Thursday, October 20, 2016

Guess What I Saw?!


 Though I did hear what sounded to me like otters giggling in the brook...
An unmistakable sound...

 Yep...another trip to visit Pond Brook, part of the Summit Metropark system(and my favorite!) Still looking for the River Otters that reside in the area...still... I've asked most everyone I've met along the trails about them. Most had no idea that otters lived in our area. A few had ACTUALLY spotted them. I think they were teasing me... was a lovely autumn morning to be out, a lovely sky, nice temps and loads of Yellow-rumped Warblies in the trees and shrubs! Does life get any better than warbly time? Nope. Next to Magee Marsh in May, this is my favorite time of year to wander in the woods. The smell of the fallen leaves...what I like to call rotting so relaxing. Though it is hard to sneak up on birdies when those leaves are crunching underfoot. I can deal with it. I've never been known to be graceful or subtle when hiking anyway.

I must also mention the folks I've met walking here. All pleasant and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. I met a very nice young woman with her son out exploring along the trail Sunday morning. It's really great to see a young boy out in nature and liking it! We discussed aphids(you never know what you'll find interesting out there!) and the young man enjoyed checking out my camera. A future birder? I now have hope for the future of our natural world!

 Great trails and a boardwalk if you're afraid of tromping through mud.
I personally LOVE to stomp in the mud!

 Yep, Yellow-rumped Warbly!
Everywhere you looked at the woodland edges and tree tops!

White-crowned Sparrows were out in full force as well...
You know what that means...winter is coming! 
And these guys were getting crabby...

 I didn't like the way this Turkey Vulture kept circling over my head...

I told you the Yellow-rumps were everywhere!

 A very handsome...and fluffy...White-crowned Sparrow.

 I think the first year White-crowned Sparrows are gorgeous.

 Yep, another "butterbutt" I said, everywhere.

 The Song Sparrows were still singing.
I think this was one migrating through...he had an odd song, maybe a slight Canadian accent...

 Freshly seeded areas attracted a number of Red-winged Blackbirds that were passing through.
I think the females are striking...

 You'll never guess what this is?!

 Hard to believe this used to be access for drilling rigs.
It's much better now.

 Speaking of warblies(I always am!,) there were quite a few Palm Warblies feeding along the trail and in the "weeds."

 There's beauty everywhere if you look closely.

 This Northern Cardinal actually sat still...for almost a second and a half.

Palm Warblies don't usually sit still very long...

 The light coming through the forest was great!
This is one of my favorite shots of a Palm Warbly.

 They have to really chow down to prepare for their long journey south!
Sounds like a good plan to me...ROAD TRIP!

 Look, but don't touch!

 I was very surprised to see this Monarch butterfly out in the grass.
Must be a straggler. I hope he makes it south!

 Of course, House Sparrows are always found where there's a meal...

 This day was so beautiful that I even took a photo of a European Starling.
Very bad and destructive invasive bird, but still attractive in the fall.

 This Eastern Chipmunk froze on the boardwalk as I came up on him.
I told him no worries lil buddy and he smiled and trotted off with a wave of his tail.
My reality and your reality may be a little different...a little.

 There was an Eastern Bluebird pair sitting in this tree, but I think I startled the male and he flew off.

 This is the dirty look I received for shooing off her mate.
But it was an accident!
Oh well...the same look I get from most women...

 The American Goldfinches seemed very sad today.
They miss their bright and cheery summer apparel.
I know the feeling.

 Poor sad little finchy...

 All the young American Robins were in the meadow hunting for worms and grubs.
Good eating this morning!
I had a sausage McMuffin.
Better than worms...but not as healthy...

 Rude little Black-capped Chickadee...

 This Blue Jay and his buddies kept a close eye on me as I walked around the parking area.
They have trust issues.

 I finally found the ideal BirdMobile!
No roof and I can see all around...just gotta watch that car ahead of me...

Once last Yellow-rump for the road!

Until we meet again on the trails...Happy Birding!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Birdin' by the Beach...

 Not the ideal weather for laying on the beach...but birdin'? Yep!

It's so nice to be only an hour or so from Cleveland's lakefront...especially when it's time for my lil warblies to migrate through! A nice wind from the lake felt great and gave those migrators a little boost. It was one of those cloudy...sunny...cloudy...sunny days that Lake Erie is famous for. Still nice enough for lots of boaters to be out and one skinny guy with his camera! 

Wendy Park has a very nice woodlot surrounded by meadows with wildflowers galore. It gets better every year. If you don't care about birds, they have sand volleyball courts and a marina for your yacht. Ha...yacht...I just have a little dingy...

 This American Redstart was feeling very jumpy up in the tree tops.
I held my kit up over my head and caught him!
Ha! Try to get away from me...amateurs...

 There were dozens of American Robins coming through as well.
This ratty fellow seemed to stand out from the crowd.
I think the others were afraid of him...

 I love digital!
The ISO went up to 6400 for this shot of a Black-throated Blue Warbly!
I couldn't do that with my old film cameras.

 If you listen closely, you can hear the crowd at the Cleveland Browns Stadium across the Cuyahoga!
Well, maybe they weren't making any noise...just heavy sighs...

This is the old Coast Guard station that was built in the late 30's.
It's FINALLY getting rebuilt by our wonderful Metroparks!

 Uh...remember my last post?
Them lil warblies are still zooming away too fast!
In case you're wondering, that really is a Blackpoll Warbly.
Honest...I asked him.

 The ever present Cabbage White butterflies were everywhere!
That's why I said "ever present."
Because they were present everywhere.

Here's another!

 I think he was shy.
Downy's usually aren't shy, but he was having a bad feather day...

 After he saw my feathers, or lack there of, he didn't feel so bad.

 Oh those wacky flycatchers!
I do believe this one was an Eastern Wood-Pewee.

 Another flycatcher hiding in the woods.
I'm still puzzled, so he doesn't get a name.
Any suggestions?

 Stoopid gray and white birds...
Oh, I'm sorry! I was supposed to say that to myself...
This is a lovely Herring Gull.
Yeah, I don't like herring.

 Now warblies I love!
This Magnolia caught a nice juicy, squishy, wriggly spider for breakfast.
Are you eating?
I hope that didn't spoil your appetite.
Juicy, squishy, wriggly, squirmy...yum.

 I was telling this guy that I love that black and white stripe under their tail.
It makes it so easy to spot them.
He had to check.
He never noticed it before.
He was young...he'll learn.

 He told his friends and they all had to look.
It was funny watching them all check out their tails.
Silly warblies.

Ha...bird humor. 
Gets them every time.

 There were hundreds of Monarch butterflies fluttering about.
Very distracting!
Every time I saw one move I zipped around with my camera thinking it was a warbly.
I think I hurt my neck.

 Playing peek-a-boo with Northern Flickers is fun...and kills a lot of time.
What I do to entertain these birds...

 Finally, a Northern Mockingbird that didn't mock me!
(That's because I snuck up on him and he didn't see me!)
*Did you know that "snuck" isn't really a word?

 Nope, not here.

 I saw this Osprey carrying a fish out of the corner of my eye and managed a shot as he sailed off into the city.
*More fun facts!: You only see out of the center of your eye where the pupil is.
No one see's out of the corner.
Aren't you glad you're here?

 I spent way too much time tripping over rocks and branches trying to get a photo of this Red-breasted Nuthatch.
I felt like I belonged in the nut hatch.

 Why, looky there!
It's another of those fabulous gray and white birds that are loved the world over!
Ring-billed Gulls really hate sarcasm.
He gave me the evil eye as I was talking to him...and laughing.

 This Song Sparrow was from a different time zone.
He was splish splashing on a Saturday day...not night.
"Ya gotta splash when ya can bub!"

And so ends another exciting adventure in Birding with Loopy!
Until we meet again...