Category Archives: birdwatching

Bird Watching On Vacation

I love watching for birds while traveling on vacation.

Of course, snapping a picture out the window of a car moving at 70 miles per hour doesn’t work.  So, while I spotted 3 pheasants in the fields of Iowa, no pictures of them.

Perhaps a funny story about my sighting instead?

Me, gazing out window: I think I just saw 2 prairie chickens!!

Husband, driving: You probably saw pheasants.

Me: Well, they looked like chickens and had some red on them.

Husband: Male pheasants have a red ring.

Me: Looks up the birds on the bird app.  Prairie chickens aren’t a choice.  Stubborn as I am though…went ahead and googled “prairie chicken pictures”

Me, a few minutes later: Yep, I saw pheasants.

(And apparently, I need some prairie chicken identification skills).

A few more minutes pass….and…

Me: I saw another pheasant!

Now…on to…

Birds spotted in the Duluth, Minnesota Area:

Lots of Seagulls! And loons…harder to photograph as they seemed to always be flying over head or a way out in the waters…


Now, I’ll need some help as I forgot my bird books and the phone signal didn’t want to cooperate much.

Spotted these in the lake near Two Harbors, Minnesota: And found this pretty bird diving under the waters of the Gooseberry Falls State Park:

Along the shores of a smaller Minnesota lake:

Red-winged Blackbirds

Let’s pretend abstract photos were my intention here…

And flying overhead:

In addition to the many seagulls and occasional loons I spotted flying overhead, I also spotted geese. Fairly certain they were Canada geese. ****

Also spotted but not pictured because they were mostly sighted from the car:  turkey vultures, tons more red-winged blackbirds along our route, pretty sure a bald eagle flew over the car near a lake just outside of St. Paul, blue herons, robins, and sparrows.

(And while not bird-watching related, I also spotted 30 different state license plates plus 1 Canada plate!)

Since we’ve been home, I’ve mostly noticed grackles (think the nest in our front Maple tree belongs to them), robins, sparrows, and I’ve heard the cooing of a dove though I’ve not seen it.

Linking up my post with The Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni from I’d Rather B Birdin’. Be sure to check out her site for lots of beautiful bird pictures!


Baby Robins Leave The Nest

I’m a bit behind on my bird-watching posts.  These are older photos of our baby robins as they left the nest back in mid-May.

I enjoyed watching them so much!  Please forgive some of the less than stellar photos as I took many through our backdoor so as not to disturb the process.  Often, a certain little gray cat complained loudly as I attempted my shots as well.

Leaving The Nest:

One day I looked out the door to see only two little birds remaining in the nest.  And one clearly considering if he should fly away as well.

Don’t leave me, brother! Mom stayed near and tried to offer a bit of encouragement along with their lunch. Meanwhile, I spotted the two brave little birdies, thankful we kept the now quite annoyed little gray cat indoors for the day.

The first one, perched itself on top of the brush pile. The second, ever toying with danger had our little gray cat been out there, decided to sit on the fence next to our deck. That’s a deck railing you see to the right of the robin in the pictures above and below. Later, this one flew off and smacked right into the side of the neighbor’s house! A few bruises no doubt but otherwise okay and off to a tree branch later.

I missed (My own family, cat included, insisted on a bit of attention that took me from my post at the back door.) the take-off flight and where brother went but when I looked out later, there was only one little bird still left in the nest. Forgive the super blurry photo that follows but he’s considering leaving… Did the final baby bird take the leap of faith of fly away? We went out to dinner (I think this may have been Mother’s Day) and upon our return home…

Look who left the nest! What, I knew I could do it all along! Still, this fellow didn’t wander too far. I never did spot his siblings again,probably nearby but out of sight. However, the next night, he sat on the swing set waiting for mama… Oh, there you are, mama! Still taking care of me even though I’m no longer living at home. Isn’t that what mama does? Worry about their babies no matter how far from home they venture? **********

Have you ever had the pleasure of watching baby birds in a nest?

Linking up to The Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni of I’d Rather B Birdin’.  If you love birds and amazing bird photos, be sure to go check out her blog!

Randomness From A Busy Week In May

Sharing a few random moments from my week with today’s Five on Friday post. And yes, I know it’s Saturday. Let’s just get straight to it.

ONE: The World Is Green Again!

I mowed our lawn last Sunday and by Friday, it looked like I hadn’t bothered. Complete with these little white flowers randomly appearing.  The creeping Charlie (the little purplish ones) also gives parts of our lawn a lovely lavender hue. Time to get out the lawn mower again but not today as thunderstorms roll through this morning.

TWO: Teacher Appreciation Week

Worked a few days this week and while they were busy and a bit chaotic (standard school days in May), I felt so loved. I’m still not used to being on this end of teacher appreciation week. My “haul” pictured below. The nicest note from one of our regular teachers, a Starbucks gift card from the parent organization, a coaster (back says if teachers were flowers, I’d pick you). And not pictured, a super hero themed school shirt. 

THREE: Growing Like Weeds

I’m having the best time watching the baby robins in their nest. They seem to get bigger every time I look out the back door.  They keep their mama busy. We’re hungry! Again. And now, we’re getting our feathers!

FOUR: Another Wren House Hunting

Caught this little wren checking out the wren house in our yard!

FIVE: Returning Flowers

Last Sunday, I stopped and picked up a hanging basket of my little blue flowers. And while out “chasing” birds around the backyard, I noticed the hydrangea I “rescued” from the rack late last summer, survived the winter. As well as a yellow (?we planted purple ones) Iris bud. And with a bit of overnight rain… A yellow Iris!


