Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Birds do it, bees do it...

Everyone is starting to get romantic now. We just did about 1.5 miles of the riverwalk this morning, and we had 2 mating species of woodpeckers.

A pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers
Just a Grackle, but the are so pretty.
A pair of Pilleated Woodpeckers
The Red-bellieds were defending their nest from some interloping Starlings.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Busy Birdy Weekend

We had a very busy and birdy weekend. We started out on Saturday leading trips at the annual Samson's Island Open House. We've done this every year for a long time now, and it's always a blast. Sunday we visited an old friend and her birds in Mims. Then we birded our way down to Viera, where we met up with a huge group from Space Coast Audubon. Here are the pictures. Click on photos to enlarge.

Red-bellied Woodpecker, Samson's Island.
Osprey on nest, Samson Island.
This was bizarre. Patti came running over to me to tell me that there was a Red-shouldered Hawk and an Osprey together. I thought she was insane, but sure enough, here they are. This is the hawk saying, "No, I must leave... our differences are just too deep to ever make this work..."
The Red-shouldered hawk looking back wistfully at the Osprey and their broken love. Ok, maybe that isn't what was going on, but if anyone has a better story for it, I'd like to hear it!
We went to visit Gail, who you might remember from The Owl Box Project, which her generous donation made happen.  Immediately after being greeted by Gail we were greeted by this immature Ruby-Throated Hummingbird...
...then we were treated to a bunch of Painted Buntings. These are two females enjoying one of the many feeders in the yard.
"Hey, look at me, I can do this!"
Posing nicely.
Just can't have too many pictures of Painted Buntings.
A Cardinal decided to come in and pose for me.
The house and groves were just beautiful, the birds love it here.
I call this picure, "Ptui!" For some reason I guess this bird did not like this one seed.
And oh yes, the male Painted Buntings are even prettier.
Male and female together. Compare and contrast,
I thought at first that the one on the right was a young male and that you could see the red coming in on his tummy. Then I realized it was just a reflection from the feeder.
Such adorable little birds.
And one last shot of the Painted Bunting. Thanks so much to Gail for sharing her paradise with us.

We stopped at Scottsmoor Landing on the way to lunch. Taking good pictures of Roseate Spoonbills is like shooting fish in a barrel!
Another picture of the Roseate.
This picture came out weird. Click to enlarge it, and check out how the light was hitting his eye. Really weird.
After lunch at Dixie Crossroads, David asked me if I ever got the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher when there was one in our area on the Cocoa CBC a few years back. I told him I had not, so we swung by the Tico Airport to see if we could find the one that was hanging out there. Our first sighting at the airport was this Savannah Sparrow. She looked like she was in prison looking through the bars.
Notice how long her little toes are.
This was a Vesper Sparrow. I thought at first this was a life bird, but then I remembered that it was actually my 299th life bird; when I got it a few years ago, I thought it was my 300th until David realized that I had counted a bird on my list twice. Du-uh!
Now THIS was a life bird! Number 327 on my Photographic Life List to be exact. This is the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.
We met up with Space Coast Audubon at the Viera Wetlands. This is a Phoebe.
An American Bittern.
This is an immature Little Blue Heron. Make sure you click to enlarge this one. His eye is weird, it gives me the jibblies.
Just a Common Gallinule, but still a pretty bird, I love the candy corn beak.
This picture made me laugh when I downloaded it - if you look quick, it looks like this Glossy Ibis has two heads!
He was such a little poser. I love how the green on his wing looks like it was dabbed on there by an artist too insecure to completely commit to painting the wing green.
One final shot of the Glossy Ibis.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out and joined us on Samson's Island, and Gail for the hospitality, and Jeff and Rochelle for arranging the Space Coast Birds and Brew event, and for everyone who joined the event to make it so special.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Scratch Board Sketches

February 20, 2016 - This was going to be a very belated birthday gift for someone, but I chipped the scratch board taking it out of the package, so decided to forge ahead and just do this for practice.

February 2, 2017 - Ringbilled Gull
January 26, 2017 - Vultures at Dawn (alternate title: Waiting For That Tasty-Looking Old Lady With The Camera To Drop)
January 23, 2016 - Red-bellied Woodpecker in the rain.

January 22, 2016 - Hopefully you can tell what kind of bird this is. If you can't, don't tell me, it will hurt my feelings.

December 26, 2016 - Belted Kingfisher, Cocoa Christmas Bird Count.
December 23, 2016 - This is a Reddish Egret dancing (for no reason) that I did as a Christmas gift for Heather. The quote is from the Steam Powered Giraffe song, "Make Believe".
December 20, 2016 - This is a jawbone that I did as a Christmas gift for Joy.

Grand Day Out at Grand Oaks

We had a fantastic trip out with some wonderful folks at Grand Oaks today. Thanks so much to Susan for inviting us, we hope to come back again soon. Here are some of the amazing birds we got to see. Click on any picture to enlarge it.

This is a Little Blue Heron that we saw on our way to Grand Oaks.
These are Double-Crested Cormorants. Check out my daily 8 a.m. blog for another Cormorant shot I took at Bridge Plaza before we got to Grand Oaks
A close up of the Double-Crested Cormorant.
Check out his crazy bright green eyes - they are like emeralds!
A Great Blue Heron, posing nicely for me.
A Tri-colored Heron. Click to enlarge to see his bright red eye.
A Double-Crested Cormorant, diving for nummies.
Three Black Vultures dining at Chez Roadkill.
Two mooning Mallards.
A female Hooded Merganser.
Blue-winged Teal.
Everyone's favorite bird, the Roseate Spoonbill.
 The White Pelican
A Great Blue Heron and a White Ibis...
...compare and contrast with a Great Blue Heron and two Glossy Ibises.