bar above the eye and one below the eye. They a white belly and throat, males have a red patch on the back of their head.

Thanks for stopping by to see my post and for all the nice comments.

To see more wonderful and cute critters please visit Camera Critters. 
Also, thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting Camera Critters. I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

SWF>>>>Backyard Sunset

I am linking up my skies with Skywatch Friday

These are shots from last week of the sunset from my backyard. I sat on my deck watching the birds in the yard and keeping an eye on the sky. The sky is looking dramatic with the dark and gloomy clouds. We have been missing the rain, even this time the rain stayed north of us.

Above is how my sunset started.

My Goldfinches are really sporting their pretty yellow feathers.

High in the top of a pine tree my neighborhood heron is just peeking out of the nest. Soon the leaves will be blocking my view and it will be hard to see the nest.

I am not the only one keeping a watch, these three turkey vultures were in the woods across from my driveway.  Not sure if they were watching the sunset, they had their heads turned the wrong way.

When the sun dropped low in the sky, the bottom of the clouds looked to be on fire. I feel much better having the fire in the sky than worry about fires starting from being too dry due to the lack of rain.

We have been having advisories about the lack of rain and the ground being dry and the chances of fires starting were high.

Skywatching is one of my simple pleasures. I enjoy sitting out on my deck listening to the birds and the frogs trying to sing louder than the birds.

To see more beautiful skies from around the world please visit : Skywatch Friday.
Thanks to the hosting group of Sylvia, Sandy and Wren. Also, thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pied-billed Grebe

 I am linking up my Pied-billed Grebe with

World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes

During our last visit to Bombay Hook NWR we sat and watched a couple of Pied-billed Grebes. They were swimming around and every once in a while they would dive. I think they are one of the cutest birds with adorable faces.

The Pied-billed Grebe nest on ponds and lakes and winters on fresh bodies of water and protected bays.  They are warm brown in color, have dark eyes and a white eye ring. Their bill is short, black and banded.

This shot is a little fuzzy because of how far I had to zoom. But, I love it's adorable face.

It was hard to capture two of the Grebes close together, every time I would go to snap the photo one of them would dive.

Thanks for stopping by to see my post, I hope you love my Grebes too.  Thanks to Springman for hosting World Bird Wednesday and to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes. I hope the rest of your week is a happy one.

To see more beautiful birds and wonderful photos please visit World Bird Wednesday  and   Nature Notes

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bombay Hook NWR, 75th Anniversary

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday

On Saturday, hubby and I drove to Delaware to visit Bombay Hook NWR. I included a link for Bombay Hook NWR which lists the many activities they will be having during their anniversary celebration. If you want to visit during this time you can check out the calendar of events. We did not know until we arrived at Bombay Hook, they are celebrating their 75th anniversary. The Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937.

 In my mosiac above I have a cute Pied Billed Grebe, tree blossoms, Great Egret, raft of Coots, Yellowlegs, three Black Crowned Night Herons in the tree, Blue-winged Teals, and Purple Martins at their house.

I believe the bird with the highest count seen at Bombay Hook were the Coots. Hubby and I were in disagreement over the count. I said there was close to a thousand Coots throughout the refuge and hubby had a lower count of 700-800. The other highest count birds were Dunlins and Sanderlings?  The Coots were in such large groups, I was never able to fit a group on one photo. We also saw some Yellowlegs and maybe Dowitchers. I am happy the shorebirds are arriving.

The Blue-winged teals were also plentiful at the refuge.

We saw lots of cute frogs too.

A few of the Black-Crowned Night herons look like they were napping. Their beaks are tucked into their chest. Do you see three of the Night herons? Their Black Crowns and white chest are pretty easy to see.

One of the activities they had on Saturday was a display of the wild birds of prey which are native or known to migrate thru this area.  Included were the Red-tailed hawk, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Broad-winged hawk and a Red-Shoulder hawk.

The Wild birds of Prey program is a cool experience to see these beautiful bird up close and learn more about them. It is sad to learn each one had some kind of disability. The Red Shouldered Hawk was blind in one eye and the Merlin had a broken wing. The Red-tailed hawk was actually the western species and had a beautiful white chest which is different than the east species which has the dark belly band.

I thought the hawk in the back was beautiful and is the western version of the Red-tailed Hawk.

I hope you enjoyed my post and I appreciate the visits and the comments.

To see more wonderful mosaics, post  and photos click here Mosaic Monday  and Our World Tuesday. 
Thank You to Mary of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Camera Critters from my Birdcam

I am linking up with Camera Critters

A few night time shots of the Raccoon visiting my feeder, a mourning dove, and a cute chipmunk.

A few different shots of the Redbellied Woodpecker, Chipping Sparrow, Bluejay, Squirrel from my Wingscape Birdcam.


I thought this shot of the male Cardinal was neat.

