Sunday, May 23, 2010

Memories from Magee!

Trumpeter Swan with Kiddos!

Have you been to Magee Marsh? If not, I do hope you consider making it a priority place to go, Wow! This was the third time I have been to the area and this time was by far the best! Last fall I had the opportunity to walk the boardwalk in Magee Marsh to witness a ton of migrating birds within arm's length of the path. They were everywhere BUT they were in fall plumage. So a few days ago I had the same excitement (x10) as last fall and now added in a ton of spring plumage and BAM I was in heaven! My son and I were only able to spend 1 1/2 days in the area but the drive was well worth the reward! I was even able to pick up a couple of life birds - Black-billed Cuckoo and Ruddy Turnstone. My son (just starting his list) picked up more than 40 life birds! Below are some photo highlights of the trip for my son and I.

Yellow Warbler... one of the more cooperative Warblers to photograph. They like to hop out in the open in the tangles above the water.

Watersnake... just friendly neighborhood snake. These reptiles were everywhere. Pretty cool to see. I don't think many others on the boardwalk were as impressed with the snakes willingness to stay close to the action.

Canada Warbler... another common site this past weekend.

Magnolia Warbler... as common as House Sparrows in the city. Gorgeous!

My boy... taking a break near the lake to be a 9 year old. He skips rocks at every moment he gets!

Bay-breasted Warbler... hiding his face but the best part is out for all to see. Amazing colors!

Ruddy Turnstone! Lifer... here on the edge of Lake Erie in the presence of a Dunlin and Semi-palmated Sandpiper.

Yellow Warbler on nest... waiting patiently for the big day!

Green Heron... who could ever get tired of watching these slick birds pick off critters near the water's edge?
Common Nighthawk... this was a cool suprise to see. I have never scene one not flying.

Baltimore Oriole... a flash of orange to end the afternoon. Doesn't get any better.

If you want more information on this amazing area click on this link:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Panic Attack?

Had a chance to go birding at a local park today in Mooresville in an effort to figure out some options on my new camera (as you can see it is not coming along very fast) when I came upon a beautiful Eastern Bluebird. Although not in the most natural position, I thought this would be a good bird to photograph. As I was walking toward the bird though, the strangest thing (or behavior) occurred. The Bluebird literally seemed to freak out at our presence!
Eastern Bluebird (crappy picture, I know)... preparing to hop into the grass as Bluebirds commonly do to find food.
Into the grass... as I approached the bird, I thought it was "listening" for food like a Robin would do and then...

Flat on his face! I could not believe it, I thought I literally scared the shit out of this Bluebird and gave it a Heart Attack! It remained in the position for at least 30 seconds.

I continued to approach slowly wondering what the heck happened when it finally lifted its head up, in an obvious daze!

Continuing to snap out of it?

Then it flew back up to its original position on the fence! One of the oddest things I have yet to witness in the bird world! From this point, all seemed to be good. Is this normal Bluebird behavior? Do they act dead? If so, this Bluebird deserves and Oscar for an outstanding performance!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

Pileated Woodpecker... Pokagon State Park. What a privilege to see a Pileated nesting! Here is the male and female exchanging affection!

Is it May already? I can't believe the last time I posted was April 6! My how time flies these days. Between work, school, baseball games, etc., I have been busier than ever trying to keep up with the everyday things that life presents us with. I haven't been able to spend near as much time outside as I would like but I have been able to squeeze in a few days here and there. Recently, I was able to spend the entire weekend at the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary in Connersville, IN. The Indiana Audubon Society had their annual spring festival and despite some rain, we had a great time! Lots of great people to spend some time with and to talk about what we love the most - BIRDS!

A few weeks ago, my family and I were able to get up to Pokagon State Park to celebrate my Godson and his sister's 2nd birthday. What a great place to celebrate a birthday party. Again, we had some rain but it did not stop us from having fun! Below are just a few pictures from our two most recent outings.

Wood Frog... Pokagon. This is the first time I have ever seen this species. How cool!

Tufted Titmouse... Pokagon State Park.

Red-bellied Woodpecker... Pokagon State Park.

Red-backed Salamander... Pokagon State Park. My son was on a mission to find a Salamander and his wish was granted. He actually found several. Awesome amphibians!

Bufflehead... Pokagon State Park. Distant shots but a beautiful duck nonetheless. This is probably my favorite duck.

Tiger Swallowtail... Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary

Bat... Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. I wish I knew the species. I don't know much about bats. Anyone know?

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher... Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. I here people all the time say, "oh another Gnatcatcher" - I could smack them! What do you mean another Gnatcatcher idiot?!

Eastern Towhee... Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal