Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates..Have a happy holiday and weekend.

I am linking up with NF Winged   and  Skywatch Friday 

I just wanted to say how thankful I am for my family and friends and my wonderful blogging friends. I am thankful for simple pleasures I enjoy doing like skywatching and birding..



The Wild Turkey is the largest gamebird in North America, they live in the woods and spend their days foraging food like acorns, seeds and berries. They are covered in dark feathers to help them blend in with the woodlands.




 Did you know Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the Wild Turkey the national bird of the United States..I do prefer the Bald Eagle as our National Bird. I am hoping these turkeys have been pardoned..now run and hide turkeys.











 Hubby and I pulled over into a parking to catch this sky, one of my simple pleasures is enjoying sunrise and sunsets. I will also be enjoying  having my family over for Thanksgiving dinner and some yummy desserts like my Derby Pie requested every year. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and I wish everyone a safe and happy long weekend.

 Thanks for visiting my post and  blog and I always appreciate your comments.
To see more pretty skies from around the world please visit  Skywatch Friday
and to see more of the winged critters check out NF Winged

Thanks to Sylvia, Yogi  and Sandy for hosting Skywatch Friday! Thanks to Monica the host of NF Winged.  




Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Red-Shouldered Hawk

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

November 26, 2013

These shots are from this past Sunday, as Winnie the Pooh would say it was a blustery day.  The cold wind and temperatures were enough to keep me inside the house most of the day.  I did run out to the deck to fill the feeders and birdbath and then run back inside to get warm.



After filling the feeders I was looking out my dining room window when I noticed the hawk, it was perched on the top of a bare Devil's Walking stick plant. Most of my smart birds all flew for cover and a few brave birds were still visiting the feeders on my deck.


The hawk is sitting just above my driveway and it  watched a Carolina Wren fly under one of our cars.  In the winter these hawks are known to prey on feeder birds.  I am glad my feeder birds have a lot of schrubs and places to hide.


This White-Throated Sparrow was perched among the tangled branches of my weeping cherry tree. I think the sparrow felt protected. Sorry, these shots were taken from inside and looking out my dining room window.


One time, I walked out on my deck hoping to spook the hawk away but it only flew to another tree in the yard.


The adult Red-Shouldered Hawk have brown heads and a reddish chest and pale bellies. I am pretty sure with the size of this hawk it was a female. 

 Thanks for visiting and for the nice comments.

Join in and post your birdies and to see more beautiful and wonderful bird photos please visit:
 Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Michelle's  Nature Notes.  Thanks to our host Michelle our host Stewart.  Happy Birding and have a wonderful week!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Mexico lifers

  I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday 

November 24, 2013

First, just in case I do not "see" you before Thursday.... Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 

Today my post for November is up at BIRDING IS FUN   I would love if you could visit me there. Just click on the link above. I have posted a New Mexico trip report.



Today was the first time I did two posts in one day. The 24th of each month is my scheduled post for Birding is fun and it just worked out on a day I also do my Mosaic Monday post. So I tried to associate my Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday post with my Birding is Fun entry. So here I am just sharing my New Mexico lifers. I was able to see 14 new birds during my vacation to New Mexico and they are included in the mosaics below. These two posts will be my final posts on my New Mexico vacation. I hope I did not make everyone tired of seeing my vacation photos.


The Sage Thrasher, Pyrrhuloxia, Lark Bunting, Greater Roadrunner, Canyon Towhee and the pretty Gambel's Quail. I know I have shown some of these birds on previous post but there are a couple of new birds. The top middle shot was another bird I was looking forward to seeing on my trip the Pyrrhuloxia, I believe it is the female, well known for its crest and yellow beak. This bird is similar to our Cardinals.



Above are the Lesser Goldfinch, Western Grebe, Cave Swallows, Say's Phoebe, Ladder-backed Woodpecker and Least Sandpiper. The middle right photo is the Ladder-backed Woodpecker with its Zebra like stripes across the back and it is similar to the Downy Woodpecker.


I realized I left out my lifer the Red-Naped Sapsucker....So I am sharing a separate photo. It is a cutie and deserves the special attention.  Sorry for so many repeats, I promise this is the end.