The look on this squirrel's face is just priceless.

Somehow the date on my birdcam is way off and I have to figure out how to change to the correct date.So please ignore the date of 05/01/12 we are not even there yet.

I hope you enjoyed my critter post and to see more cute and adorable critters
 please visit  Camera Critters.    Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting Camera Critters. I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

SWF>>>Wilkes Barre, PA

I am linking up with Skywatch Friday  with more of my Wilkes Barre, Pa photos from last weekend.
We spent Friday night after our hike at the Ricketts Glen State Park in Wilkes Barre, Pa. So Saturday morning we had the day free for looking around the city and a slow drive home on a beautiful day.

 A view of the river with a pretty blue sky and some wispy clouds.

We checked out the Susquehanna River Levee Trail and the Kirby Park.  In my post below you can see the Red-Tailed Hawk my best bird seen in the park. Other birds seen were mostly Mourning Doves, Pigeons and House Sparrows and one Mallard Duck in the river.

Kirby Park was pretty with a nice pond and pavilions around for picnics and the baseball diamonds looked to be popular on this day.

 Near the river trail in Wilkes Barre is the Irem Temple . Years ago it became empty and the city of Wilkes Barre was trying to find a new purpose for this lovely building with the neat towers. I took this shot from across the bridge and was trying to zoom in on the towers, I liked the design. Located in the city with the nearby college buildings and church nearby it looks somehow out of place? Squeezed in there, but check out the link for Irem Temple. It shows an older shot of the temple sitting by itself and no other buildings near it.

Back in the Kirby park, I have a pretty reflection of the Apple Blossom tree and the sky. This reflection shot was my favorite shot of the day.

A closer view of the blossom and the pretty blue sky.

And just because it is cute, I threw this Song Sparrow in. I could hear this bird singing a long time before I was able to find it in the tree.

Thanks for stopping by to see my skies and post. To see more beautiful skies please visit Skywatch Friday.  Thanks to the host: Sylvia, Sandy and Wren. I hope everyone has a great weekend with beautiful skies.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wilkes Barre Hawk

I am linking up with World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

I am pretty sure this is a Red-tailed hawk. Hubby and I saw him or her while walking around Kirby Park in Wilkes Barre, Pa this weekend.

The hawk did not move much only a slight turn of the head to look at me.

The red-tailed has a vivid rusty red tail.  Also, present are white markings called scapulars. Now, I had to look up what exactly scapulars were on a bird. Scapulars are feathers that cover the top of the hawks wing when the bird is at rest. They look like shoulders. Cool, I learned something new today, the meaning of scapulars.

To see more wonderful birds click here World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes.

Thanks to Springman of World Bird Wednesday and to Michelle of Nature Notes. Also, thank you for stopping by to see my post. Happy Birding and I hope the rest of your week is a happy too.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ricketts Glen Falls Trail

April 2012, 

On Saturday hubby and I hiked the Falls trail at Ricketts Glen State Park. Ricketts Glen State Park is located 30 miles north of Bloomsburg, Pa. The falls trail is a 3.2 mile loop passing by 21 waterfalls. The other waterfalls are located off other trails. It is a very steep and sometimes difficult trail. We took our time stopping to enjoy the waterfalls and I was listening for the birds and taking photos. We did spook a turkey off the trail. And I saw a few Chickadees and turkey vultures soaring above us. It is a little early for the warblers though I do think I heard one off the trail. Ricketts Glen is noted for 23 varieties of warblers and the Bald Eagle. The park is also included in the Susquehanna River Birding trail.


The sign shows the Falls Trail and list the names of each waterfall that we saw, they range from 11ft to 94ft being the tallest.

Ricketts Glen has a total 23 waterfalls, beautiful hemlock trees, lots of pretty ferns and moss and bridges that cross the rivers.

The steps were steep and uneven and now my legs are feeling like I used muscles that I did not even know I had. LOL!

We crossed several different bridges along the way criss-crossing back and forth over the river.

After spending about 4 hours hiking on the Falls trail and at the park we headed to Wilkes Barre, Pa to spend the night at a Best Western hotel. After checking into to our room we headed to the Mohegan Sun casino at Pocono Downs. We had dinner at their Timber buffet, lots of good seafood and dinner choices. They also had other restaurants like a Ruth Chris and a Johnny Rockets, a great variety. The casino was very crowded, also included a long line of people waiting to see and get autographs of an actress on  the show Jerseylicious? After dinner we were ready to head back to our room for the night.

To see more wonderful photos and mosaics please visit Sunday Bridges   and  Mosaic Monday  and Our World Tuesday.  

Thanks to all the great host, Louis of Sunday Bridges, Mary of Mosaic Monday and the gang at Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sandy and Sylvia.  I hope you enjoyed my post, thanks for stopping by.

I wish everyone a safe and happy week ahead.

Saturday's Critters # 540

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...