Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spr - ing

Spring is trying to get here. Really. You may not see it unless you look but its coming for sure. Each year birders get excited in April by a few early migrants like Pine and Palm warblers and Gnatcatchers. And then, nothing else shows up and we feel bad again. But the end of April comes along and we get glad again. Here are a few things to make me feel good about spring.

First up - Yellow-throated Warbler. You may remember that we saw these in Honduras in March. Well, they are here now. Just like that. Here is one with a bug at Belleplain State Park in NJ.

Yellow-throated Warbler
Shorebirds are coming back too. Here are some Dunlin. The one flying in looks like he is conducting the orchestra. Maestro!

More signs of spring include flowers of all sorts. Wildflowers include this Trout Lily.

And this Violet.

And yes, these are flowers too. Pine flowers that they call "candles".

Nesting is in progress by some of our birds. Here is a Cormorant bringing a stick in to the nest colony.

 This Tree Swallow was pissed at Peanut who kept running around the nest box.

Tree Swallow
 This Robin has been picking wet, gooey leaves out of our pond to build her nest.

 And this House Wren is making his house in the nest box in our front yard.

House Wren
Chickadees already have 7 eggs in a nest box on our patio. The "nest box" was a bird feeder gift from Jill and Becky which was covered with birdseed. The seed was picked clean over the winter. Really bad photo taken with my iPhone but you get the gist of it.

Chickadee Eggs
Here's to spring. Its just beginning.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Few Cuties For You

Not much birding going on around here lately but I was able to get out to Pennypack Park a few times. Here a a couple of photos that should make you smile.

This guy reminded Connie and I of an incident that happened about 20 years ago when we came across a raccoon on the trail. This was so long ago that Daisy, our first dog was with us. The raccoon was acting funny so we hustled down the trail. On our way back, we saw the raccoon and he saw us. In fact, he started running toward us making noise. Yes, he was rabid and he was heading right for us. We grabbed Daisy's leash and ran as fast as we could. He ran too. We left the trail and ran up the hill. He left the trail too and tried to cut us off. We made it back to the car huffing and puffing. It was really scary and sad at the same time.

20 years later and with a different dog, Connie and I cam across this raccoon almost at the same place where we found the rabid raccon.  This guy was peering out of a hollow tree. He is pretty cute and didn't try to come after us. Look at his little paw/hand.

Some of the Wood Ducks at Pennypack hang around in winter. I think they survive by begging bread handouts with their Mallard friends. That makes these ducks so easy to photograph since they are the only Wood Ducks that I know of that swim TOWARD people on the bank of a creek.  These are handsome ducks for sure.

Wood Duck
I mean really. Look at the colors and patterns on this guy.
Wood Duck
Looks like we have some decent weather on tap for this weekend. Hopefully, we can get some power birding in.