On my Birding is fun post, I listed my lifers along with a lot of my other bird sightings and the places they were seen. I did a lot of research on the internet and on EBIRD as to where I could find new birds and places that are known to be birding hotspots.


My New Mexico Lifers:
Black Phoebe
Canyon Towhee
Cave Swallow
Gambel's Quail
Greater Roadrunner
Ladder-Backed Woodpecker
Lark Bunting
Least Sandpiper
Lesser Goldfinch
Pyrrhuloxia
Red-Naped Sapsucker
Sage Thrasher
Say's Phoebe
Western Grebe

Now that this trip has ended, I am now researching where our next vacation spot may be and what birds I can see on my next vacation. 
As always, I hope you enjoy my post and thanks for visiting my blog. I always appreciate your comments.

Join in on the fun and for more wonderful photos please visit  Mosaic Monday and more
 from  Our World Tuesday

 Thanks to our host: Mary our host of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia, Sandy and Jennifer.  I wish everyone a happy week!

Birding is Fun_Nov 24

  I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday 

November 24, 2013

First, just in case I do not "see" you before Thursday.... Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 

Today my post for November is up at BIRDING IS FUN   I would love if you could visit me there. Just click on the link above.






If you visit my BIRDING IS FUN  I have posted a New Mexico trip report.

As always, I hope you enjoy my post and thanks for visiting my blog. I always appreciate your comments.

Join in on the fun and for more wonderful photos please visit  Mosaic Monday and more
 from  Our World Tuesday

 Thanks to our host: Mary our host of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia, Sandy and Jennifer.  I wish everyone a happy week!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shenandoah Nat'l Park

November 23, 2013

Linking up Camera Critters and I'd-Rather-b-birdin  and Scenic Weekends
I hope you are joining in and posting your birds and critters.

I wish everyone in the USA a very  Happy Thanksgiving!

 I thought I would share the daytrip hubby and I took to Shenandoah Nat'l Park and the skyline drive on Nov 3. We missed the peak time for Shenandoah's  fall colors because we were vacationing in New Mexico. But, we had to give it a try and see what we could just for the day. We took our usual walks along the Limberlost trail and on the Appalachian trail.


It was a windy day, so the birds were hunkered down. This Hermit Thrush was the only bird we saw in the open. I did hear lots of Juncos, Kinglets, Titmouse, WT SParrows and Red-Bellied and Downy woodpeckers.


Hermit Thrush..adults are mainly brownish on the upperparts with reddish tails. The underparts are white with darkish spots. They have pink legs and a white eye-ring. They forage on the forest floor, eating insects and berries.


There are actually two Black bears in this shot, you can just BEARLY make out the smaller cub on the ground and  behind the fallen tree. During our Shenandoah visit we saw a total of three bears. These two and another one in the woods along the road.




A view from the Appalachian trail..we still managed to see some pretty colors.


A couple of White-tailed deer seen from along the road.


Some more of Shenandoah's colors. I hope you enjoyed our visit to Shenandoah Nat'l Park. 

 Thanks for stopping by and  I wish everyone a happy weekend.
 To see more beautiful photos and cute critters
please visit:  Camera Critters and I'd-Rather-B-Birdin. Thanks to the gracious hosts Misty Dawn of Camera Critters and to Anni of I'd Rather-B-birdin. and thanks to Gemma our host of Scenic Weekends

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sunrise at Bosque Del Apache

I am linking up with NF Winged   and  Skywatch Friday 

 November 21, 2013

Hubby and I were up early on our second morning,  we headed to the Bosque Del Apache before sunrise. It was well worth getting up early to see these beautiful skies and reflections. The birds of course were an added bonus for me.



The reflections at the marsh were beautiful.


Throw in some ducks, snow geese and sandhill cranes and the day just gets better.



For my NF Winged part of my post,  I am sharing some more Bosque Del Apache birds like the Grebe above.


Not the best or even a clear shot, but I love the Black Phoebe and the colors in the shot above.


A pretty White-Crowned  Sparrow with the blue sky.


I took a gazillion sunrise photos, I could not decide which one I like better. They are some of my all time favorite sunrise photos. I hope you all like them too.


