Monthly Archives: January 2011

Space Coast Birding festival~Viera Wetlands

Howdee all,

We had a great time at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife festival.

One of our first outings was to Viera Wetlands.

Located between the Moccasin Island Tract of the River Lakes Conservation Area and the Brevard Zoo, the wetlands are a popular site for birders, photographers, and eco-tourists.  The entire wetland system is accessible by automobile, making the site popular among those who find the rigors of hiking trails and summer temperatures daunting.  Even better, viewing the site from one’s automobile serves to screen visitors from birds and wildlife, enhancing the experience

Our alarm didn’t wake us and we missed the bus..but luckily after some scrambling around to get directions we made it to the wetlands just in time to start the Bird outing with the group.

Our group leader was the very knowledgeable and friendly Laura Erickson.

Fourth from the right..

Viera wetlands_002

We joined the group in the bus which took us to various spots on the loop road..

A beautiful sunrise

Viera wetlands_005Tree swallows land on grasses…Viera wetlands_012White IbisViera wetlands_014Birders shadows…Viera wetlands_016A palm warbler…Viera wetlands_023Oh..what’s this? Viera wetlands_025A lovely Limpkin…Viera wetlands_032

Lovely Limpkin with Laura Erickson speaking with the birders

Common Moorhen with its candy corn bill….Viera wetlands_043It was a chilly morning and my fingers were cold and numb…in our rush to get ready I forgot my gloves…

Viera wetlands_050Limpkin and Little Blue HeronViera wetlands_052Beautiful surroundings….for a water treatment plant..

I highly recommend birding here…Viera wetlands_054Wonderfully scenic…Viera wetlands_056

And great birding!Viera wetlands_060Common YellowthroatViera wetlands_085

A raft of CootViera wetlands_093Brevard hot spot hike_001

These photos below were digiscoped by Jeff

American Bitternjeffs digiscoped pics_038Blue-winged Tealjeffs digiscoped pics_046Sleeping..jeffs digiscoped pics_050Sandhill Cranejeffs digiscoped pics_052Green Heronjeffs digiscoped pics_054

A great morning of Birding!

More of the Space Coast Birding Festival to come….

The festival is over…Jeff and I are in Mims for a few days then we head south to Lake Worth for a few weeks..after that we haven’t decided where to go.

If anyone is interested in getting together for some birding..let me know..I am trying to get a group together…have a few birders interested already.

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Space Coast Birding and Nature Festival

Howdee all,

This is just a very quick post to say hello..

Jeff and I are at the Space Coast Birding and Nature Festival here in Titusville,FL.

We met up with Twitter friends Linda, Melanie and Donna…

These photos taken with my itouch

image

Here is the beautifully attired Linda..Love her New Mexican style

She was dripping in Camera Jewelry!image

I also met many facebook and blogger friends here…more on that later…Just wanted you all to know we are busy from morning until night with birding outings, classes and socializing.

I have more photos….but no time to post…have to get ready for an outing with the gals today…We are going to the seashore for some sea and surf!

Catch cha later..

OH..and please visit my latest post at Birdingblogs.com

I think you will love my

 Featured Bird Blogger of the Week

Harris Neck NWR day 2

Howdee all,

Another cold morning in Georgia…harris neck nwr_005 (1)I put on my down coat and went for a morning walkharris neck nwr_015 (1)A mist of cold above the water…harris neck nwr_007 (1)Here we sit…our windows face the lakeharris neck nwr_009 (1)The car was frosty..harris neck nwr_011 (1)harris neck nwr_012 (1)The Eucalyptus tree …reminds me this is a warm weather area..

harris neck nwr_014 (1)Jeff and I left the RV park after it warmed up..and on the way in a side ditch..note the beer bottle in the water….was a beautiful Birdharris neck nwr_031 (1)American Bitternharris neck nwr_035 (1)

On the way to the park we noticed this Clever sign…hee heeharris neck nwr_062

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

harris neck nwr_063

Harris Neck NWR was established in 1962 by transfer of federal lands formerly managed by the Federal Aviation Administration as a WWII Army airfield. Located in McIntosh County, Georgia, the refuge serves as an important link in the chain of refuges along the Atlantic seaboard, and is the inland base for two neighboring barrier island refuges, Blackbeard Island and Wolf Island refuges, both located southeast of Harris Neck.

