Monday, July 30, 2007

Springbrook - 7/30/07

This morning I got back to Springbrook also. It was a nice visit although it seems to me there are fewer birds this year than at the end of July, 2006. I'll be sharing some of the pictures during the next several days.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Carlos Avery - 7/29/07

I didn't check, but it's been a long time since I've gotten out birding -- even longer since I've been to Carlos. As one birder has said, "If you're too busy to go birding, you are too busy."
I agree, but that hasn't kept me from working at the expense of birding. But enough of self-pity!
My first chance to get out was this afternoon with the temps pushing 90. I didn't expect to see many birds and I was right.
I found a few geese sitting in a mud flat and a crow or sparrow here and there. The only active birds were the Goldfinches -- and that could be due to the fact that they are late nesters.
I did find this Bald Eagle nearly a half-mile from the road. But, a 400mm lens with a 2x converter gave me this result. I watched it for a while and most of the time it was spreading its wings in an apparent attempt to cool off a little.
However, I do have hopes for tomorrow morning when I'll be heading out to Springbrook.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

leech vs. turtle

Does this leech really expect to get through the turtle's shell?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

back to birds @ Springbrook 7/17/07

While at Springbrook last week, I came upon this mama Eastern Phoebe busy gathering food for her babies. The following morning (pictures to come) the father was also participating in the feeding. I did not get a very good picture of the babies, but I'll share it with you anyway.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

more of Springbrook 7/17/07

Ah! To be young again!
juvenile Robin

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Springbrook 7/17/07

It ain't just the birds!

I think this is a woodchuck, but all I know for sure is that it's cute & furry!

Stop and smell the flowers . . .

. . . and then you eat them!

Canon EOS 40D

Its release appears to be imminent. Read about the speculated features here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Springbrook 7/17/07

I was greeted by this Great Blue Heron as I arrived mid-morning at Springbrook.

"Got it!"

Isn't it a wonder he didn't choke?

It was getting to be hot & humid and this Robin looks like it as he was taking a dust bath.
(more to follow)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sandhill Cranes at Carlos 7/13/07

I didn't mind not seeing many species of birds last Friday at Carlos. I found 4 pairs of Sandhill Cranes at relatively close range! Two pairs were at the South edge of Pool 22, another was in the East part of Pool 8, the final pair was on my way home in the West end of Pool 3. Where are the juveniles?

The deer flies were bothering the birds more than me. I think there are at least 6 in the above picture.

"Where is my napkin?"
(more to come)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

this applies to birdwatchers/birdphotographers

The Canadian Dermatological Association reports that teens are being diagnosed with a skin cancer typically seen in people over 50,

* There is no such thing as a healthy tan.
* Sun exposure is responsible for 90% of all skin cancers.
* Any sunburn can cause irreversible damage.
* Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.
* Peeling is the body's method of getting rid of damaged skin.
* Sunscreen should be applied thirty minutes prior to sun exposure,
* There are no safe ultraviolet rays, a form of radiation that penetrates the skin.
* When treated early, most skin cancers are curable. Melanoma is responsible for 75% of skin cancer deaths and its incidence has increased 1800% since 1930.
* Avoid sun exposure especially between 10:00am and 4:00 pm.
* SPF 30 sunscreen still allows exposure to 3.3% of harmful UV-B rays.

-- Thanks to Life's A Stitch


Since I didn't have a chance to post yesterday's pictures, I'm sharing one of my favorite YouTubes.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Can fall be near?

After doing "real" work for the past several days, it was time to head for Carlos late this afternoon.

Why are all these geese bunching up? Can they be thinking of heading South already?
(more pictures tomorrow)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Springbrook 7/7/07 -- III

We'll finish last Saturday's visit to Springbrook with these Wood Duck pictures.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What to do about deer?

I share Laura Erickson's conflicting feelings -- particularly after I had seen this fawn. Read her recent post here.

Springbrook 7/7/07 -- II

The red leaves fascinated me. Can fall really be close?
As I was thinking about how best to photograph the colors, I noticed something sitting VERY still at the right side of the frame. Can you tell what it is?

Yes, it's a Green Heron. According to Sibley, it looks like a "1st summer" bird.

No, I can't stop taking pictures of Mallard ducklings.
(more tomorrow)

Monday, July 9, 2007

hot weather at Springbrook 7/7/07

Despite the heat, I ventured to Springbrook Saturday morning. As the day wore on, even the moon looked hot through the humid haze.

this Song Sparrow was looking for a cooler place

but the Eastern Phoebe didn't seem to mind the heat so much
(more tomorrow)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sandhill Cranes at Carlos 7/5/07

In spite of temps above 90, I drove to Carlos last Thursday. As usual, I had to visit the Sandhill Crane pair that regularly hangs out on the West end of Pool 22. It was nearing sunset and, surprisingly, the bugs weren't too bad -- so I spent quite a bit of time with them. They were very tolerant of me, allowing me to take out my tripod with the 400mm lens. Except for the last two pictures, the shots were taken with a 2x converter in place.

After having watched them for over 20 minutes, the crane on the right started pointing its bill straight up in the air (like a Bittern) while moving its head up and down. Often the bill would be open, but it did not make any sound. It kept up this behavior for over 10 minutes. Does anyone have an idea of the purpose of this? The bird on the left pretty much ignored this activity.

As I was getting to leave, a few minutes before sunset, so were the cranes. This time they called out loudly as they walked towards the East. Their calls are on the YouTube I posted July 5th.

Friday, July 6, 2007

yesterday evening at Carlos Avery

The baby Common Loon is not a baby any more.
Compare with my June 17th post.

Song Sparrow

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sandhill Crane calls at Carlos Avery today

You can't see the cranes because of the wide angle lens on my camera phone; but, I thought you would enjoy hearing them.

pesky muskrats

Yesterday, I went back to Carlos Avery to try to get better pictures of the muskrats (see one posted yesterday); they didn't turn out very well -- muskrats are harder to photograph than warblers. I'll try again later today, if I get my paying work done. In the meanwhile, you have this flower to gaze upon.