 Thanks for visiting my post and  blog and I always appreciate your comments.

  Happy Skywatching everyone!

To see more pretty skies from around the world please visit  Skywatch Friday
and to see more of the winged critters check out NF Winged

Thanks to Sylvia, Yogi  and Sandy for hosting Skywatch Friday! Thanks to Monica the host of NF Winged.   I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gambel's Quail lifer

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

November 19, 2013

I am sharing another lifer from my  New Mexico trip..it is the Gambel's Quail..We saw this bird at the Bosque Del Apache wildlife refuge.  Hubby and I were taking a break near the visitor's center when these birds popped up out of the brush.  The Gambel's Quail is easily recognized by their top knots and the scaly plumage on their undersides. The males have copper feathers on the top of their heads, black faces with white stripes above their eyes. I think they are very pretty and unusual birds, I was happy to add them to my life list.


We saw the Gambel's Quail near a cute gazebo with a bench, were hubby and I were sitting.  I could hear them first before seeing them and then all of sudden a group of the Quail appeared.


Once in awhile, one of the Gambel's Quail would hop onto this log which was a little more in the open for photos.  It habitat is the desert regions like where we were visiting in New Mexico. The Gambel's Quail is named after William Gambel a 19th century naturalist and explorer of the Southwestern United States.

I hope you enjoyed my pretty Gambel's Quail, it was another one of my favorite sightings in New Mexico. Thanks for visiting and for the nice comments.

Join in and post your birdies and to see more beautiful and wonderful bird photos please visit:
 Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Michelle's  Nature Notes.  Thanks to our host Michelle our host Stewart.  Happy Birding and have a wonderful week!



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Eagle Day

  I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday 

November 17, 2013

November is a prime time to view the Bald Eagles at the Conowingo Dam, Susquehanna River. Hubby and I decided later in the day to go for a visit to Conowingo Dam to see the Eagles and take a walk on the trail. We had no idea it was the inaugural Conowingo Eagles Day. A kick off to the 2013 Bald Eagle Photo Contest.  It was a crowded day on the Susquehanna River, it seems 425 photographers registered for this contest. Then count hundreds of other visitors and birders like me that come just to see the eagles. The eagles do not disappoint they put on quite the show.






Hundreds of people were there before us, causing the parking to be full and shuttles were provided to take people down to the dam viewing area. We decided to forego the shuttle and drive further on to take a walk along the Susquehanna trail and come back to see the eagles later when the crowds died down.


During previous years, hundreds of eagles can be seen during one visit. Last year around Thanksgiving Day I believe the count was well over a hundred eagles seen. There were on the ground, in the air and in the trees above us. These shots are from our most recent visit on 11/09/2013.



170 species of birds can be seen around the Susquehanna River and dam area. The Bald Eagle can be seen year round. There is a Great Blue Heron Rookery and a colony of DB Cormorants. 11 species of gulls can be found around the dam area from mid October thru mid March.



I hope you enjoyed seeing my Conowingo Eagles, my photos can not be compared to the photos of professional photographers that were participating in the Eagle Day contest. I was there mainly to see the eagles and to take photos for fun and for my blog.


As always, I hope you enjoy my post and thanks for visiting my blog. I always appreciate your comments.

Join in on the fun and for more wonderful photos please visit  Mosaic Monday and more
 from  Our World Tuesday

 Thanks to our host: Mary our host of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia, Sandy and Jennifer.  I wish everyone a happy week!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

More Bosque Del Apache NWR

November 16, 2013

Linking up Camera Critters and I'd-Rather-b-birdin  
I hope you are joining in and posting your birds and critters.

Can you believe half of November is over already? Gee, the days are just flying by. Pretty soon it will be Thanksgiving, time to prefer for the big family Thanksgiving day dinner.


 Above are some of the birds we saw while visiting the Bosque Del Apache wildlife refuge: the large photo is the Sandhill Cranes, top right is the Roadrunner, Gambel's Quail, White-Crowned Sparrow, Bottom left is a Marsh Wren, Snow Geese, female Northern Harrier and a couple of Killdeer.