Harris Neck’s 2,762 acres consists of saltwater marsh, grassland, mixed deciduous woods, and cropland. Because of this great variety in habitat, many different species of birds are attracted to the refuge throughout the year. In the summer, thousands of egrets and herons nest in the swamps, while in the winter, large concentrations of ducks (especially mallards, gadwall and teal) gather in the marshland and freshwater pools.

We scanned the river for birds..harris neck nwr_064

Only a few Egrets…in the grasses Palm Warblersharris neck nwr_071

OH NO!harris neck nwr_072This tree was yelling something…Do you think there is a bird in its mouth?harris neck nwr_073I don’t know why it was yelling…maybe I just startled it…Or MAYBe it was surprised how chilly it was for a January day in Georgia.harris neck nwr_074Second stop…. the birdie Bluebill Pondharris neck nwr_076harris neck nwr_078Lots of Cooties…harris neck nwr_080I loved the green muck in the water…harris neck nwr_089Isn’t it beautiful?harris neck nwr_093

harris neck nwr_095We saw at least eight Snipe…harris neck nwr_105More coots..we did see many other ducks here…harris neck nwr_110List at the end of this post..harris neck nwr_111The Coots were the only birds that got close enough…harris neck nwr_115For my point and shoot camera to photographharris neck nwr_117Its times like these I wish I had a big lens DSLRharris neck nwr_118

Instead I will be happy with what I can capture with my point and shoot…harris neck nwr_122Ohh..lookie here..Red-shouldered Hawk..harris neck nwr_128And another coot…harris neck nwr_135Two more Coot..harris neck nwr_140We left the pond and drove a bit further checking out the water areas along the road..harris neck nwr_112We parked the car and took another walking path to a few small ponds..harris neck nwr_151A Possum crosses the road…harris neck nwr_147Small ponds..hard to see the birds..mostly Coot..and too far away for photos…harris neck nwr_153So I take a few shots of cat tail..harris neck nwr_155I really liked the fuzzy seed heads…harris neck nwr_156We walked further….And one of those Walking helmets cross the road.Smileharris neck nwr_163A great day….harris neck nwr_166

Jeff and I are now in Sunny Florida..well not too sunny today..its overcast, breezy and beautifully warm..73 degrees. Tomorrow is the start of the Space Coast Bird and Wildlife festival…We have a 4:30 am start to the day..Early to bed for me tonight!

 

Birds of the Day

American Bittern

Palm Warbler
Tufted Titmouse
Mourning Dove
Common yellowthroat
Yellow rump warbler
Northern cardinal
Great egret
Snowy egret
Turkey vulture
Red bellied woodpecker
Hermit thrush
Ruby crowned kinglet
Gadwall
Green winged teal
Coot
Wilsons snipe
Killdeer
Ring necked duck
Common merganser my bad..meant to put Bufflehead thanks Scott for the heads up
Hooded merganser
Pied billed grebe
Lesser yellowlegs
Eastern Phoebe
Blue wing teal
American pipet
Swamp sparrow
Song sparrow
Red winged blackbird
Carolina chickadee
American goldfinch
Downy woodpecker
White ibis
Red shouldered hawk
Eastern towhee
Pileated woodpecker
Eastern bluebird
Savannah sparrow
Northern harrier
Pine warbler
House wren
Wood stork

Common Moorhen..thanks Hap. I forgot to add

Harris Neck NWR

Howdee all,

After a rather uneventful two nights in Savannah in a Walmart Parking lot..(Jeff was sick with Vertigo) We did do a quick tour of Tybee and Skidaway Islands.

We spent the last two nights at Macintosh Lake RV park near Harris Neck NWR.

A fellow blogger, Lydia from Costal Georgia Birding suggested we see Harris Neck NWR and a facebook friend and part time Park ranger also said she liked the park. So we went to check it out.

Our campsite overlooking the lake.harris neck nwr_001 (1) When we got settled into our RV site we decided to take a drive thru the park.

The park has a four mile loop road thru the park.

If you had a bike there are many other trails to wander.

