Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SWF>>Oregon Coast

I am linking up Skywatch Friday  and  Green Day with some shots of  our days and nights on the Oregon coast at Yachats and at Cannon Beach.

We only had one evening in Yachats where we saw a clear sky and sunset. The view of the sunset from our hotel was the BEST. The rest of our nights on the coast were of the Oregon fog and clouds. We still enjoyed the coast and I think some of the foggy scenes were neat. I also had to include some more of the Oregon birds, mostly gulls. The gulls are hard for me to id, I believe some were Western Gulls which was a lifer for me.

We saw lots of gulls on the coast. I was surprised that there were not more shorebirds. I guess I am use to birding the Jersey and Delaware shore where the thousands of shorebirds are more of a common sight.  Another lifer for me on the Oregon coast was a Black Oystercatcher. I could not get a photo of it but I was able to positively id the Oystercatcher as it flew by me.

Sunset from our Yachats Fireside Hotel.

The next morning, some of the fog was neat looking and on this beach we had fun watching the surfers while checking out the tidal pools. In the far distance you can just barely make out a surfer carrying their surfboard to the water.

This is a good "WHAT" Gull? The juveniles make id-ing for me even harder than trying to id the adult gulls. I am taking a wild guess and say this is a juvie Western Gull.

The Bald Eagles were also around with a cloudy sky for a background. Not a pretty shot but the Eagles are always cool to see.

We did have some blue skies during the day at Cape Kiwanda. This beach was extremely popular and not a good place to see birds. I believe the crowds of people and the vehicles on the beach would keep the birds away. The beach was pretty and the sky was a beautiful blue.

Another beach along the Three Capes Scenic drive. The three capes are Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout and Cape Meares. Another beach that was missing the shorebirds. Where are they hiding?

A view from Gammon Launch at Cape Lookout. Looks like a popular spot for the paragliding. I am saving my photos of the Cape Meares lookout,  lighthouse and another Oregon lifer for another post. There were so many beautiful scenic overlooks along the Oregon coast. There are lots of great birds to be seen on the Three Capes Scenic Drive such as the seabirds, shorebirds gulls and woodland birds.

On one of the trails I saw these two Red Shafted Flickers. They were a treat to see, different than the Yellow Shafted Flickers I see at home in Maryland. I could not count the Flicker as a lifer as I had seen them on a previous trip to Washington state.

I hope you enjoyed my mish-mash of  foggy days and sky shots.
To see more beautiful skies from around the world please visit: Skywatch Friday.
And to see more of the pretty Green Day please visit Fiona's Green Day. Thanks to Fiona for hosting Green Day. Alos, thanks to Sylvia and Sandy for hosting Skywatch Friday!.

Of course I thank you for stopping by to see my post. I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oregon lifers

 I am linking up a few of my Oregon lifers with Wild Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes

Three of my lifers were the Rhinceros Auklet, Brandt's Cormorant and the Tufted Puffin all three seen on the Oregon Coast.
This photo above of the Rhinoceros Auklet  belongs to Wikipedia_Rhinoceros_Auklet. Seeing the Rhinoceros Auklet below in the Sea Lion Caves made the visit to the caves for me. But, the sea lions were cool too.

It was dark inside the caves, when I notice three of these birds close to where I was standing watching the sea lions. One was an adult feeding two juveniles. My photo is not the best but if you look very hard LOL, you can see a bit of the horn ( present in breeding birds) and the white plumes above the eyes. . I actually had great views with my binocs since they let so much light in and the three birds were only just on the other side of the fence from where I stood.. They feed on small fish and nest in seabird colonies.

Another one of my lifers was the Brandt's Cormorant.  The breeding Brandt's Cormorant has a blue throat pouch. I was able to catch one of the adult Cormorants showing off his/hers pretty blue pouch. They dive for their food and feed off of small fish.

Edit; Sorry, but this Puffin is the town's mascot and is a statue. I did take the photo but it is not a real Puffin. LOL, pretty life-like statue though!  Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock are known to be breeding areas for the Tufted Puffin.

This was another one of my lifers. Not really, LOL! I did not get a photo of it but, we were able to see the Tufted Puffin twice with my binocs flying in and out of the Haystack Rock on Cannon beach. T

he Tufted Puffin is also known as the Crested Puffin. The yellow tufts appear on both sexes during the breeding season. They nest in grassy sides of cliffs or on the grassy side of the Haystack Rock. I did read their feet turn a bright red in the summer.

 Haystack rock  was a big attraction on Cannon beach. At low tides the tidal pools were great and you could see nesting birds all over the rock. This side shows the grassy side at the top of the rock.

To see more beautiful birds and nature photos please visit Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

Thanks to Stewart the host of Wild Bird Wednesday and thanks to Michelle the host of Nature Notes. Also, thank you for stopping by to see my post. Happy Birding and I hope the rest of your week is great.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baltimore & Orchard Orioles

I am linking up my Orioles with World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes
I posted this earlier but somehow it got out of sync. So do not worry, you have seen this post before.

I saw these birds during an outing at the local Hashawha Nature Center. I knew from previous summers that the Baltimore Orioles were nesting in the trees at the nature center but this was the first time I saw the Orchard Orioles.

The Baltimore Oriole has a black head and back with an bright orange rump and underparts. And the wing is orange and black. The Baltimore Oriole is the state bird of Maryland. The Baltimore Oriole can be attracted to feeders with oranges or grape jelly, they also like the sugar water feeders.

The Orchard Oriole is a brick orange color on its underparts and coverts and has white in the wings.

I love both the Baltimore Oriole and the Orchard Orioles, they are gorgeous birds with pretty colors. The females look more yellowish in color.

I hope you enjoyed my Orioles and post.
To see more beautiful birds check out Springman's World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes.
Thanks to Springman for hosting World Bird Wednesday and thanks to Michelle the host of Nature Notes.
I also appreciate your visits and comment, have a great day and happy birding.

Birds & Blooms

I am linking up my Birds & Bloom post to Today's Flowers and   Mosaic Monday   and Our World Tuesday

These are some of the current blooms I have in my yard this week. I have been enjoying the hummingbirds and will miss them when they migrate south. My male hummer has already left and I am seeing the female and the juveniles.

Above Crepe Myrtle, impatiens, Ruby-throated hummingbird, American Goldfinch and the hibiscus.

The female has taken over the duties of being the guardian of my hummingbird feeders. She is chasing away some of the other hummers that enter her domain.

My Goldfinches still have their bright yellow colors, they are one of my year round birds.

The impatiens are looking beautiful and was a good choice of an annual for our garden.

The Gray Catbirds are a summer visitor to my yard and a breeding bird in Maryland. They also should be heading south soon.

Above morning glories, Gray Catbird,  butterfly bush, hibiscus and a White-breasted Nuthatch

The butterfly bushes have been beautiful this season. Attracting many different species of butterflies to my yard.

The Crepe Myrtle is really growing tall and has pretty pink blossoms.

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

Thanks for stopping by to see my post and thanks to the hosting group at Luiz's Today's Flowers and  Mary the host of Mosaic Monday and to the host of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy. I wish everyone a safe and HAPPY week ahead. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Skywatching locally

Hello,  I am linking up with Skywatch Friday.

These are a few scenes and shots of the sky from around my yard and neighborhood.

This cloud above reminds me of cotton candy.

One of my cute Chipping Sparrows. I will be sad to see my summer birds leaving soon, they will probably start heading south soon. I have not seen the male hummingbird lately only the female and the youngins.

A small sliver of the moon in a pretty blue sky.

The Turkey and Black Vultures are always hanging around. In fact they should be very happy soon, I believe deer hunting will be starting on Sept 15 on the reservoir property. They will be well fed by the hunters.

I like the tops of these pretty clouds.

Sunset at our lake.

I love this pink reflection of the clouds on the lake.

I hope you enjoyed my day and skies.
To see more beautiful skies from around the world please visit: Skywatch Friday.
Thanks to Sylvia and Sandy for hosting Skywatch Friday!. Thank you for stopping by to see my post. I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pigeon Guillemot

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

For my Wild bird Wednesday I am going back to Oregon. I wanted to show some more shots of the Pigeon Guillemot that we saw along the Oregon coast. I believe I already mentioned in a previous post that the Pigeon Guillemot was a lifer for me. The Pigeon Guillemot can be found from the coast of California to Alaska.

The two shots above were taken from inside the Sea Lions Cave looking out. The Pigeon Guillemot has pretty bright red feet. My guide book calls the color vermilion. For some reason Vermilion reminds me of the flycatcher I saw in Belize.

 The breeding adult has a velvety black plumage, white wing coverts and pretty red feet.  I love their pretty feet. The underwing coverts are also white.

I had some great views from inside the cave looking out at all the Pigeon Guillemots and the Cormorants on the rocks.

I saw the Pigeon Guillemots all along the Oregon coastline. These two were right outside our hotel. They probe kelp beds and vegetation for its prey.

Above you can see the Pigeon Guillemots head before it enter its little hole in the side of the cliff. I believe this was a nesting spot.

I do not think this bird was worried about reading the sign.

This was the view from inside the cave looking out toward the Heceta Head lighthouse. On this day, I was actually thrilled to pick up another lifer which was actually inside the Sea Lion Caves. But, that will be another post.

To see more wonderful birds and nature scenes please visit : Wild Bird Wednesday  and  Nature Notes.

Thanks to Stewart the host of Wild Bird Wednesday and to Michelle the host of Nature Notes. Also, thanks for stopping by to see my post and birds. Hope the rest of your week is a happy one.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Shenandoah Nat'l Park

I am linking up our day trip to Shenandoah Nat'l  Park with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday

On Saturday, hubby and went on a daytrip to Shenandoah Nat'l Park. We hiked on the Limberlost Trail, checked out the Big Meadows and enjoyed the BBQ festival at the Skyland lodge. And of course I can not go anywhere without looking for the birds. I was happy with our hike on the Limberlost trail. I came across the Hoded Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Black & White Warblers, Blue-headed Vireo's, Tufted Titmouse, Chickadees, Cedar Waxwings and some Juncos. At the big meadows I saw a few Eastern Bluebirds.

A view of the Shenandoah valley from one of the overlooks.

A few of the scenes from the Limberlost trail. A cute deer and one of my favorite birds the Hooded Warbler. A Monarch butterfly and some wildflowers.

The Hooded Warbler seen on the Limberlost Trail.

We were happy to have lunch at the Skyland BBQ  and to walk around the festival. They were playing some Bluegrass music while we were there.

Some scenes from the Skyland festival, hubby enjoyed a smores with chocolate chip cookies, marshmellows and the Hershey's chocolate. A swallowtail butterfly, Cedar Waxwing and an Eastern Bluebird.

Eastern Bluebird

I hope you enjoyed my Shenandoah visit and photos.
To see more wonderful photos and mosaics please visit Mosaic Monday  and Our World Tuesday.

Thanks to Mary of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.
Also, thank you for stopping by and for the nice comments. Your visits are always appreciated. Have a safe and happy week ahead.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Birds, butterflies and blooms

I am linking up with Fiona's Green Day and Misty Dawn's Camera Critters and Today's Flowers

These are some shots from around my yard and a pretty female Orchard Oriole. I was a happy birder to see the Orchard Oriole show up in my yard one day.

The female looks like a larger size Goldfinch, 2 inches larger and  the beak is a little different. It has the white wing bars and is a summer bird for my area.

Another day I saw this same bird or another one just like chasing a crow across my yard. I have a feeling they could have been nesting nearby or it was protecting it babies.

My butterfly bushes are great for attracting the butterflies. This Tiger Swallowtail is a common butterfly seen in my yard.

I am pretty sure this is a Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly.

My Goldie girl  at the lake, she has had another haircut and is looking more like a yellow lab than a golden retriever.

My Black-eyed Susans are looking especially pretty this year. It is the state flower of Maryland. I am hoping to link up with Today's Flowers. Which has been on a break and will be starting back up this weekend on the 18th. I hope, I missed the gorgeous flowers.

These are a couple of my trumpet vine flowers, they grow on what hubby and I call the monster on our deck. It seems the  hummingbirds love the flowers. They are a great natural nectar for the hummers. I have watched the hummer almost get lost inside one of these large tube flowers.

To see more cute critters please visit Camera Critters and Green Day and Today's Flowers

Special thanks to the wonderful host Fiona of Green Day, Misty of Camera Critters and the M. Luiz of Today's Flowers.

I hope you enjoyed my critter post and flowers. Thanks for stopping by, i hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.

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...