Friday, March 31, 2006

Jackson Abbott Wildlife Refuge, Virginia

Great Egret, Jackson Abbott Wildlife Refuge, Fairfax Co, VA. There were four great egrets fishing there today. Note the wood duck in upper right above egret's wing. I birded this refuge for about a half hour. In addition to the birds shown here, I also saw several redwinged blackbirds, a hooded merganser pair and a green-winged teal pair.
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Great Egret, Jackson Abbot Wildlife Refuge, Fairfax Co, VA. The egret went for something but didn't get it as far as I could tell.
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Great Egret, Jackson Abbot Wildlife Refuge, Fairfax Co, VA. Turtles on the high ground behind the egret. Posted by Picasa

Great blue heron, Jackson Abbot Wildlife Refuge, Fairfax Co, VA. Posted by Picasa

Canada Geese, Jackson Abbot Wildlife Refuge, Fairfax Co, VA. It was a beautiful day at Jackson Abbott, a small wildlife refuge on Ft. Belvoir property but open to the public. These two Canada geese were standing guard. Every time I made a move, they called out. Posted by Picasa

Font Testing

This is a test of font colors. I'm trying out different ones. The one I like best will be the font color that I change all my posts to.
This is gray text.
This is black text.
This is red text. I'm sure this is hideous but I thought I'd try it
This is sort of a burgundy.
This is gold.
This is hot pink, hideous too, I'm sure.
This is dark green.
As I write this, (in dark green), it's on a white background, so I won't be able to tell
(in sort of a poopy brown) until I publish how it shows up against my background.
This is sort of a dark blue violet.
This is navy blue.
This is very pale blue.
This is sort of creamy.
This is white, which I believe is the original color and I can't see at all as I type this. LOL!
This is a very dark burgundy.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Canada Goose, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Washington, DC. This is a fascinating place, in the NE part of DC. There are 45 lily ponds (pretty dorman still this time of year), a boardwalk out into a tidal marsh and a river walk trail. It was started by a one-armed civil war veteran named Shaw who bought the land from his mother-in-law and started the ponds with his daugher. It became a successful commercial business. It is a National Historic Site run by the Park Service and has a visitor center. It is accessed off of Kenilworth Avenue not far from Rt 50. Just follow the signs. Posted by Picasa

Fox Sparrow, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Washington, DC. The size of the sparrow, the streaked breast and the reddish tail were the key field marks for this elusive sparrow. I was lucky to get this shot. The beak is just barely visible to the right of the vertical branch. Posted by Picasa

The holly and the ivy. Well, the holly anyway. We were leaving the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens when I saw this holly with the beautiful white blossoms behind. Gorgeous! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dyke Marsh, Alexandria, VA. Fred standing on the platform at the end of the new Dyke Marsh boardwalk. We hadn't been to Dyke Marsh in several months and were pleased to discover they had rebuilt the boardwalk--very recently from the smell of newly cut wood. That's the new Wilson Bridge in the background. On our hike, we saw 12 American Coots, a Hooded Merganser pair, several Canada geese, a yellow-rumped warbler, cardinals, robins, a yellow shafted northern flicker, a couple pie-billed grebes, a flock of fish crows and several double crested cormorants. Posted by Picasa

Dyke Marsh, Alexandria, VA. That's the Wilson Bridge construction way in the background. We saw lots of sparrows and a flock of fish crows while out here, but not much else as we were here around noon. Posted by Picasa

Song sparrow, Dyke Marsh, Alexandria, VA. Song sparrows were everywhere. Boy, are they elusive! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bald Eagle, Mason Neck State Park, Fairfax County, VA. The Saturday morning birdwalk with a park interpreter. We saw so many bald eagles, it became unremarkable--"Oh, just another bald eagle..." It was a cold and blustery day; we also saw several great blue herons, a belted kingfisher, a red-bellied woodpecker, canada geese and a cardinal. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Crocus, our yard. No bird here, but the first crocus. Posted by Picasa

Huntley Meadows, Alexandria, VA. I was doing a little backyard birding when a v of about five swans, probably Tundra based on other va-birdlist reports, flew overhead, looking like they were on a direct path to Huntley. I decided to jump in the car and head over (I only needed a little encouragement). I didn't find the swans, but had a nice hour of birding, to include several turtles sunning on the grass clumps. Posted by Picasa

Northern Shoveler, Huntley Meadows, Alexandria, VA. There were a lot of these Northern Shovelers at the far side of the pond. I'm actually pleased to get this; it was my first try at digiscoping. I just held my little camera up to the scope and took this through it. Posted by Picasa

My first birding trip since our return from San Diego netted this nice Northern Pintail who had obviously bonded with these Mallards as it was following them from place to place. Posted by Picasa

Huntley Meadows, Alexandria, VA. Huntley Meadows really dried up last year after the beaver dam was abandoned. There was a lot of woody growth, which seemed to encourage the beaver to return, as they have rebuilt or built new dams--their work is everywhere. It was quite wet the day I visited, and there had been no rain for several days. Posted by Picasa

Redwinged blackbird, Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA. I did some fooling around with this picture in Picasa before uploading it. The picture just seemed to lend itself to it. The redwings were in fine fettle at the park. This one sung lustily after I took his picture. Posted by Picasa