Sunday, November 30, 2014

Last Day of November

Last day of November and the weather was exceptionally beautiful with tomorrow's forecast even better.  Who could ask for more?

The birds were very active taking advantage of increased insect activity and were busy hunting.  This Bluebird couple must have found something good in the tree hollow and kept switching out looking.

A male Northern Flicker was in the same area as the Bluebirds looking for insects  too.

There were lots of Palm Warblers in the area.  For the past couple of years they have congregated in a small area.

At the pond, the Mallards were very active.  There are probably five drakes for every one hen so needless to say, there are lots of squabbles between the drakes and the hens are constantly being chased.

The Kingfisher was chattering and flying from tree to tree.  We only saw the female today so not sure where the male was.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey Tail

Not what you thought huh?  The weather over the last two days has not been conducive to going out and trying to get a shot of a turkey so this will have to do.

Trametes versicolor - commonly called turkey tail fungus.  The colors in the fungus resemble the colors found in a wild turkey's tail.  The fungus is commonly found on dead and decaying trees. Properties within the mushroom have been extensively studied for use in breast cancer treatment by helping to promote the immune system.

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Last Daisy

It has been a very strange feeling weather day with temperatures in the low to mid 70's.  The morning started clear but clouds moved in quickly.  I gave up on birding when light showers started and headed home.

By the time I got home the drizzle had stopped so I decided I would get up leaves....again..... before more rain moved in.  It is almost an exercise in futility with so many still coming down but I try to get them up in manageable levels versus waiting until they all come down.

The last daisy finally began to fade today.  I can not believe this one daisy lasted almost three weeks.  I had already cut the remainder of the bed back with the exception of this one flower.  The mounding Japanese Maple in the background makes for nice color.

A thunderstorm is moving in so I guess I will close now.  I just hope we are not in for a strong storm tonight.  I always worry when it has been so warm and a cool front starts moving in.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Waterfowl Arriving - Lake Mattamuskeet

My friend and I headed down to Lake Mattamuskeet early this morning to see what was coming in. With weather today being the best out of the next several, we wanted to take advantage of it.

The first overhead flock came by so fast that you only had time to take a quick shot for later identification.  It was a nice surprise to find it was a large flock of Redheads.  Over the last couple of years I have only seen a few there so to see these.....

and later these, we were thrilled!

The second overhead flock (not a good shot)
was at a greater distance and I knew by their body shape they were Northern Pintails.  As more come in all the ducks will get less and less flighty and they will begin getting closer.

The lake was alive with sound.  I love hearing the Tundra Swan.  There were singles.....

and there were family units.  The three young swans still grayish in color are under the watchful eyes of their parents.

We counted a group of 34 Great Egrets all gathering in a group of pine trees.  We got tickled because they reminded us of a bunch of chickens clucking.

A Black-crowned Night Heron was probably the most photographed bird in the refuge today.  It was very obliging to pose so nicely.  They are so striking with their red eye.

Earlier in the day we saw a rather large flock of white pelicans fly over but they were out of range. Late in the afternoon as we were getting ready to leave, another small flock of seven came closer by. They are such odd but net looking birds.

In the morning we met an individual from Kentucky visiting our State for the week.   This was his first visit to the refuge and we enjoyed meeting and talking with him.  He gave us each a copy of a book he had recently published.  John....we read through some during our lunch break and we thank you.  I hope you have a good week and see lots of birds.  Enjoy your visit.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pre-Artic Air Day

I stopped by the park this morning though I did not have much time to stay.  I was anxious to see what had come in before the incoming wave of cold air.  It seems like when you have a back to back day of extreme temperature changes, birds are on the move.  With a beautiful day in the 70's today, it is hard to believe it will be so cool tomorrow.

There were probably a 100+ Ring-necked ducks that had come in.  Unfortunately without walking the path around the pond, I was shooting in to the light and no good shots of the masses.  There were a few here and there away from the large flocks.  Mostly just scoping out to see what else was there I saw a few Blue-winged Teal, some Buffleheads and a handful of Northern Shovelers.

Several large flocks of Grackles came through ravaging the trees for any insects, keeping such fuss and stirring up all the other birds.  Guess they are headed to a warmer climate.

Everywhere I have been this year there are tons of Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  Unlike the Golden-crowned that seems more skittish, these little birds show very little fear of humans.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mirror Mirror

It has been a very busy week on the personal side.  I played hostess to a luncheon for my Aunt's 90th birthday which was a worthy effort for such a notable birthday.  She is quite a character and I was glad everything turned out well and all the ladies enjoyed it.  If I am still around at 90.....which I probably won't be, I would hope for the same.

All the cooking and preparation left little time to do much else and what time I did have, did some of those outside jobs that needed doing before the cold weather arrives which regrettably, looks like towards the end of the coming week.

I did go out for a bit this morning just to look around a bit.  Lots of mallards are coming in now and I saw a few Grebe and Ruddy Ducks.

The resident Great Blue was doing lots of strutting and fluttering about.  It usually flies off as soon as you gt close but not today.  The overcast skies today really brought out the blue of the heron.