Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Birding the NCR trail

Last weekend hubby and I enjoyed a brisk walk along the NCR bike trail not far from our house. Usually in the afternoon I do not see many birds but on this outing we saw the Carolina Wren and was surprised to see about 10 Eastern Bluebirds flying fast over the trail and up the hill next to us. I missed getting photos of the beautiful bluebirds. The trail follows the Gunpowder River and is fast moving so only parts of it were frozen. 

These are some of the shots I took while on our walk and joining in on 2sweetnsaxy's meme Watery Wednesday and Susan's Outdoor Wednesday.




Carolina Wren  is a resident in the eastern half of the USA. Rufous colored upperparts and orange buff on its belly. It has a striking white eyebrow and a long bill.






Goldie Girl always enjoys our walks, I think sometimes she stops and looks around for the birds too.


Happy Birding and I hope you enjoyed our walk and thanks for stopping by. Clock on my links to visit more Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday posts from all over.

In case I do not get the chance again I want to wish everyone a very HEALTHY and HAPPY NEW YEARS.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My favorite birds of 2010

I thought I would do a post showing my favorite bird sightings of 2010. They are not all lifers for me but just ones that I enjoyed seeing. I have to say most of the favorites were from my trip to Costa Rica. The Toucans were so cute.

Three different kind sof toucans in my mosaic are the Collared Aracari, Chestnut Mandbiled and the Keel Billed Toucan.

Parrots on the grounds at our Arenal hotel in Costal Rica

Another Costa Rica bird the Montezuma Oropendola,  very cool and different looking bird.


This Barred owl was not a lifer but it was cool sight to see it out in the open.



The Clapper Rail sighting was another favorite, I was excited to even see one out in the open they are very timid birds.

This Bombay Hook Blue Grosbeak was seen at Bombay Hook another one of my favorite birds.
The Eastern Bluebirds nesting in my yard are always a treat to see.



 This Chincoteague Egret eating a snake was an amazing and cool sight to see

One of my all time favorite sightings is of the Little Blue heron below and on my header shot.


This is another Littel Blue below.


Now I am looking forward to another great year and adding to my list of lifers. My life list is at No. 251 and my last two lifers were the Golden Crowned Sparrow seen yesterday here in Maryland and the Wilson Snipe NO.250.


I am linking up with Misty Dawn's Camera Critters  thanks Misty Dawn for hosting. I am also linking this post to Sally's Blue Monday and Drowsey Monkeys Mellow Yellow Monday and Mary's Mosaic Monday

Thanks to our host and  for stopping by to see my post.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Captive Birds or Wild

For this weeks Camera Critters I have some photos from my archives. These shots were taken at the Sealife park on Oahu, Hawaii. While looking thru my old photos I noticed I had taken some shots of birds before I was into birding. Now I need to id these birds. They have beaks similiar to the Brown Booby I saw while in the Caribbean. Since I saw them at the Sealife Park I am not sure if they are native birds to Hawaii or captive birds. Or maybe both captive and natve?  Anyone know?



I had help wiht the id of the two birds below...I am told they are the Masked Boobies. What a name!



Another critter seen at the Sealife park is the dolphin. I am sure these are dolphins from Pacific which are a little different than our Atlantic dolphin. I loved the dolphins but would much rather see them in the wild then in captivity.





These are my critters and to see more go and visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Birding the mudflats

Following the lead of some posters to my listserve I was able to pick up a lifer- the Wilson'sSnipe at the Paper Mills Flats.



The mud flats is a great place for the birding, in the last month reports of a Golden Eagle and a Black headed Gull have been seen at the flats. I was thrilled to finally just to see my Wilson's Snipe. I have been wanting to see the Wilson's Snipe for years and the bird was always hard for me to find. On this day there were twelve of them together, great sighting for me. Sorry, my excitement over seeing the snipe might seem boring to some.

The Wilson's Snipe below they were a good distance away. But with my binoc's I was able to id them. Sorry, for the awful photo but since the Snipe is a lifer for me I just had too save it.


 The Wilson's Snipe has a very long straight and dark bill. Its head and back have bold patterns in pale yellow and brown and a stripe across and near its eye. It seems that mud flats anywhere are a big attraction for birds. I assume they find a lot of food in mud flats when the water is low.


The mudflats also had a good count of ducks. After my visit at the flats I was offered a used Swarvorski scope. It was perfect timing for getting the scope to take on my Outer Banks trip. The scope really comes in handy for the birds in the distance like the ducks in the photo below.






I thought the bridge's shadow was a cool photo.

I am hooking up with Watery Wednesday, thanks to 2sweetnsaxy for hosting.
Also, thanks for stopping by to see my post.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Outside my window

For my Camera Critters these are some of my backyard birds seen from my dining room window. I like that I can see the birds from my window and not even have to go out in the cold. It has been really cold lately and we a had a little dusting of snow yesterday. My backyard birds seem to enjoy my feeders even more when there is snow on the ground.

What birds are in your yard today?


                             Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse




Male Cardinal

                                    Bluejay

Below is another common visitor to my deck and bird feeders.



These are some of my backyard birds today.  To see more cute and wonderful critters go and visit Camera Critters
Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting and thank you for stopping by to see my critters.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Birding the Hemlock Gorge

On Sunday, hubby and I took a hike around the Hemlock Gorge. This area is known for its large beautiful hemlock trees. The river that flows thru the Hemlock Gorge ends up in the top part of our reservoir. During our loop drive back to our house we stop and took a look over the bridge that is when I spotted the Hooded Merganser couple. It was a quiet day for the birds. These Hooded Mergansers were the easiest birds for me to spot. Usually I see a kingfisher in this area but it was not there on Sunday.