Harris Neck NWR

Harris Neck NWR_002Lots of these funny helmets that move:)Harris Neck NWR_053Very cool old treesHarris Neck NWR_005Spanish Moss draped treesHarris Neck NWR_007Spanish MossHarris Neck NWR_008We took a quick walk to the first lake.Harris Neck NWR_011Harris Neck NWR_020Lots of Coot and DucksHarris Neck NWR_016White IbisHarris Neck NWR_019 Hooded Merganser FemaleHarris Neck NWR_033We didn’t stay long…as we were planning a full day on Sunday to bird here.Harris Neck NWR_024We then drove to another pond…for a quick look… Lots of Cypress Knees?Harris Neck NWR_040Not as many ducks here…….Harris Neck NWR_041I liked this seed pod and took a few photos..Harris Neck NWR_046I don’t know what it is ..Anybody know?Harris Neck NWR_047It is tall…about five feet.Harris Neck NWR_049 ??Harris Neck NWR_050

Its Monday now..Yesterday we toured and birded the park..I hope to have a post of the birds seen soon…

Its chilly here…and We are ready for some Florida Warm..Lets hope we get what we want..You don’t want to hear me WHINE

Pro HDR for Iphone or Itouch

Howdee all,

I am having fun with this new app I purchased for my Itouch its called Pro HDR.

The app takes two images ..one of the light area in a photo and one of the dark area…and merges both of them..While the quality is not wonderful..I do like what it does…I can only imagine this type of app in the future.. Here is a review of the app.

I think there are a few cameras out there that have this feature..do any of you have more experience with this?

All of the photos below are taken with my Itouch and the Pro HDR app.

 

We are now in Savannah, Georgia..

Jeff found this shell on the beach…image

The beach at Tybee Island

imageSun setting at Skidaway Islandimage

image

Ballie… image

Tomorrow we head south..don’t know where we will end up…

Afternoon at Pee Dee NWR

Howdee all,

This past Sunday, Sicksta Dell and her hubbie Craigy and Jeffy and I went on a road trip to Pee Dee NWR. It was over an hour drive from Carthage.

Jeff and I were hoping to see some water birds..Pee Dee_008

Nothing in the first pond.Pee Dee_187Sicksta walking towards us from the parking lotPee Dee_009

We went to the fields that would  normally be flooded…no water, sad to say…so…no water birds…Except for one Great Blue Heron seen later in the dayPee Dee_010

The boardwalk was a bit slippery…luckily if we fell there was no water below..just snow..Pee Dee_013

We took the boardwalk to the woods…and then into the woods….Pee Dee_015

Hobbit homePee Dee_017Pee Dee_016

Shaggy bark something…Pee Dee_019A log full of Turkey tail mushroom and some other unidentified shroomsPee Dee_022Sicksta Adele and I chewed on the Fresh Turkeytails..Pee Dee_024

They were delicious…and beautifulPee Dee_033LichenPee Dee_038It was a beautiful day…one of the warmest in several weeks…Pee Dee_041Green moss and lichen covered boulder…Pee Dee_042I haven’t Identified this yet…anyone? Oh Sicksta Lori???Pee Dee_046Kangaroo tree…Pee Dee_049

Pee Dee_050The trail meets a paved road…thru the park..last time we were here it was gravel..Sad to see it pavedPee Dee_052Another area of water…still no ducks…Pee Dee_054Orange rock in snow..Pee Dee_057Woodland reflections..Pee Dee_059We saw a large flock of Rusty Blackbirds here…Pee Dee_060

Can you see the two faces in the ice? one is sad..Pee Dee_063

Pee Dee_065

We saw Ruby and Golden crowned Kinglets…lots of Song and White-crowned sparrows..Pee Dee_068

Sicksta checking out the birdiesPee Dee_074

Circled reflectionPee Dee_078We didn’t venture up this side road …doesn’t it look inviting?Pee Dee_083A look back at the waterway…no ducks…Pee Dee_085A nest box in the water..no ducks..Pee Dee_087Bark beautifulPee Dee_091

I like this out of focus photo of Sicksta Dell and Craigy..Pee Dee_094I love this shaggy bark..Pee Dee_107

A last look over what should be filled with water…no ducks…Pee Dee_114These trees have cool bumps…Pee Dee_119

