Thursday, April 21, 2011

Warbler Season has Begun

Black-throated green, gettin' grub. Say THAT 5 times fast.

That's right! The warblys are here on their spring migration! Excuse me while I scream for joy!

In my own development, I've already counted four warbly species:
Black-throated Green Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Black-throated Green says 'peekaboo birder!'

Yellow-rumped warbly. "Walk this way!"

Yellow Warbler hagin' in there!

Pine warbler living up to his name.

Seeya! Pine warbly.

The proverbial Song Sparrow.

My neighborhood female Red-tailed Hawk and totem.

Gotta love those geese!

LOOK- the first ducklings of spring!!

** Peace Always,

Note: I will be in Florida for the next week, but without my computer. Look for updates starting May first! Thank you!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Warblys and Wilson's Snipe!

(Above: White-throated Sparrow in the brush; sorry for the leaf by his head!)

Part 2 of my adventures in Virginia this past weekend!

When: March 26 2011
Where: Huntley Meadows Park, VA

Huntley Meadows Park is a great place full of an array of bird species; I'll let the photos tell
the story this time!

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

My FIRST warblys of the year: Yellow-rumped Warblers!

Red-shouldered Hawk (there has been better photos taken, but hey, they're better than nothing!)

Swamp Sparrow: the first time I've been positive about one's identification, so I'm not sure if it's a Lifer or not. I'm sure it's not, but let's say it is!

Osprey, diving for dinner

Great Blue Heron at sunset... there's nothing more wonderful! I love their wings; the feather groups (coverts, primaries, secondaries, alula, etc.) are so apparent and the wings themselves are just so HUGE!

And last but not least, the incredible Wilson's Snipe. LIFE BIRD ALERT! I was super surprised to see a small flock of these guys... they're so interesting-looking birds and they can hide really well...

**Peace Always,

Spring is Blooming!

Part 1 of my adventures in Virginia this past weekend!

When: March 26 2011
Where: Alexandria, VA / Washington, D.C.

Last weekend I went to my dad's in Virginia for the weekend... and I'm SO glad I did! The reason for going was the fact that he finally bought a house and I wanted to say goodbye to our ol' apartment. To make the weekend even more fun, it was the beginning of the annual Cherry Blossom blooming! These world-famous trees were a gift to America by the Japanese, therefore making this year's blooming a bittersweet sight. The flowers only are open for about a week, and I have been lucky enough to see them two years in a row, now! Check out these beautiful flowers...

Mallards are always a common sight alongside the Cherry Blossoms, as the trees line the Patomac river. I settled down near a pair of sleeping ducks and took advantage of the incredible mid-day lighting:

On the way back from viewing the blossoms, I got a surprise: Pied-Billed Grebe! Not a Life bird, but certainly a year bird and a really neat one at that! Grebes are wonderful little birds. Unfortunately I was on a busy bridge when I sighted these guys, so I couldn't switch to a bigger lens. I had my Tamron 18-270 out, however, and used that to get this photo:

Next, it was time to see my dad's new house for the first time. It's beautiful and very cute, in a great neighborhood. My favourite Virginia birding spot, Huntley-Meadows Park, is only 15 minutes away (more on that park in my next post). The previous owners of the house kept a great backyard, with beautiful flowers like these:

Also, I've neglected to write a post here about my new puppy Shelli! She is a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, 4 months old now. I'll be sure to post some more photographs, but until now you can enjoy this one I took at sundown, at a dog park:

That evening we went down to the Old Town harbour, by the Torpedo Factory Art Center... the harbour is always a fun time with lots of birds! I saw my first Black-Crowned Night heron there last April. This time, I saw some year birds (Wood Duck and American Black Duck), and an interestingly coloured Mallard drake...

Presenting, the "Jumpin' Coot"!

Plus, I spent a while observing these striking immature Ring-billed Gulls (GULL FREAK = ME!)

And a Coot butt, inspired by my wonderful supporter and bird-buddy Dave!

Keep watch for Part 2 of the Virginia fun,

** Peace Always,
Kristina **