Category Archives: birdwatching

Duck, Duck, Robin

I’m a little late with my Saturday bird-watching post but still wanted to share my duck pictures.  I saw ducks plus a few other birds on my walk Thursday.

Happily, I walked down to the lake to see if any birds were present.  Lately, as I drive by the park, no birds appear in my view from the highway and side roads.

When I walked down to the small fishing dock near the playground, I saw lots of ducks near the shore.  duck

The sunny day meant changing my angle to get photos where the sunlight glare didn’t bounce off the water: duck Still not complaining about warm and bright November sunshine after too many days of gloomy gray skies!

Some of the ducks on the shore were still sleepy.  duck

Other ducks swam in the water. duck

This duck (My duck-naming knowledge stops with mallards) hung out apart from the other groups.  Is he something else? duck There were geese, just not in the water. duck Canada geese are year-long residents of our area and sometimes considered nuisance birds.  They did get in the water later when I was on the far side of the lake.


Bass Pro Shop is the anchor of Water Fall Park, location of these pictures


There were more ducks on the other side of the shore.  This mallard thinking of testing the waters made me smile. duck duck He finally went to join his friends. duck And the robin: duck duck duck

At the park, I also noticed snowbirds, a hawk (too far away to identify), crows, more robins, and a few woodpeckers.  My usual feathered friends were hanging out around our yard: cardinals, snowbirds, sparrows, and a downy woodpecker.  It’s also the time of year when Starlings gather on the power lines.  Can’t help but notice those.

Linking my post up with the Bird D’Pot.  What birds did you notice?

Bird-watching Woes

I saw such amazing birds this week and yet my post is titled bird-watching woes.  Wonder why?

It’s because I didn’t have my camera when I saw them!  The Wayne Gretzky quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” went through my mind.

Of course, it would have been hard for him to take those shots without a hockey stick.

bird-watching woes

Had my camera but struggled to get a decent shot of this dove

My Bird-Watching Woes:

ONE: No Camera

On Wednesday, there were Cedar Wax Wings!  Cedar Wax Wings are the most amazing birds and I’ve only seen them one other time when I didn’t yet have my good camera.

When I saw the “museum” of Cedar Wax Wings on Wednesday, I was at work!  They were flying from the evergreen tree on the playground over to the bare tree tops on the other side of the fence.  It was very hard to watch children on the playground as opposed to the birds.

Naturally, I didn’t have my camera with me at work.  When I walked back out later (on my break) with my cell phone, the birds were gone.  Every day during my coming and going to work, I took the long way into the building, cell phone ready, but never saw them again during the course of the week.

I am, of course, grateful to have seen them.  And since they are year-round residents of our state, perhaps I’ll get eventually get a decent photo of one.

TWO: No Birds Plus No Time!

bird-watching woes

Our skies have looked a lot like this lately

Not sure if it was our whiplash weather or something else but there were very few birds around during the rest of the week.  Well, at least when I had the time to look which wasn’t very often.

THREE: Uncooperative Weather

We went from sunny fall days to COLD ones.  Cold enough for me to dig out my winter sweaters.  Not great weather for bird-watching.

On Friday, I decided to take the time to battle the cold, gray day (rain was moving in for the weekend) and go on a walk to look for birds.  Friday was an odd day where I worked in the morning and then, agreed to return to work in the afternoon.

I spent my longer break in the day over at a local park where the boys and I used to go once in a while.  Thought it would likely be deserted due to the cold (didn’t want to be the creepy lady with a camera and no kids at a park!).  Only one other brave soul there, walking her dog.  We had a brief conversation about the yucky weather, her dog, and my camera (What you taking pictures of?  Birds.  Oh, there are a bunch over there.  Have a good weekend!).

Did I mention it was cold?  bird-watching woes My fingers could hardly hold the camera to focus on the birds I did see.  At the park, I noticed chickadees, a red-headed woodpecker, sparrows, doves, and robins.

Once at home, this kind Cardinal agreed to pose for my camera. bird-watching woes At least, my lovely Cardinals are still hanging around.  This poor fellow was just as cold as I was on Friday, I think.  bird-watching woes

Linking up my post with The Bird Depot, hosted by Anni from I’d Rather B Birdin’.

What birds have you noticed lately?





Five Birds I Saw This Week

One of the five birds I saw this week gave me a bit of a thrill.  Once again, the week gave me little time or decent weather for a nature hike.  However, I saw enough different birds during my week to satisfy me.

And hopefully, today, I’ll be able to get out and go on a nature walk to see a few more.  If the weather holds.  It’s another gray and gloomy Saturday.  Hoping the sun arrives soon. The weather is, thankfully, warmer at least.

The Five Birds I Saw This Week:

ONE: A Tufted Titmouse

This silly little fellow lit on the basketball goal on Sunday afternoon. As if he were contemplating shooting a few hoops.  five birds He then flew over to the fence.

