Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All Work and No (OK, a little) Play

I thought I had this all planned out.  I got a contract to support 10 arts organizations in South Jersey this fall.  So naturally, I thought it would give me ample time to go birdwatching before and after meetings, and keep an eye on the Green House construction project.  As you can see by my lack of posts - that isn't happening. 

Yes, I have been birdwatching. But not like I thought I would.  It's more like walking the dog with binoculars then rushing off to meetings all day.  I have been walking the dog at Cox Hall Creek WMA which was formerly called Villas WMA, and before that it was a golf course.  It is a good place for birds and regularly has Red-headed Woodpeckers.  This youngster has been seen for a few weeks now and it looks like he/she will be staying at CHC for awhile since I watched the bird caching acorns in tree trunks.  This habit reminds me alot of the Acorn Woodpecker from out west. Notice that this bird doesn't really have a red head but there are a few red feathers coming through.

Roxy and I also had a laugh while watching this Sharp-shinned Hawk dive bomb and harass a murder of crows.  The hawk is about half the size of the crow but that didn't stop him.  "Are you a chicken?  'cause I'm a chicken hawk."

Finally, CHC is chock full of sparrows and bluebirds.  Here are a couple of sparrow photos.  The first shows a Field Sparrow which are really pretty little birds.  The second photo shows what I think is a Lincoln's sparrow in the foreground and the Field Sparrow in the background.

Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully I will have time to do some birdwatching this weekend (before or after sanding the floors)

Friday, November 11, 2011

This Youngster is Trying

Barbara got this amazing video of a Sharp-shinned hawk running around Penn's campus trying to catch a squirrel. 

Poor guy never got the squirrel.  On top of that, he endured the indignity of having the squirrel mock him by sitting on the same branch in the tree!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

End of the Season

Well, its looking more like the end of the summer considering that we had SNOW on Saturday and the Brown Booby finally left Wildwood yesterday.  Yes, SNOW and yes, the Brown Booby left.  The great thing about the snow is that it melted by the next day. 

The great thing about the Booby is that she really left - not just disappeared.  And not only did she leave on her own accord (I guess the channel marker got slippery with all of that snow and frost on it), but she flew past the tour boat that has been taking hundreds of people out to see her for the past few months on her way out of the sound and gave everyone one last view on her way to open ocean.  A fitting ending to a terrific few months.  Check out the post on NJBirds for more details about the departure written by Sam Galick. 

As a recap, here is my best photo of the bird taken from our whale watching trip in August and the link to my blog post from that day cleverly entitled "Now, About that Booby . . . "

Our Southern Friend for the Summer - Female Brown Booby

Now onto winter birds and hopefully a replacement rarity.  Maybe another Ivory Gull?  Who knows, but that is what keeps us interested until spring!