Along with working a bit last week, my youngest son also had his last band concert of the year plus a reunion picnic for the elementary gifted program, my oldest son had a rather tough Chemistry exam, and my husband traveled out-of-town to attend the funeral of one of his former classmate’s parents.

And I may or may not have sneak off by myself to go see Avengers: Infinity War last night. Definitely, not a movie I’d recommend for the younger ones. My teenager wouldn’t see it again with me and I found it intense as an adult.

Looks as though the sun’s decided to make an afternoon appearance around here so it’s time for me to get outside and inhale the just rained smell and take in all the lovely green hues of the world.

Hope your weekend blooms with happiness!

(Linking this post up with both Five On Friday hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog as well as the Bird D’Pot hosted by I’d Rather B Birdin’)


Spring Portraits

Have I mentioned May is a super busy month? Have I mentioned our weather has (finally) turned and spring is here. Posting on this blog must take a backseat to days with sunny blue skies and warm weather.

However, I decided to share a very late Five On Friday post combined with a bird-watching post tonight. These portraits of spring fill my heart with joy. Maybe they will fill your heart as well.

ONE: The Robin Family

They do have more than one mouth to feed….

TWO: A Few Blooms

First, white flowers on a couple of not so stinky trees. Much prettier than the Bradford pear blooms.  Can’t remember the name of the tree with these first blooms. The second is a dogwood.

Make a wish!

THREE: More New Neighbors!

A new neighbor moved in next door to the robin family today. They tried moving in on Thursday and weren’t welcomed. Today, they were tolerated.

I found myself elated as a family of one of my favorite little birds worked away. Only one stood still long enough for a quick portrait. Hello, little house wren!

FOUR: This Thrush Seemed To Be Checking Out The Neighborhood As Well

I “chased” him around the front and back yard all morning before settling on thinking he’s a Swainson’s Thrush. Please, let me know if you think he’s a different type. Not even sure these are both the same bird. The bird in the second photo seemed a bit smaller than the first one. So nice to see a variety of birds around the yard again.

FIVE: A Few Other Creatures Wandering About The Yards

And then, there were bunnies…I caught this bunny bathing this morning. Not pictured, later I spotted a baby bunny hopping not far from the tree. He was in the underbrush well before I could go back and grab the camera again. It seems this squirrel may have finally figured how to forage for his own food. Maybe. And of course, the little gray cat continues to not be amused by the time I spend taking photos. ****

Has spring arrived for you yet? Linking up very late to Five on Friday hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog as well as with The Bird Depot hosted by I’d Rather Be Birdin’. Be sure to go visit both wonderful places!

Sunday to Saturday (A Belated Five on Friday)

Since I work most Fridays, my Five on Fridays tend to be belated and show up on Saturdays.

A bit of a random post this morning. I’m a bit tired after Murphy and his aggravating law showed up for an unannounced visit.  Not a lot of photos either and they are a bit random as well.

Sunday And Monday:

On yet another snowy Sunday in April, I opted to make hot chocolate using all the fancy dressings: whipped cream, mini chocolate chips, and left-over Easter sprinkles. 

I also took photos of my groceries thinking I’d share what I bought in a post.  Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom does this in her grocery haul posts. Are you a snoop like me wondering about the things you see the people buy at the grocery store? Sometimes I wonder if the person surveying my groceries can tell I’m attempting to purchase healthy items (mostly for me) and trying to feed two teenage boys and keep my junk-food loving family content all at the same time?

On Monday, the outside world no longer looked like this:

These are Grackles, I think. The tree is a block over so the camera is at its zoom limits to see.

However, Monday night our phones buzzed with the news that my husband’s grandfather fell. He’s back in the hospital.  This time in the ICU. The diagnosis of two broken vertebrae and pneumonia did not sound optimistic.


My husband and his brother opted to travel to Oklahoma on Tuesday. I stayed here and juggled working with the school runs.   I arrived late to work on Tuesday (Traffic! Ugh! And…don’t let me jump on my soapbox about the need of some car-line parents to watch their 7th and 8th graders walk 100 feet into a building…please, keep it moving! Some of us have places to be.)

Tuesday, the weather began to improve.  On Wednesday, I broke the coffee cup pictured above. Knocked the handle off of it. Super-glued it back on though.

The Carolina Wren popped out of hiding! Actually, I spotted two wrens but only managed to capture one with the camera. My fuzzy gray assistant kept bumping the camera and switching the angle. Some sort of cat petting emergency.  This wren sang a beautiful song of spring! Wednesday evening, my husband called. They moved his grandpa out of the ICU, no pneumonia although he did break a rib. He’s still in the hospital but recovering.  Quite miraculous!  He and his brother were coming home on Thursday.


Tiny signs of spring in our backyard

Work days for me. Thankfully, my work is full of understanding and compassionate people who adjusted their schedules a bit since I now had to arrive later than my promised time.

We had a wonderful outside day at preschool cleaning up the playground and surrounding area.  And my husband arrived home in time to go with me to our tax appointment (Something he usually handles that I dreaded doing on my own).

Friday (yesterday), another day spent mostly outside at work enjoying the wonderful weather. It felt like summer!  And, I hardly noticed any bad luck with it being Friday the 13th, quite the opposite for me.

Today, we’re full-circle back to winter weather with a chance of snow showers tonight and tomorrow.  Yet, over all it’s been a good week.

What kinds of ups and downs did your week bring you?


Linking this post to both Five on Friday hosted by The F.A.S.T. blog as well as The Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.  Both great blogs to go visit!


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