Friday, June 29, 2012

Local Critters

I love weekends and Camera Critters and Scenic Sunday

I am posting early since I will be a little busy on Saturday. For this weeks critter post I have a bird seen locally at the Hemlock Gorge. A local place hubby and I like to hike around. The bird is the Louisiana Waterthrush.

They nest in woodlands close to fast moving streams. The stream is actually the Gunpowder River which is at the top of our reservoir.

Not the best photo, I had to zoom in and it is cropped which make it even more fuzzy. But you can see the supercilium. I call it the eyebrow. They have pink legs and the stripes on its breast.

The Waterthrush's bill is large which enables it to take larger prey like crayfish, frogs and fish.

Goldie Girl loves the river too, she is pleading PLEASE do not leave yet. She wants to play more in the water.

I like how the hemlock trees across the river are growing out of the the boulders.

I believe this is the Eastern Phoebe it was another one of the birds I saw near the river.

 It is a nice trail with pretty wildflowers growing on the river bank. Not sure what it is called, it reminds me of the tall phlox?

We passed by many of these tiger lilies along the trail. 

I hope you enjoyed my birds and critter post and the pretty scenery. To see more cute and wonderful critters please visit Misty Dawn's  Camera Critters  and the Holleys's Scenic Sunday.  Thanks to both of the host and thank you for stopping by and for your comments. I wish everyone a safe and HAPPY weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Skywatch and my backyard birds

I am linking my skies up with Skywatch Friday and Green-day-2
Running out the door to go to work I remembered my camera on this morning. I captured a few shots I liked of the the sunrise.

The sun looked like a huge red ball when I zoomed in close.

Later and back at home I saw a pretty blue sky and a great view of the moon.

One of my pretty female Cardinals.

One of my pretty Chipping Sparrows.

Our skies have been mostly clear but on this evening we had a few clouds that lit up with color during the sunset.

To see more beautiful skies from around the world please visit Skywatch Friday. Thanks to the hosts: Sylvia and Sandy. If you are seeing green please visit Green-day-2  Thanks to the host Fiona. Thanks, also for stopping by to see my skywatch and post. I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Rookery

I am linking up with World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

These are some shots from my visit to the local Black-Crowned Night Heron and Great Egret Rookery. It is cool that the rookery is not far from where I live. So I get a chance to go and visit and see how the herons and egrets are doing. This rookery is in the middle of a Pennsylvania neighborhood. The park has a man-made lake. People are always about.... walking the path around at the lake and fishing. The rookery has been there for years and the birds do not seem to mind all the people being around them. We did see the notice stating it was a (IBA) important bird area.

The Great Egret nest are way high up in the top of some pine trees. I could make out one of the egret chicks. A fuzzy ball of cuteness.

In the same pine trees are the Black Crowned Night Heron nest. Their chicks seemed to be making big progress and growing fast.

. The Night herons chicks were a little more hidden in the pine tree branches. You can make out their darker brown body with white spots and a little of the yellow on its bill.

I was concerned about this juvie Night Heron when I noticed its bill looks crossed. I hope it is able to eat. At least it does look healthy.

This Night heron juvie with the crossed bill was walking around on the ground and then decided he wanted to climb the tree. We were a good distance away. There were about 25 or more Canada Geese on the ground below the tree and between us and the tree with the juvie heron.

The pine trees surround the lake and there must be a night heron or egret nest in every one of the trees. Above is one of the Great Egret nest.

I hope you enjoyed my World Birds this week. To see more wonderful birds check out Springman's World Bird Wednesday  and for more nature post visit Michelle's  Nature Notes

Thanks to Springman and to Michelle our great host each week. Also, thank you for visiting my blog and post. I hope the rest of your week is great and Happy Birding.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More from Shenandoah Nat'l Park

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday , Green Day and Our World Tuesday

A few weeks back hubby and I took a daytrip to Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive. These are some of the scenes we saw at the park and on the drive. My post below shows more of the Shenandoah-birds-and-critters

Above a Shenandoah Black bear,  a view of the Shenandoah valley, wildflowers, deer, horses on the trail, cabbage white, Towheee,  Blue-headed Vireo,  fawn and momma deer.
 We saw many birds and butterflies. Lots of deer and three different black bears along the Skyline Drive.

Above a heart shaped tree stump, wildflowers, Big Meadows, Red Admiral and a Robin

One of many deer, we saw along the Skyline Drive.

Robin collecting worms and bugs to take back to its nest.

The view from the Upper Hawksbill trail. It is the highest point of the Skyline Drive. Our first time doing this hike and it was well worth the hike for the beautiful view.

To see more wonderful mosaics please visit Mosaic Monday  lots of green at Green Day and to see photos from around the world Our World Tuesday.  Thanks to Mary the host of Mosaic Monday and to the host of Our World: Arija, Gattina, Lafy Fi, Sandy and Sylvia. Also, thanks for stopping by to see my post. I wish everyone a safe and Happy week ahead.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Some Shenandoah birds and critters

I am linking up with one of my favorite meme's Camera Critters. I have always been an animal lover.....from dogs, cats, birds, turtles and frogs, And the big critters too horses, cows, deer and bears. It is wonderful to see these critters and enjoy them.

These are some shots from our Shenandoah Nat'l Park trip on June 2nd.   We started somewhat early on my favorite Limberlost trail by 9:30am. It is a great trail to see some birds closeup in the underbrush. I was happy to be seeing lots of Redstarts, Towhees, Robins and Blue-headed Vireo...I should start carrying a notebook with me to keep a list of the birds I see. I know I saw and heard more birds but I can not remember them all, a notepad and pen is important for the next time.

 My only shot of the Blue-headed Vireo. This Vireo has a blue head, white throat and a greenish back. The sides are washed with yellow-olive and also has strong wingbars.

As we walked along the trail I stopped every once in awhile looking for birds, I looked up the hill and turned to hubby and said look there is a black bear. He was amazed at how calm I was just turning and saying quietly that there was a black bear. I was really excited it was only the second time we have even seen a bear while walking on a Shenandoah trail. We have been there hundreds of times too. We stood and watched the bear until it was out of sight, very cool.

So we continued walking along the trail hoping to see the bear cross over the trail. no luck there. So I went back to looking and listening to the birds.

 We heard a lot of Eastern Towhees, this female Eastern Towhee was the only one that came out into the open. She did not seem to care that we stood and watched her. We finished the loop trail and headed back to our car, we were ready to head down to the Big Meadows store for some lunch.

 At the parking lot we saw this group of riders on their horses. You can arrange to take a trail ride at Shenandoah, something we never seemed to have time for, we usually prefer to hike.

If you want to know where your winter birds go in the summer we saw lots of Dark-eyed Juncos near the camp store. We ate our lunch and headed back onto the Skyline Drive for our next hike, it was a new one for us called the Upper Hawksbill. It is the highest part of the Skyline Drive and the views were beautiful. Back in our car  and driving on the Skyline Drive we came across our second bear sighting. This one was just walking along side the road.

I have always enjoyed seeing bears, I just love them. This was a first time we had the bear to ourselves. No other cars came around so we were able to stop and watch the bear for awhile without more cars coming to scare it away. I believe we were still in the middle section of the Skyline Drive and heading home when seeing the second bear. We still had the north section of the drive to go. We stopped at some overlooks and we were still looking for deers and bears on the north section before heading out of the park.

Our next sighting was seeing this cute fawn and its momma along the road. I stopped my car to watch them for awhile until a bike rider came along and they ran away into the woods.

Almost out of the park and close to the entrance gate another black bear ran across the road right in front of my car and went right into the woods. It was moving quickly but we still stopped and watched till it disappeared into the woods. Wow, I could not believe we had sighted three different black bears. There are times we go and do not see one, so I consider myself really lucky on this trip.

I hope you enjoyed my Shenandoah critters and to see more beautiful and cute critters please visit Camera Critters . Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting and thank you for stopping by to see my post. I wish everyone a safe and HAPPY weekend. Also Happy Birding!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SWF>>>Sunrise & Sunset

I am linking up my sunrise with Skywatch Friday

I have been leaving early enough for work to catch some pretty sunrises. Since, I am driving I have to pull over to capture some of the pretty sky. Again there are times I could kick myself for not taking my camera with when I leave for work. I do have some beautiful memories of some gorgeous sunrises lately.

I thought the fog in this scene looked cool with the sunrise.

I had to zoom in for a closer look at the fog, the sky was a pretty orange color. I believe the tall line is the radio tower for the watershed protection headquarters building.

I hope you are not tired of my seeing my birds because I had to throw in this cute Great-Crested Flycatcher perched on my weeping Cherry tree later in the day.

And now I have some a few shots of the sunset from my deck. I like the clouds, colors and the silhouettes of the trees.

It is amazing how fast the clouds and the colors can change while skywatching.

I do not think there has been a time where  I have NOT see a turkey vulture flying around my neighborhood. I managed to catch one in this shot usually there are more than one.

To see more beautiful skies from around the world please visit Skywatch Friday.  Thanks to the hosts of Skywatch: Sylvia and Sandy.  Also, thank you for stopping by to see my skies. I wish everyone a safe and HAPPY weekend.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Black Skimmer

I am linking up with  World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

My World Bird this week is the Black Skimmer.

Last week hubby and I saw quite a few Black Skimmers. We saw them both at Edwin Forsythe NWR on Thursday and at Cape May on Friday.  The Black Skimmers are Tern-like seabirds.

Above my photo captured a few of them head on but I really like the side view showing off their cool looking beaks.

At Cape May I believe they were nesting on the beach. They have roped off a part of the beach and sand dunes to protect the nesting birds. They breed in loose groups on sandy beaches. Three-seven bluish eggs are incubated by both the male and female.

At the nesting area we saw the Black Skimmers, Terns and American Oystercatchers.

I tried hard to catch two Black Skimmers flying low over the ocean at Cape May. I hope you enjoyed my post and to see more beautiful birds check out World Bird Wednesday  and for more nature scenes visit Nature Notes.

Thanks to Springman of World Bird and to Michelle the host of Nature Notes. Thanks for stopping by to see my post, hope the rest of the week is a good one. Happy Birding!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Edwin B Forsythe NWR

Wow, I was not sure if I was going to be able to use this blog again. I had so much trouble going on with warnings. I must say I run virus protection scans daily and my computer was clean , even blogger could not find a reason why it happened. Luckily and thanks to someone at blogger they have my blog up and running again. I decided to delete a lot of my links and I am no longer accepting  links on my comments, so please avoid leaving a link in your comment.

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday  and Our World Tuesday

This week hubby and I took short trip to the Jersey shore, we stopped at the Edwin Forsythe NWR which is just across the bay from Atlantic City. It is a great place for birding for me and hubby has his fun playing poker.

Above I am showing the Glossy Ibis, one of the many threatened Diamondback Terrapins, adult Osprey, gulls and a skimmer and bottom right is an Osprey with chicks.

 The Diamondback Terrapin is laying eggs right next to the wildlife drive. I hope the babies survive. The Diamondback Terrapin is threatened and starting to make a come back. They are the state reptile of Maryland.

Cute osprey chick is spreading its wings, it could be the first one to leave the nest.

You can visit the wildlife refuge at different times of the year and see different species of birds. Spring and summer are a good time for the shorebirds and to see the babies and chicks. This was the first time for me to see so many Osprey chicks on the nest. Some chicks seem bigger on the various nest but they are a very cool sight to see.

 Above top left are a few Black Skimmers, larger top right is a Black Crowned Night heron, middle is a Black Skimmer in flight and skimming. Bottom row is a Clapper Rail, I believe a Caspian tern and another Black Skimmer.

 The Black Skimmers are cool looking birds with their beak looking like a carrot dipped in black.

One of my favorite shorebirds is the Black Skimmer. We had fun watching the Black Skimmer flying low over the water and just barely touching the water with its beak. As they fly low over the with their beaks open till they feel their prey and their beaks snap shut. It is an amazing sight.

Another beautiful bird at the refuge is the Great Egret, we also saw some of the Snowy Egrets. I hope you enjoyed my post and believe me I am happy to be able to make a post.

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

Thanks to Mary of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday. I hope everyone has a HAPPY week ahead and 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...