No Birds in November…

No Birds in November…

So, November has come and gone and I managed not to see a single new species of bird… I was hoping to at least see a few migrating birds, but I was just not able to.

Winter birds have been coming back to my lake. I watch as around 300 Double-crested Cormorants fly up and down the lake looking for schools of fish to hunt.

The lake is rather small, but there are a few other lakes around, so I think they just keep flying back and forth between the lakes and find enough fish that way.

This morning I looked out and saw the Hooded Merganser had come back.

There were 4 of them, 1 male and 3 females. I should also start to see the Pied-bill Grebes and a couple of different duck species.

The American Eagles have returned from their nesting sites, I’ve seen a couple of adults and at least one first year swooping down on the lake trying to catch fish.

I’ve put the feeders back up and have seen the usual Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Finch, Carolina Wren, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin and Chipping Sparrow…

There are a few other birds feeding mostly underneath the feeders, such as the Mourning Dove, White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco.

I know I’m lucky to see so many birds each day, and I am not complaining, just happy to see 2020 (the fastest slow motion year) come to an end…

Stay healthy and stay safe!

More Birds

More Birds

Here are a few more birds that I’ve seen lately…

This one may not be the loveliest of birds, but I’m grateful for the way it cleans up roadkill…

The Black Vulture. I actually like the look of them more than the Turkey Vulture. They may look like they are smaller than the Turkey Vulture, but they are actually about the same size and more aggressive. The Black Vulture will often drive the Turkey Vultures away from food.

This next one was on my back fence post, keeping all the birds away!

The Red-shouldered Hawk. You can see the red on the back of its shoulders. I have a pair of them that live in my neighborhood, so I see or hear them everyday.

They will hunt by watching from a perch, then swoop down on their prey. I do enjoy my feeders, but I’m just waiting for the day I see one of these hawks catch a bird eating the seeds…

I saw this little cutie the other day.

The Pied-billed Grebe is sooooo cute! This is the most widespread Grebe in the New World. They aren’t social and almost never seen in flocks.

Sometimes when its suspicious or nervous they may sink slowly down into the water until only its head is above water.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

October = 3 Bird Species…

October = 3 Bird Species…

So, the birds have been migrating through my area, but I haven’t seen too many of them…

Each season has its challenges when it comes to birding, the fall is full of birds heading south, but the trees are still full of leaves and the birds are quiet, they aren’t singing to attract a mate…

That being said, it is still great to get outside and enjoy walking through the woods even if you don’t find any new species!

So far for the month of October I did manage to find 3 new species that I hadn’t seen yet this year…

Here is the first one. Not the greatest photo, due to the leaves and the fact that it is a Warbler (most of them enjoy being high up in the trees)…

It’s the Black-throated Blue Warbler. I know the photo is crappy, but you can see the very bold white wing patch and white belly.

They will move about the leaves, hopping around in one area for minutes at a time, foraging for insects, instead of zipping through the trees like a lot of warblers do. This makes it easier to find them, if you bend your neck back (the warbler neck) and wait to see one up in the trees.

The next bird I saw in October happened to be in the same tree as the Black-throated Blue Warbler, so my neck was killing me by the time I was done watching them!

It was the Red-breasted Nuthatch. I used to see them up in New England all of the time, the are common up there for all seasons. Now down in the Southeast, I only see them every few years if I’m lucky.

They will winter down in the Southeast. Often seen foraging for insects or seeds by going up and down tree trunks and branches.

Here is the latest bird that I saw in October. This one decided to come to my feeder to make it easy on me. 🙂

This is the Pine Siskin. There were 3 of them eating the seeds at my feeder the other day.

They breed up in Alaska and Canada, then winter throughout the US. Their migration is very erratic, some years they come southward in huge numbers, while other years they can be very scarce!

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Birds, Birds, Birds…

Birds, Birds, Birds…

Here are a few more birds that I’ve seen recently while I’ve been walking through the woods…

These are pretty easy if you want to try to guess what they are.

This is the lovely, lol, Turkey Vulture. They can be found throughout all of the US and Mexico.

Next…

Here’s the Northern Flicker. This one is the Eastern “Yellow-shafted” form. It has bright yellow under its wings and tail. The Western “Red-shafted” form has salmon-pink under its wings and tail.

