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.
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.
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!
Recently I posted about the poor squirrel in my backyard that has the botfly larvae in its neck…
Well the other day I saw a new squirrel that had come into my backyard for a visit.
This is a fox squirrel or eastern fox squirrel. They are the largest species of tree squirrel native to North America.
I’ve seen them before around the southeastern US. They are only active during the day and they spend more time on the ground than other types of squirrels.
They are great jumpers and can easily go fifteen feet in a horizontal leap. They have no problem jumping down twenty feet or more to another limb or the ground.
Let’s hope that this one doesn’t discover my roof and attic! It took a lot of time and money to cut down all or the trees and limbs that were too close to the roof and have all the squirrel holes patched up last year!!! I don’t want another squirrel getting into my house!
Here are a few more birds that I’ve seen at my feeders in my backyard.
Try to guess what species these birds are… let me know how you did.
Here’s the American Goldfinch. This is the male, they have very bright bold colors. In the winter their colors will vary from a yellowish brown to a gray. I’ve seen some that look greenish, the first time I saw that I thought I found a new bird species!
The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are still around. I’ve had a couple of females all summer long, then a couple of weeks ago I saw a male, but I haven’t seen him in a while.
I decided to put up my bird feeder a bit early this year, since I can’t do as much birding as I would normally be doing, I thought that I’d see if the birds would start to come back if I offered them some food…
Well I guess “if you build it they will come“ is happening…
I’ve started seeing a few more birds than I had been seeing this past summer. Like the Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Carolina Wren and Eastern Bluebird. Some are just more of the same, probably the adults with their 1st years that they are still teaching.
I have also seen a few birds that weren’t in my yard at all this summer. Like the American Goldfinch, Summer Tanager, House Finch and Chipping Sparrow.
I am keeping my eye out for migrating birds. Most of the Warblers should be passing through soon and I would really like to see some of them.
Here are some photos of the birds that I have been seeing. Try to guess what they are…
This is the Tufted Titmouse. See how it has a sunflower seed, those are their favorites. They will take one seed at a time and go off and break it open with their bill, then come back for another.
Here is a House Finch. A couple of weeks ago I saw one with a growth on its bill, but this one looked okay. I haven’t seen any in my yard for a few months, but now they’ve shown up again.
The Carolina Chickadee has been around this summer, but now they are more visible since I’ve put the feeder out.