Sunday, June 11, 2017

Birding at Sandy Creek Park

I decided to join the Wake Audubon bird walk at Sandy Creek Park in Durham at the last minute on a Sunday morning.  What a lovely place and quite birdy. We spotted many Great Blue Herons on the pond and in a roost atop some pines, what we can only guess was a Female Common Merganser, Wood Ducks, Mallards (to our disappointment), Red Wing Blackbirds, a Tree Swallow, but best of all, a special appearance and subsequent performance by a Prothonotary Warbler who landed in a tree right in front of us. Very nice experience and I will look forward to trying out Sandy Creek again, but next time I will remember bug spray.  I got some awesome chigger bites to remember it by. But worth it for two lifers!

Surprise Find at Home

I saw two Cedar Waxwings in the newly planted willow tree in my front yard and managed to get a photo of one before he flew off. What a treat! I've never seen one, let alone two, and never imagined I would see one in my front yard.

New Digs

Its been a couple of years since I last posted but the birding continues (albeit sporadically).  I moved from a house in the country/suburbs to another house in the country/another suburb and have gotten used to the birds that frequent my new yard with it's mostly pine tree habitat. I see flocks of species whereas I used to only see one or two specimens.  Lots of Robins, Brown Headed Nuthatch, Chipping Sparrow, Brown Headed Cowbird, House Finches, and quite a few Northern Flicker which I never saw in my previous yard. One feature of my new home is its front porch with a western exposure that sports a nice sunshade.  When rolled up, it creates a neat pocket that the house finches can't seem to resist as a nesting area.  Last year, we had five separate couples that hatched out babies in the same spot! This year as of early June, there have already been two sets of house finch broods that have hatched out! I see them everyday through my living room window. I have a 'bird's eye view" as it were.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas Birds at Lettuce Lake

Back to Florida to see the fam for Christmas and it's always good to get a little birding in.
The weather was unusually drab even for Florida in the dead of winter, but we had one lovely day at Lettuce Lake Park, one of our old haunts outside of Tampa.  The birds (and turtles and gators and tourists) were out in droves even in the middle of the afternoon.  I had some fabulous finds and bagged a few birds that I've had trouble photographing in the past.  Finally got my Roseate Spoonbill in the wild!

Hello, Northern Parula!  I hear them every time I go to Florida,
but have never been quick enough to catch one on film!

 Never been this close before to get this good a picture of a Pied Billed Grebe.

Total surprise to see this Yellow Crowned Night Heron
sitting in a tree right next to the boardwalk. That's a lifer for me!

Oh, Rosie, you're so rosy!

Many Limpkins were out and about.
AND… a BLACK Crowned Night Heron! Another lifer!
 I had misidentified this as a White Crowned Night Heron and almost overlooked him!

Birthday Birds

A birthday trip to Scotland Neck's Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park with best birding pal, G was as much fun as you can have at my age! We grow tired of hunting the birds and only seeing the usual suspects so it's nice to be guaranteed to see birds and lots of them! I took about 400 photos so I'm only choosing our favorites from the day.

The Wood Ducks are my favorites.  This photo almost looks like a painting!

I don't know what this is, but he has such an angry look about him, he became one of my favorites.

This was an Australian Crested Something. Pigeon, Pheasant, Dove?

I have no earthly idea! From Africa, I think.

Birthday girl having fun feeding the parakeets.

I should just call her the Birdwoman!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Speaking of Ducks

A weekend (non-birding) trip to Florida gained two lifers for me.

What a nice shot of Hooded Mergansers. A male, a female, and a juvenile.

I like your hoodie!

Eurasian Ring Collared Dove in McDonald's drive thru.  Gotta love Florida!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Duck Hunting

Recently I was getting my car serviced and I noticed the service manager had several ducks mounted on the wall of his office.  We had a lively discussion and he identified the birds he had hunted.  It got me thinking about doing some "hunting" of my own, only with a Nikon camera instead. Since it's duck hunting season in North Carolina, it's probably not a good idea to be out there unless you're wearing orange.  Instead, I thought I'd hunt through my photos of ducks and get a good list of the ones I've bagged.

This is a good time to give a plug for Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck, North Carolina as many of these ducks were seen there.  It's a neat place and you're guaranteed to see some birds there ; ) ha ha.

Just for the sake of brevity, I'll only list North American species here, and no geese or swans.  Or Muscovy Ducks. They can get their own post at a later date.

American Goldeneye

Blue Winged Teals at the NC Zoo


Cape Teal

Cinnamon Teal
Female Cinnamon Teal

Mr. Mallard

Northern Shelduck

Mottled Ducks, Sarasota, Florida

Lesser Scaup--a whole flock of them in the Atlantic Ocean off of Neptune Beach, Jacksonville, Florida

Red Bellied Whistling Duck, Sarasota, Florida in the canal behind my brother's house

Baer's Pochard

Pied Billed Grebe--is a Grebe considered a duck?

Tufted Duck


American Wood Duck--ain't he a beauty?

Fulvous Whistling Duck

Ringed Teal

Puna Teal
American Coot in Sarasota, Florida

Blue Winged Teal

Ring Necked Duck 
Another Northern Pintail.  I love the way he's standing. Reminds me of the children's book, "Make Way for Ducklings".

Radjah Shelduck
Puna Teal

Ringed Teal, Safari Park, Virginia

Rosy Billed Duck

Ruddy Duck

White Headed Duck