Here’s the last one…

The Eastern Phoebe. This one was eating berries on the edge of a swamp.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Just a few Birds…

Just a few Birds…

It has been getting cooler and that has made it very nice to take more walks in the woods.

I haven’t seen any new bird species lately, even though there are reported sightings of many warblers in the area!

Here are some of the birds that I have seen lately. Try to guess what they are…

This is the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. They will breed up in Canada and winter in southeastern US, but they also go south to Central American and the West Indies.

Guess this bird.

This one might be a bit harder since the photo isn’t that great… But it’s the Red-shouldered Hawk. Most small birds will go silent and still whenever their around.

Last one…

This is the female Summer Tanager. They breed south from New Jersey down and over to Southern California and Northern Mexico. They winter in the tropics.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Hurray! I finally managed to get a photo of a Blue Jay!!!!

Years ago I used to get lots and lots of Blue Jays eating the seeds on the ground below my bird feeders. Unfortunately, I was not a big birder at that time, so I never took any photos of them…

Lately I realized that I never had many photos of the common birds that I see or hear and the Blue Jay was one of those.

I’ve been trying to get a photo this whole year, I’ve noticed that the Blue Jay seems to stay pretty high up in the trees.

They often have a loud harsh cry, but they also have many other calls, one of them is almost identical to the scream of the Red-shouldered Hawk.

They can be found throughout all of eastern US west to the Central US.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Photos from the Woods

Photos from the Woods

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve visited a few different parks or wildlife refuges.

Of course I was looking for birds, but there are still lots of leaves on the trees, which makes it difficult to get good photos of them…

I did want to show you some of the creatures that I did manage to see while out in the fresh air.

This is a marbled orb-weaver or pumpkin spider. They can be found in 19 states in the US and are most often seen in the fall.

This is a green frog, not to be mistaken to the green tree frog, this one was found swimming in the swamp!

I tried, I really tried, but I couldn’t figure out just which caterpillar this is! I don’t know if it will become a moth or a butterfly!!! After looking a hundreds of caterpillars on line, my best guess is the Great Ash Sphinx. It’s a moth that is found throughout most of the US… let me know if you have a better guess.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Birds…

Birds…

Here are the latest visitors to my feeder.

The Carolina Chickadee and the Northern Cardinal.

The Northern Cardinal is the only red bird with a crest in North America. The female is a lot duller almost tan compared to the male. They don’t migrate, so if you see them in the spring they should be around your area in the winter too.

The Carolina Chickadee is also a permanent resident and will not migrate. They look almost identical to the Black-capped Chickadee and the only true way to properly identify them is by the location of where you see them.

Their range goes up to central New Jersey across the US to Texas and south through the southeast states.

The Black-capped Chickadee’s range is from northern New Jersey across the US to Oregon and north up into most of Canada.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Visit to a New Park

Visit to a New Park

Last week we found a new park to go to near our home. Birders had posted seeing several bird species there recently that I hadn’t seen at all this year.

Mostly I was looking for the migrating warblers. I packed my binoculars and camera along with our lunch and some frisbees for disc golf, since there is a course at this park.

We got there, it was a bit hot and humid, but I was excited about seeing some birds!

First thing my husband wants to do is play disc golf! Oh well, I can still find some birds while playing in the woods…

I have my camera in a backpack stuck to my sweaty back, binoculars swinging around my neck as I take each of my shots for all of the 18 holes!

Let’s just say that it wasn’t one of my better games… I did really bad and I never did see any birds…

This week we decided to go over to the park again. This time I told my husband that I would walk through the woods along the course with him, but I was only looking for birds.

That actually worked out better for both of us, I got to look at birds and he was able to have a good game of disc golf without having to wait for me to shoot 2 or 3 shots for every one of his…

I never did see any new species, but I saw a lot of birds. When we got to the 18th hole, up ahead of us I saw a large brown bird fly towards me and land on a branch above my head.

It was a Barred Owl. It’s funny how I don’t know if I had ever seen one in the wild during my whole life and now I not only see one very close as it checks me out during my walk in the woods, but I have them living in my neighborhood and hear them a few times a week.

I tried not to take too many photos of this one since I have way too many photos of the one that keeps flying into my backyard!

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!