TWO: A Silly Sparrow

Wanted to join in the action and play a game of backyard hoops. Chased the little Tufted Titmouse away from his perch.  five birds Silly sparrows, basketball is not for birds.  five birds

Three: A Brown Creeper

Not the best picture but these tiny little birds do not stay still for long! five birds The tail-feathers helped me identify this little bird. five birds

Four: An Early Halloween Treat on Monday, A Backyard Hawk.  I think this is a Cooper’s Hawk.

Monday was both cold and windy.  I spied this hawk land on a tree in my neighbor’s yard and so ran out on the deck with my camera and did my best to zoom in on him.  five birds Here’s a close-up of his body and tail-feathers.  Let’s pretend I took the below photo on purpose.

five birds

A photo that would have made my mother proud, she always managed to cut off heads in her photos.

Truly, a beautiful bird and a great lesson in how hard it is to use a zoom lens without a tripod, especially on a super cold and windy day. five birds five birds

Five: A Downy Woodpecker

No time for a nature walk on Thursday since I was called into work.  However, I work close to a great little park where I like to go and decompress on my lunch break.  Parked the car against a wooded area (the parking lot is for people who do have time to go and walk) on yet another gloomy day.

First a little Chickadee said hello.  Then, a mass of Robins.  Followed by this little guy who made me long for my good camera.  Still captured a photo of him with my phone.  five birds ****

Joining in with Five on Friday (Yes, I know it’s Saturday) hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog and The Bird Depot hosted by Anni from I’d Rather B Birdin’.

What birds did you see this week?


Snowbird, A Bird By Any Other Name

I didn’t know there was another name for the snowbird until quite recently.  My dad always called the small slate-colored birds snowbirds so I did as well.

According to the Wild Bird Watching site,  Dark-eyed Junco get their nickname because of their sudden appearance around bird feeders in the winter.

They are a tell-tale sign of winter’s approach.  Interestingly enough, I noticed a group of these little birds, members of the sparrow family, earlier in the week.  Overnight we had our first frost!  October snow while rare is not entirely unheard of in the Kansas City area.


Snow in October?!

At one point, the weatherman were forecasting a few snowflakes for today.  No snow yet thankfully.  They removed that nonsense from our forecast but it’s still 31 degrees out there at 10a.m.

This snowbird says no more denying the changing seasons.


While I was sad not go on a fall bird-watching hike this week (I’ve been sick and freezing to death this morning seemed ill-advised as well), it reminded me how fortunate I am to live where I can simply step outside to see a variety of birds.

A Few Other Birds I’ve Been Lucky Enough To See Around Our House This Week:

A strange-looking line-man turned out to be a red-bellied woodpecker: snowbird A group of cardinals took up residence in the neighbor’s evergreen tree and I’m immensely enjoying watching them: snowbird snowbird I’ve counted about seven cardinals hanging around the front and back yard.  After looking up the name for a group of cardinals, I opted to call our group a college.  They seem like young party birds to me! snowbird A few sparrows are hanging out around the “college” as well.  snowbird

In addition to the birds pictured above, I’ve also been lucky enough to spot: a nuthatch, our resident Carolina wren, the tufted titmouse, robins, and a downy woodpecker!

What birds have you seen this week?

Joining in over at the Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni of I’d Rather B Birdin’

*This is also post #28 in my series, 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season.


Bluebird of Happiness

What are the odds of seeing another bluebird after just seeing several for the first time?  bluebird Pretty good!  I spotted this gal on a wire above a lake at the Unity Village Hiking Trail.  

What kind of bird is that?  I asked my husband who replied, probably some sort of finch.  bluebird We need better bird identification skills! As I crept closer, I still wasn’t entirely sure.  Confession: Even after getting closer and taking the photo below, I still had to come home and look up what I photographed. bluebird Perhaps, soon I’ll be able to readily identify our state bird!

Turns out the trail we hiked along is part of the Great Missouri Birding Trail bluebird Birds we saw besides our friendly little bluebird:

This little goldfinch looking for berries. bluebird bluebird Who are looking at, lady? bluebird We also spotted this robin taking a drink from a small stream: bluebird And a busy Bluejay: bluebird We also heard but did not see a few woodpeckers, and lots more loud Bluejays. Spotted but not photographed were turkey vultures soaring in the sky as well as a few geese and a killdeer as we pulled into the parking lot.  A group of crows also flew over our head as we were finishing our hike but the photo was too blurry to share.

You can view a few more photos from our hike in this post.  We also saw a little turtle:  bluebird And this furry creature:


What kind of winter will we have?

Other birds spotted during the course of the last week:

A flock of seagulls! The birds, not the band.  It still seems strange to think we have seagulls in Missouri.  They were flying around during my oldest son’s band competition.  I managed to get one on camera although it’s not the best photo (I was zooming in from the stadium seats): bluebird

And I saw a few grackles after a storm moved through our area on Saturday evening. My favorite little companion joined me to watch our usual gang of backyard robins and the Carolina wren sing: bluebird

What birds have you seen so far this fall?

Linking this post up with I’d Rather B Birdin for the Bird Depot as well as including it in my 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season Series.




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