Nope..no water…no ducks…Pee Dee_125The road meanders back to the parking lot….Pee Dee_131Another small body of waterPee Dee_132Nope..no ducks..Pee Dee_136

Pee Dee_142We take a short trail off to the right…Pee Dee_144Pee Dee_147

This area had lots of Robins.. Pee Dee_149Red-headed woodpeckers …No bird photos today..Pee Dee_152The Robins were busy eating the Holly berries..Pee Dee_156We follow the grass lined path to the parking lot..Pee Dee_161An area of bent grass to the left.. Deer?Pee Dee_164

Craigy taking photosPee Dee_179As he walks toward us..Pee Dee_180Sicksta Dell tries to pick him up…Pee Dee_182Then Dell and Jeffy try to grab him….Pee Dee_183

All in a wonderful day…a fun outing..With Sicksta and CraigyPee Dee_165

Jeff and I are in Savannah, Georgia. Its beautifully warm today…time to bask in the sun!

It was snowy last week…

Howdee all,

So this was last week here in North Carolina…

Snow…just a few inches…

Snowstorm_018

The birds were in an eating frenzy at the feeders..Snowstorm_083

A day or so after the snow we had freezing rain overnight..snow and ice_002

Leaving everything glistening…snow and ice_009

Ice everywhere..snow and ice_018It was a beautiful..slippery scene..snow and ice_024I loved how everything was sparkly…snow and ice_028Shining in the sun…snow and ice_029Ice weighing down branches…snow and ice_031Today..you would never know this happened…snow and ice_033The ice melted a few days ago…snow and ice_035The last remnants of snow are gone…snow and ice_036Rain tonight….birds and more_002No more icy jewels to be found..birds and more_009

Glad I captured this one…birds and more_008

Hope you are all staying warm…My Mother says they will be getting more snow in Connecticut.  Its warming here in North Carolina…50s tomorrow.

We leave here in two days…Going south…Florida is our destination.

First stop Merritt Island and the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival

Anyone else going?

Ode to Bark Butter

Ode to Bark Butter

…or Zick Dough..or whatever you might use that is peanutty good

Sing to the tune of

 Matchmaker Matchmaker

Bark butter..Bark Butter
bring me a bird
find me a bunch
catch me a cache
Bark butter Bark Butter
here come the birds
enjoying your nutty taste

Snowstorm_064Snowstorm_020Snowstorm_122Bark Butter..Bark Butter
So quickly you work
sending me birds
making them chirpSnowstorm_048

Snowstorm_010Snowstorm_068

Snowstorm_086Bark Butter Bark Butter
Thanks for the fun
you’ve brought me the birds
I was longing to see
now I’m
The envy of the birding community.

 

…ok..so maybe I need a little help with the ending, I am welcome to any lyric additions..or changes…

Go out and get some Bark Butter or make your own Zick dough a and find out for yourself how well this works!

Bark Butter Garden Birds

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Chipping Sparrow

American Goldfinch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Pine Warbler

Pine Siskin

Carolina Wren

Brown Creeper

American Crow

Blue Jay

Don’t forget to check out who I featured on Birdingblogs.com as

Featured Bird Blogger of the Week

Wordless Wings on a Cold Wintry Wednesday

 

Snowstorm_016

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Howdee all,

This Brown-headed nuthatch has been hanging around the Bark Butter

See the Bark butter lower right corner..Birds and bark butter_038For some reason ..it let me get very close…Birds and bark butter_040I was only about three feet away..Birds and bark butter_042Which is the only reason my tiny point and shoot was able to take such detailed photos of it.Birds and bark butter_044So…why did it let me get so closeBirds and bark butter_045I have noticed this happening with other birds around the Bark ButterBirds and bark butter_047Nancy @ The Zen Birdfeeder blog and co-owner of a Wild Birds Unlimited Store says that her clients say that Bark Butter is Crack for birds..Birds and bark butter_049I am starting to think she is right…..Birds and bark butter_050See the bits of Bark Butter on the bill….Birds and bark butter_052This silly Bird just stayed in one spot for over five minutes…Birds and bark butter_054I didn’t want to disturb it too much..so I left it to its Crack Bark Butter…Birds and bark butter_057