Archive for the ‘birds’ Category

Tuesday I shared the excitement of seeing my first roseate spoonbill at the Preserve. Those in charge put out a map (I still don’t know which lake is which number) with a list on the back of all the birds that might be/have been seen there and indicating whether or not the bird is there year-round and how rare a sighting is. “A” is the last, rarest sighting designation for “accidental”, meaning it’s very unusual and that’s what the spoonbill is.

Even though I would have considered my day complete with that sighting, I had yet another surprise in store. As I wandered along a small back path, another hiker told me that back and just across the path was a falcon. I hustled over, finding the spot easily by the several birders with binoculars, long lenses, or fingers all pointed in the same direction.

The “falcon” turned out to be an osprey, another bird that’s been on my mental list of birds I’d like to see and this handsome fellow with the piercing gaze didn’t disappoint. He seemed happy to pose for us on a nearby branch. One birder was unhappy not to get a shot of the osprey in action while another regaled us with the description of a photo he got of an osprey catching an enormous fish. Me? I was thrilled to add this to the spoonbill sighting! Quite the looker, isn’t he, even though not rare or unusual here.

P.S. I’d love to see a falcon one day, too, and they have been seen. 🙂

Several weeks ago while I was walking at the Preserve on the lookout for something interesting and unusual, a birder with the requisite long-lensed camera hurried up and asked me if I’d seen the spoonbill. I had to tell him no, but instant spoonbill-spotting envy struck. Unfortunately I didn’t see hide nor hair of one . Maybe beak and feathers would be a better phrase.

Today I reversed my usual path and although it was a lovely, cool morning, I didn’t see anything exciting until I stopped at one of the little open areas along one of the lakes where I often see egrets, which by now are usual. I did see an egret…and then by golly, a roseate spoonbill! And I was the only photographer in the area. 🙂 Oh, yeah!

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I really did want to do Friday Flowers but frankly there aren’t that many flowers here right now that I haven’t already shared so we’re flying instead. Just a bit of fun to kick off the weekend, which I hope is a wonderful one.

Not everything in nature is large and/or showy. Look closely and you can see other things that bring joy, such as this little cutie hiding among the reeds.

Look higher and you might see this somewhat fierce-looking guy sporting some very natty threads!

My friends in most of the rest of the US are talking about the chilling effect of fall/autumn. Believe me, we’re feeling the chill, too! It’s been 105 or below for the high for some days now and later this week, temperatures are set to plunge into the 90’s or possibly even 89 for the high! Getting my fleeces out from where they’re packed as we speak. We even have some leaves in fall colors, although most of them are still attached. 🙂 It’s definitely a new adventure.

for Six Word Saturday 10.3.20

How about a little dose of cuteness to get your Friday off to a good start or to make it better if you’re already part way through?

At the Preserve, I’m both a photo and bird novice, drifting along among the die-hard birders with elephant-trunk-length lenses, camp stools attached to some of their persons, and an encyclopedic knowledge of what bird they’re seeing. The other day I came upon a group raptly gazing into the brush, looking at something I couldn’t even find. Reminded me of Yellowstone, where a group of stopped vehicles either means an accident or an animal sighting. Anyhoo…

During a recent visit, I took a few minutes to sit on a bench overlooking one of the smaller ponds and spotted what I thought might be a type of cormorant, as it was a prodigious diver. When I perused the internet, I found that it was in fact a pied-billed grebe. (If you’re trying to identify a bird, I highly recommend The Cornell Lab’s All About Birds site. I’ve had more luck with identifying birds there than wildflowers on most wildflower sites.) So without further ado, I offer you three various shots (two are edits) of the pied-billed grebe.

The original with all the lovely ripples and colors…

An edit with just the circular ripples…

A close-up of the grebe with only the most immediate ripples…

He’s kind of cute, isn’t he? Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week’s off to a great start.

I got all my sisters with me (or maybe brothers.) This group of cuties and their mom weren’t too afraid of me as I sat by the side of the lake. They would bunch up, for all the world like a pre-game huddle, then waddle cutely to and fro a bit before huddling up again. Not sure what the pep talk was, but it kept them coming back for more.

Did you know that the Pointer Sisters didn’t do the original “We Are Family?” The Sledge Sisters, four sisters named…you guessed it… Sledge sang it and it became their hit song. This part is particularly appropriate:

Everyone can see we’re together
As we walk on by
(And!) and we fly just like birds of a feather

but you might enjoy the whole song to get your Tuesday off to a great start.