Monday, February 29, 2016

The Birds are Calling You




                                                              Great Blue Heron


                                                                  Male Redhead



                                                           Male Red-winged Blackbird


                                                                    Mallard Hen


                                                                      Mallard Pair


                                                          Male Downy Woodpecker


                                                              Male Northern Cardinal


                                                            Female Northern Cardinal


0715-0955 hrs./39-59 degrees F/sunny/light and variable winds

Birds were everywhere this morning, and their mating calls resounded.  They are already
gathering nesting materials and some are even nesting.  I have seen the commonest House
Sparrow carrying feathers for inside the nest cup which will be closest to the eggs.  American Robins already have a brood patch, which is exposed skin that will be warmest up against the egg.  The
Killdeer are everywhere, mostly on the jetties, and life is good on Boomer Lake.  I think you'll
agree with me.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Owl Be Seeing You


                                                                  Rusty Blackbird


                                                                         Redheads


                                                         Northern Flicker(yellow shafted)


                                                               Great Horned Owl


                                                                  Song Sparrow

The Rusty Blackbird surprised me a little, since it rarely ventures out at the lake, but the calm day must have had something to do with it.  These photos were taken over the past two days; yesterday was a bright and windless day, and today had gusting winds at 20 mph.  Each day had its good points, so I chose the best photos between the two.  This is what I came up with, and tomorrow is another day.

022816 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

http://www.stwnewspress.com/news/lifestyles/life-at-boomer-lake-birds-are-the-real-sign-of/article_79099cc2-dd95-11e5-a380-6fc45be613ff.html

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The World According to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Indiahoma, OK


                                                                   Western Fence Lizard
                                                                   (Blue Bellied Lizard)


                                                                    Prairie Dog


                                                                 American Bison


                                                              Wild Longhorn Steer

022016 -  We made a pitstop at the refuge on the way home from Aransas NWR.  The Wichita
Mountains is a haven for wildlife, and also is home to a beautiful herd of elk, which happened to appear.  It was shortly after noon and the animals were in the wrong place at the wrong time, so
the photos will not be shown.

Cruising around Camp Doris showed a number of birds, which included several woodpeckers,
the Eastern Bluebird, and some of the Sandhill Cranes that we just left were on their way home
north for breeding purposed.  All eighteen of them were overhead, so there are no photos for that, since they were a mere speck.

Here's a small sampling of the beautiful animals that we encountered.  Keep Mount Scott in the
back of your mind for hawk watching ventures, and tell them that I sent you, as they pass by.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge/Laguna Atascosa in Texas


                                                            Blue-winged Teal Pair


                                                               Male Green-winged Teal


                                                               Male Blue-winged Teal


                                                                       Least Grebe


                                                                    Pied-billed Grebe
                                                           Breeding Plumage, Foreground


                                                                   Greater Yellowlegs


                                                                    American Wigeon


                                                                      Crested Caracara


                                                                   Greater Roadrunner


                                                                    White-tipped Dove


                                                            Golden-fronted Woodpecker


                                                                       Olive Sparrow


02-18/02-20-16

Photos were taken at Jones Lake and Heron Flats in Aransas NWR and Laguna Atascosa just
prior to darkness.

Jones Lake was observed over two days, where the both teals, the Least Grebe, and American
Wigeon were found.

The real gems were located at Laguna Atascosa, which was worth the drive via a seven-mile detour over very rough terrain.  The birds photographed were the Crested Caracara, Greater Roadrunner, White-tipped Dove, Green Jay, Golden-crowned Woodpecker,  Gray Catbirds and the very regional Olive Sparrow.  The Aplomondo Falcon was seen attempting to apprehend a Gray Catbird, as was the Long-billed Thrasher.  Darkness
nearly enveloped us, and I ran out of time trying to get a decent shot of the Long-billed Thrasher.  Perhaps next time will yield additional results.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Valentine's Day Present From the Birds on Galveston Bay via Rockport, TX


                                                                American Pelican


                                                                      Laughing Gulls


                                                                      Brown Pelican


                                                                         Osprey


                                                            American Oystercatcher


                                                                     Common Loon


02-15-16 afternoon/partly cloudy/warm/15 mph winds

Having grown up both in and around salt water, I was at home both in and around the bay.
Nothing pleases me more than to be birdwatching, but this was an added bonus.  Feeling like I
was part of a more serious cast of Gilligan's Island, I could not have asked for more than this wonderful afternoon.

This was the closest that I was able to get to the Osprey, American Oystercatcher(most ironically on
a bed of oyster shells), and the Common Loon.  There was also a band of several dolphins, but the best photo that I could get was a dorsal fin, so I deliberately omitted that shot.  We were surrounded by both Brown and American Pelicans, Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants, a few different species of gulls, Great Blue Herons, Great Egret, the Reddish Egret, shore birds, Whooping Cranes in the distance, and many more birds attracted to the water.  There was even a small island rookery for
breeding herons and egrets that was occupied by close to a dozen birds when we passed by it.

