Category Archives: birdwatching

Right Across The Street: An Uncommon Sight

On Thursday, I felt a bit sad that I would only have this picture to share today.

Despite seeing this sign on my recent venture to Weston Bend State Park: 

A bit frustrating to go on a trail with a sign like this and not see a single bird! Okay, I did see a few birds flitting about really high in the trees.  Much too high to identify.  And heard a few calls as well. However, I did not photograph a single bird on my hike!

The rest of the week was busy with work and Halloween. Thursday afternoon, I opened the door to check on the little gray cat. And noticed a large bird sitting on the utility pole across the street.

I knew it was a hawk but it looked different from the Cooper’s hawks I frequently see. 

The coloring wasn’t the same. And of course, the bird moved to a street light a bit further away while I ran inside to grab the camera.  He, at least, stayed somewhat in camera range.  I ran in to see if my husband knew what kind of hawk sat on the pole. No idea. So I grabbed my phone and put the info in the bird app. 

A Red Shouldered Hawk listed as uncommon for our area!

And so back outside I ran, taking photos and sharing with any poor passing soul (waving to our mailman) about how there’s a red-shouldered hawk over there! It’s uncommon for our area! 

Occasionally, he’d swoop down and away. Then, he’d return and I’d snap a few more pictures.  Though the songbirds remained mostly silent and still, I heard a rare peep from a sparrow. One bold bird taunted the hawk. My camera wouldn’t zoom far enough to pick it up but I think it was either a Blue jay or a mockingbird. The hawk merely looked annoyed as though it were a fly on the wall.  I felt so lucky to spend my afternoon observing and photographing such a beautiful bird! 

Linking this post up with Bird Depot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’. Make sure to visit and check out all the amazing bird photos on her blog!

Birds Spotted On A Beautiful Fall Day

It’s another beautiful fall day in our area. I’m hoping to get the family out to take a walk at a local park a bit later this afternoon.

Our weather’s been ping-ponging back and forth between too cold and warm, sunny days. This past Tuesday, J stayed home sick from school so I did my bird-watching from our front and backyards.

The birds were busy in the early afternoon hour!  Robins were chasing off the Bluejays. I spotted the first set of dark-eyed Juncos for the year. And watched some sparrows. And of course, heard my Carolina wren singing about it all.

I saw a small flutter in a hole high up on a tree between the yards.  Walked around the backyard so I could zoom in on the little, busy bird.  Hello, again sparrows!  Who was knocking at his door?

This red-bellied woodpecker busy looking for treats! 

This little downy woodpecker also crept pretty close to the sparrow’s front door…

A starling kept watch in the afternoon sun. 

The same afternoon sun made most my bird photo attempts look like this. 

 

Go check out the Bird Depot hosted by Anni of I’d Rather B Birdin’ for more (and much better than these) bird photos.

A Bird In The Bush…

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed this sparrow as I arrived home from work. He sat on the wire running through the neighbor’s evergreen tree.
 Turning his head from side to side.
 I stood and watched for a few minutes before grabbing my camera. The sparrow continued to intently turn his head side to side, listening. Once I returned with my camera, he looked at me curiously. 

Then, he tweeted a few times and hopped back into the depths of the evergreen tree.

I did see a few other birds this week but not during convenient picture-taking times, mostly robins and downy woodpeckers at home.  Some cardinals and a flock of geese flying overhead at work.

And of course, sparrows.

Linking this post up with The Bird Depot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Look “Who” Made Us Run Late On Monday

Last year, in late October, I sat out on our deck waiting. We’d been hearing the owls at night. Heard but not seen. I did see two of them after they met in a tree, and then swooped silently over my head off to hunt for the night. Much too dark (and fast) for any pictures.

I gave up on photographing any owls “in the wild” and settled for the nature center owls. Always a fun place to visit.

Fast forward to the past weekend. It rained almost the entire weekend. Monday morning still brought cloudy, gray skies though less rain. I opened the door while waiting for a particularly slow teenager to finish getting ready for school.

Wow, what kind of bird is that sitting on the wire across the street…  Suddenly, it was my turn to yell,

“Come here. Quick!”  It’s an owl! What is an owl doing sitting on the wire in the early morning? 

And how amazing is that? I had the camera handy in the living room though it was on the wrong setting. And I, in my excitement, didn’t notice in time. The first photo is the only one I took after fixing things. I could have spent all morning photographing the magnificent bird! However, my son did have school and alas, I had to work.

My husband had left my car parked in the street.  I had to go get my car and move it back in the driveway. The owl looked at me curiously.  Even though I hoped he’d stay, he swooped off to the maple tree in the front yard as I opened the car door.  We realized with slight concern on the way to school, the unknown whereabouts of a certain little gray cat.

Although I did not have time, I drove back home and called frantically for her. I ran in the house, still calling as she sauntered up the steps from the basement with an expression like the one in the photo below:  What? I was napping!

Crisis averted, I went on to work where I was only a couple of minutes late. Here’s one more highly edited photo of our  Barred Owl: 

Linking up my post to the Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birding. Always lots of fantastic photos of amazing birds on her blog and in the links!

 

Happy Hummingbird Trails

They installed a hummingbird trail at a local nature park. I finally visited last Thursday. I’m so glad I took the time to go see. It did not disappoint!

The trails are  just outside the storm shelter/new nature center at George Owens Nature Park. The same park where the snowmen were last December. 

After chatting for a bit with the volunteer inside the nature center, I ventured outside to see if I could finally capture a hummingbird photo.  The center volunteer told me people sit and wait and bring tripods for their shots. Didn’t bring a tripod but I did sit on a bench to wait.  And I didn’t have to wait long! 

I had a great time just sitting and watching and listening to these amazing tiny birds! Finally, one flew to a tree out of the sun’s glare.  Excuse me, you’ve got some tree branch blocking my shot. How’s this?  Maybe this? 

I did better when they slowed down (ha!) enough to take a sip from the feeders. 

I also took a break from the busy birds and hiked a short (paved) trail through the park down to the lake. Not a single bird on the lake area but I did spy a camera-shy blue bird in the picnic area.  Spotted a few sparrows. A red-bellied woodpecker as well as a downy woodpecker. Thought I was zooming in on my elusive bluebird and found this baby in the viewfinder instead: 

Fairly certain, the baby is a blue jay.  Spent quite a long time watching for the blue bird to return. Spotted a couple late season young robins. Watched a turkey vulture circle the sky. Made my way back up the trail. Stopped to say goodbye to a summer flower (and hello to a Skipper).  As I walked toward the parking lot, I spotted a few more hummingbird feeders near the old nature center. Of course, I backtracked and watched a few more hummingbirds dart around them. Then, I snapped this final photo before returning home: 

What birds did you spot this week?

Linking my post up with the Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.

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