 Neat reflection of the Killdeer.


 A Sora not far from the boardwalk trail. The Sora is a small waterbird, breeds in marshy areas.


Pepe le Pew thankfully running away from us, as we headed back to our car.


 Cute bunny also seen near the boardwalk trail.


Female Northern Harrier showing off its owlish looking face. The male Harrier is grey and is called the Grey Ghost. I hope you enjoy my birds and critters from the Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge.

Thanks for stopping by and  I wish everyone a happy weekend.
 To see more beautiful photos and cute critters
please visit:  Camera Critters and I'd-Rather-B-Birdin. Thanks to the gracious hosts Misty Dawn of Camera Critters and to Anni of I'd Rather-B-birdin.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Birding the Bosque Del Apache NWR

I am linking up with NF Winged   and  Skywatch Friday 

It is that time for Skywatch Friday, I hope to see everyone sharing their beautiful skies and for sharing some winged creatures for NF Winged.

 Since being home from our vacation, my working, turning back the clocks, captures of  the sky and birds has been just about non existent. So,  I am still sharing vacation photos.  On this day we were visiting the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife refuge. We spent two nights in a town near by the refuge called Socorro.  Staying close to the refuge allowed us time to be at the refuge during the sunset/sunrises.  The first evening we watched the Snow Geese lift off from the field and land on the marsh and then the Sandhill Cranes would start their show. It was just fun being there watching the flocks of geese, cranes, blackbirds and all the ducks.


The sun setting on a field of Red-Wing Blackbird and Sandhill Cranes.


Then the Snow Geese arrived letting everyone know they were on their way, the Sandhill Cranes on the ground would try blending in with their sounds. It was quite the show.



This is a shot of the sky behind us as we watched the show at the marsh.  On the bottom left you can see some of the train cars that derailed just  a short distanced from the wildlife refuge. I am so glad there was not a chemical spill from the derailment. We were happy that the entrance to the refuge was before this accident and the dreadful road closed sign.


A few Sandhill Cranes and some Northern Pintails in the background.


We watched the sky layered with clouds turn colors.


We listened as the geese flew by honking. The sky looked pretty with a layer of blue above the colorful trees a hint of pretty pink sky.


 Thanks for visiting my post and  blog and I always appreciate your comments.

  Happy Skywatching everyone!

To see more pretty skies from around the world please visit  Skywatch Friday
and to see more of the winged critters check out NF Winged

Thanks to Sylvia, Yogi  and Sandy for hosting Skywatch Friday! Thanks to Monica the host of NF Winged.   I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Greater Roadrunner

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

After my New Mexico trip I can knock another of my TOP TEN most want to see birds off of my list. It is the Greater Roadrunner.  A cool bird and another New Mexico lifer, YES!

I actually saw my first Roadrunner the day before this sighting. But the bird ran across the street and into the brush so fast, I could not get his photo. On this day at the Bosque Del Apache NWR the Roadrunner came out of the bushes and ran across a large open field.



These photos are thanks to dear hubby, he was sitting on the right side of the car for these shots. Hubby took a few shots of the Roadrunner as he ran across the field. What a cool sight!


 The Greater Roadrunner is a long-legged bird in the Cuckoo family. The adult has a bushy crest and a long, thick dark bill. The roadrunner has a long dark tail, dark on the head and back. They have four toes, two facing front and two face backward.  They feed in insects, fruits and small reptiles. The Roadrunner can run at speeds up to 20 MPH.



It seems that after I see a bird that I have really wanted to see, they keep appearing. During the rest of our trip, I started seeing more Roadrunners. Of course most of the time running across the road in front of the car. Sometimes they were just a blur. But cool sightings. 

I hope you enjoyed my Roadrunner, it was one of my favorite sightings in New Mexico. Thanks for visiting and for the nice comments.

Join in and post your birdies and to see more beautiful and wonderful bird photos please visit:
 Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Michelle's  Nature Notes.  Thanks to our host Michelle our host Stewart.  Happy Birding and have a wonderful week!

Saturday's Critters #201

Welcome to Saturday's Critters! If you love critters like I do and also like to blog about them and take critter photos this is where...