Thanks to Captain Tommy Moore on the Skimmer for providing a wonderful cruise on Galveston Bay.  It was wonderful to obtain the photos that I did for my first time on a moving tour boat.  It was an experience that I will not soon forget.

For your birding adventures in the Rockport Texas area, call and book with Capt. Tommy Moore, also author of The Lobstick Prince, a Whooping Crane Story at 877-TX-BIRDS.  You'll not regret this adventure.  The book can be purchased through amazon.com via http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0557179076?keywords=birding%20with%20Capt.%20Tommy&qid=1456240104&ref_=sr_1_fkmr0_2&s=books&sr=1-2-fkmr0

021416 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

http://www.stwnewspress.com/news/lifestyles/life-at-boomer-lake-love-is-in-the-air-for/article_03f3d7bc-d2a6-11e5-b719-8b23818b4426.html

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

We Must Learn to Fix It Before It is Too Late

Share what we have and we must learn to fix it before it is too late.  Let's share the love, you and me.



Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sun and Fun For All


                                                                   Pied-billed Grebe


                                                                      Song Sparrow


                                                                   American Pelican


                                                           Northern Mockingbird

0730-1100 hrs./37-50 degrees F/light and variable winds/partly to mostly cloudy

There are several Pied-billed Grebes on the lake this winter, one of which has been in the Southern Cove for the past two days.  This lovely specimen is a little shy, but I hope it will get used to the surroundings.  This area is sheltered and kept this sweet little bird sheltered from a Red-shouldered Hawk that was nearly overhead, so it worked out well.  Last seek there were hawk trappings hanging on a tree(wings), so I sometimes hold my breath around the red-shoulders.

A lone American Pelican came calling, most likely the one that was reported to me at Hazen Lake last week.  I happened to find it east of Goose Island, but it had made its way to the west side of the lake on my return trip.

Large numbers of Song Sparrows were all over the area this morning, some in groups of two or three.

The Carolina Chickadee males are claiming territories and they were also available in numbers.

The American Robin and Red-winged Blackbird are both moving in numbers, and I'm inclined to think that we area already experiencing early spring movement.

020716 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

http://www.stwnewspress.com/news/local_columnists/life-at-boomer-lake-birds-critters-take-advantage-of-weather/article_85a9b25a-cd23-11e5-9a8b-db8e303018fa.html

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Souls of the Heartland


                                                           Yellow-rumped Warbler


                                                                         Blue Jay


                                                                    Male Bufflehead


                                                                     Male Gadwall


                                                            Male Red-winged Blackbird


                                                                    Song Sparrow


                                                               Great Blue Heron


0730-1130 hrs./39-50 degrees F/35 degree wind chill at start/partly cloudy/0-15 mph wind gusts

El Nino has made things a little cool around here first thing in the morning, but as the wind whips off the Rockies, I trek my way forward.  As the warm breath blows into my gloved clenched fists, I fight
to go on, even though my hands are numb.  My face also feels the chilled air, but there are high hopes in my heart.  If this is what explorers feel like, I have passed the test, and the forward momentum shows that there are many things yet to discover.

See the world through my eyes, and the intensity in my heart.  I have only just begun.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Winter's Famed Trappings


                                                                      Beaver


                                                        Yellow-rumped Warbler(Myrtle)


                                                                       Ditto


                                                                        Ditto


                                                               Fox Squirrel


0730-1000 hrs./43-49 degrees F/28 degree windchill for first hour/15-20 mph wind gusts/partly
cloudy

It was difficult getting pictures for the past several days.  The birds were out, but they just did
not wish to bother with the photographic element.  Most of these shots were obtained today, but
the excitement was on Sunday with wall-to-wall woodpeckers.

Several species of woodpecker were seen in close proximity to each other, some within inches.
They were seeking both sustenance, as well as cavities to excavate.  Unfortunately, European
Starlings were also in the vicinity, which tend to usurp the efforts of cavity nesters, most
notably the Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Several Carolina Chickadees sounded the starling alarm, and the woodpeckers became astute
to possible predators, including the Pileated Woodpecker, who was feeding in the company of
the tiny Downy Woodpecker.

A thunderstorm emptied clouds in the area overnight, so there were lots of large puddles and
great numbers of American Robins today.  With rain comes worms that need to breathe, so between
bathing and eating, there were a good sixty robins on the ground this morning.  They were also
southbound in good numbers, and our Bald Eagle couple paid a visit, too.  The male American Kestrel was also out and about seeking mice, so it was nice just to observe his actions.