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,