  The Hemlock Gorge loop trail take us past an an old cemetary where the Hoffman family are buried. The Hoffmans were the first paper makers in the state of Maryland. Mr Hoffman died in 1811. I was told the small maker stones in front are actually makers for the servants.


             The trail takes us along the river and the pretty hemlock trees.







I am linking up with 2sweetnsaxy's Watery Wednesday and Susan's Outdoor Wednesday. Thanks to these wonderful host and thanks for stopping by to see my post.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Birding Pea Island NWR

For my Camera Critters post  I have some shots of the birds and ducks I saw birding the Pea Island NWR in the Outer Banks. 

The Northern Shoveler and the Tricolored Heron were hanging out together.  The Northern Shoveler male has a green head, white breast, rusty sides and a spatulate bill.

This is not the greatest shot of the Northern Shovelers and the Tri Colored Heron, the sun was setting and the lighting was terrible.


The Pied-Billed Grebes were hanging out in the pond opposite of the Shovelers and Herons.  The Pied Billed Grebe is suppose to be shy and is known to sink out of sight when spotted but these guys stayed out in the open.


The American Coots were in the same pond as the Pied Billed Grebes. The Coots have whitish bills and swim around on ponds diving for aquatic vegetation.


This Pea Island NWR shot has various birds up close and lots more in the distance. The Egret, I believe is a Great Egret and there are some Cormorants on the Osprey nest.


On this little island we spotted an egret, tri-colored heron and a great blue heron. There are four birds on this shot can you find them all. You can click on the image for larger viewing.

I am not sure about this shorebird, it was walking along the grass near the trail





This Eastern Meadowlark was a real treat to see,  I do not get to see them often.


Below, this Yellow Rump Warbler was refusing to look at me.


I hope you enjoyed my Pea Island birds and thanks for stopping by.
To see more critters make sure you visit Misty Dawn's Camera Critters



Friday, November 26, 2010

Conowingo Eagles

My hubby and I love to go and see the Eagles at the Susquehanna River here in Maryland our latest trip was on 11/20. During the winter months hundreds of eagles can be seen perched in trees, on the electric towers, sitting on the rocks and fishing in the river. The drive for us is less than an hour but, some people drive hours to get there just to see the eagles.


To all... please have respect for the birds and wildlife.  I do believe photographers can get their great shots without having to stress the birds.


Today, I found out that there is one photographer getting closer to the eagles and other birds, scaring  them away to the disappointment of all the other birders and photographers. This photographer is crossing the line and is harassing the birds. He is kayaking out to an island to get a closer photo. This idiot has not only done this once but has been seen on various days.

On the day we were there at least thirty or more Great Blue Herons standing along the edge of the island. The island is in the middle of the Susquehanna River below the dam.


This "photographer" is the talk of various wildlife photography forums and now these wildlife photographers are taking pictures of the idiot walking on the island and in his kayak. You can do a search on flickr to see some great eagle shots and photos of this jerk in his kayak. Apparently, I am not the only person who is mad at this guy. How far will this guy go to get his photo? He is totally disgusting and obviously not a birder. I have to say that not all professional photographers are rude idiots and just uncaring to the wildlife.

 My eagles photos are not the greatest, my lens does not reach far enough to get a good shot, you can click here to see Great eagle photography.  The flight shots are awesome.


Black Vultures circling the island, these birds were perched on the tower but all took off flying at the same time.


From what I have read while the idiot is there walking on the island the birds all take off and fly away.




I love the birds and would never harass or stress birds or any animal to get a photo of them. I do not understand why some people have to get closer and closer to the wildlife. Not only are they scaring the wildlife away they are ruining the moment for other people that are there just to enjoy.

Sorry my Camera Critters post is a rant but I just need to have my say.
To see more cute critters click on my link. Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting and thanks for stopping by to see my post.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Killdeer

During our visit to the Outer Banks we stopped at the Currituck Lighthouse located in Corolla, NC. I just loved the nature trail and boardwalk on the grounds of the Lighthouse. It was at the end of this boardwalk that I saw these two Killdeer.  Usually I see them on farm land but this time the Killdeer were hanging out at the muddy area of some marshland near the trail. They are cute birds with their double breastband.




Currituck Sound

Currituck Lighthouse





This is my entry for Watery Wednesday  thanks to 2sweetnsaxy  and Outdoor Wednesday thanks to Susan for hosting this watery meme.

Thanks for stopping by and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

CC..Outer Banks birds and critter

It was great to see the shorebirds and other birds in the Outer Banks. And I even got to see a what I think is a ghost crab, or is it a hermit crab or maybe a fiddler crab?  The ducks and snow geese are migrating so we were able to see a great variety of birds.  I still have some ducks and shorebirds I need to id.

                                              I believe this one below is the Semipalmated plover, it is a cutie.





Hooded Merganser


Not sure about this one, anyone know?

The front of my unknown shorebird



A crab...are those antenna looking things their eyes?

Poor thing was trying to get away from a fish crow. It looks like it only has one big claw.




These are my some of my critters from the Outer Banks and to
 see more cute critters visit Camera Critters

Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting and thanks for stopping by to see my critter post.



Around the yard

Happy Thankful Thursday! I am sharing some of my yard bird and skies shots taking from my deck or my dining room window.  On November 18th...