Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Monday, April 25, 2005
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA. April 2005. A goodly number of people were lucky enough to go on a birdwalk with author Donald Koodsma and learn to listen to "The Singing Life of Birds." Much more than birding by ear; Dr. Koodsma taught us to appreciate the qualities of the individual bird's song. What a pleasant morning!
American Bittern, Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Va. This beautiful bird flew over our heads, circled the park and then came back over our heads, allowing most of us, I think, the best look we'd ever had of a bittern. I heard several people say it was a life bird for them. It certainly was for me. (Isn't everything?)
Common yellowthroat, Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA. April 2005. I was trying to manually focus through the cattails that were throwing off the autofocus, and he didn't hang around long enough to perfect it, but still readily identifiable from this pic. I actually like the surrealistic quality of the photo.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Eastern Towhee (red-eyed), Alexandria, VA. I was disappointed that I hadn't seen one of towhees that the group were seeing everywhere on the walk this morning. Lo and behold, one flew into the crepe myrtle in our front yard and announced his arrival with the classic "drink your teeee" song. I got some good pics. Happy day!
Common Grackle, Alexandria, VA. After a disappointing (as far as visuals and new birds) morning, I was pleased to get some good pics of this common grackle in the neighbor's driveway. Although I've seen them before, many times, this is the first one since I've been blogging.
Chipping Sparrow, backyard, Alexandria, VA. After I got home from the walk, and a quilting class I taught, I thought I would content myself with my backyard birds. Here's a little better picture of a chipping sparrow at my feeder. They have been frequent visitors. Haven't seen the ruby throat again. Most of our time has been spent shooing squirrels away from the new window feeder I put up. I think I'll have to relocate it.
Intermediate Birding Class, Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA. I went on a birding class & walk this morning in the western part of Huntley Meadows. Here, our guide Larry checks one of the bluebird boxes for which he is responsible. On the walk, I saw a yellow rumped warbler, goldfinches, several downy woodpeckers, several blue gray gnatcatchers and a ruby crowned kinglet, though we never saw the ruby crown. The group saw eastern towhee, pine warbler, ovenbird, and house wren. The birds seem to always move before I could find them with my binoculars. Our guide also heard red eyed vireos. We heard many red-bellied woodpeckers. It was a real education at birding by ear. Also, of course, red-winged blackbirds, snowy egret and Canada geese were in the central wetlands (which is not so wet now.)
Friday, April 22, 2005
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Monday, April 18, 2005
Rough Green Snake, Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA. April 2005. My guidebook describes this as a "slender tree-dwelling snake, uniform pea-green with a long tapering tail. That certainly fits this snake, which was in the same tree for the three hours we were in the park.
Killdeer, Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA. April 2005. I've seen killdeer several times, but this little guy or gal was very near the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows, and it was a great photo opportunity, even if he or she wouldn't show off those great breast bands!
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Hooded Merganser, Jackson-Abbott Wildlife Refuge, Woodlawn, VA. April 2005. Way in the back of the pond I scoped this Merganser pair. A new bird for me, and I wasn't sure if my 300mm lens would capture a good enough pic to confirm the sighting, but it did! A male wood duck was also standing just to the right.
On our way out to lunch, on the river overlook trail to the north of the Visitor's Center, we flushed an immature bald eagle--probably 2d year by the amount of white. No pic as he startled us as much as we startled him (or her) and those great wings moved him out pretty fast! We ate lunch at the overlook and saw a flotilla of 24 double-crested cormorants float by, and two great blue herons flew past.
After lunch, we walked along the Bay View Trail. Scared an unidentified snake--what we could see was solid gray--and then from the observation gazebo saw several pairs each of blue-winged and green-winged teal, pictured below, along with wood ducks, Canada geese and mallards.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Had a great morning. In addition to the birds pictured in the earlier (following) posts, I saw a northern flicker, a great blue heron, probable Cooper's hawk, a juvenile red shouldered hawk in flight (we could see the buffy crescents on his wings), tree swallows, mallards, Canada geese, and wood ducks. The "pro" birders, of course, saw much more.The common snipe pictured below was a new bird for me.