Wednesday, July 20, 2016

...Meanwhile...Back at the Marsh...(oh my.)

 The Yellow-billed Cuckoos were abundant this year...cicadas for lunch anyone?

 Yep, this is the continuation of last weeks ever so thrilling bloggity kids! I'll bet you were going mad all week in anticipation...or maybe not...well I was CUCKOO for this post! Ha! Get it? there's a photo of a Cuckoo up there! See it? Scroll back up...sheesh...yep, there ya go. I knew you'd figure it out. I have only the best and the brightest burd nerds on my site!

(Shield your sensitive eyes for this next one children!)

 You are correct in your assumption.
Those are two Yellow-billed Cuckoos making preparations for a third Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
They did teach you about the BIRDS and the bees did they not?

 And yes, that is the male skipping out before there's more mouths to feed.

The Baltimore Orioles were busy as well!

So, where was I? Oh I remember now...sort of...these are a combination of two trips to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, more specifically, the Ira Road trail head and the beaver marsh(and I STILL haven't seen any beavers there!)

Both days were hot and sunny with lots of friendly folks out and about. A big lens always attracts curiosity and it's a great way for me to introduce more people to the birds that populate(and RE-populate!) our area. It's surprising how many people don't notice what's going on in the natural world around them. They're all too busy biking, jogging, playing with their silly cell phones to see the amazing life that surrounds us all.

Next time you're out in nature, get someones attention and show them a bird or a turtle, anything, just try to rekindle their sense of wonder.

 A bird as simple and common as this Black-capped Chickadee got the attention of quite a few after I pointed it out.
He was spinning around this leaf and others getting his fill of insects.

 People tend to be fearful of insects until you explain their place in nature.
This Blue Dasher dragonfly and many others like him were circling the marsh eating as many of those tiny insects that buzz around your head when you're trying to take photos of dragonflies and swatting at those tiny little insects that buzz around your head.
Am I repeating myself?

 Speaking of bug eaters...this Bull Frog was poised under a branch that had dragonflies perched on it.
He tried jumping to get them...not high enough...lucky for the dragons...

 Carpe Diem.
Actually, just a plain ole carp.
With a very big mouth.
I think he was trying to growl at me.
"Rooooaaarrrr!"
I never heard it.

 Cedar Waxwing.
Doing something.
That's all I got...

 Okay kids, I'm leaving this one up to you!
To me, it looks like a Clay-colored Sparrow.
Very hard to find around here, but he sure as heck looks like one!
Let me know what you think...

 This is an obnoxious Common Grackle checking out a Tree Swallows nest cavity.

 This is the same Common Grackle, even more obnoxious, taking over the Tree Swallows nest cavity.

 Proud, but still obnoxious Common Grackle.
They did raise a family in there...

 This is half of the pair of Eastern Kingbirds that were patrolling the wetlands.
Also a big bug eater!

 One of my favorite birdies! Gray Catbird singing his crazy jumble of songs.
(Don't tell the warblies I said that!)

 Great Blue Herons also garner quite a bit of attention out here.
They're large and easy to spot and folks always love seeing them.
He's not a "crane" even though most people say "Did you see the Crane over there?"
At which point I get out the iBird Pro guide app on my phone and begin to get excited and over explain things until they say "Oh, uh-huh."...

 ...then I just say, isn't he gorgeous?
And everyone smiles and agrees.
(That was a close one!)

These Great Spangled Fritillary's on milkweed seemed to have a few close calls with our birdie friends!

 This is a very aggravated  Midland Painted Turtle.
Aggravated because he has a leaf stuck to his face...and I just stood there, giggled and took his picture...then walked away.
Sorry buddy, but it WAS funny!

 The Mourning Dove would have laughed as well, but birds can't laugh.
Except for the Kookaburra, but they don't live here.

 Sorry folks, that ain't no beaver!
It's a Muskrat and yes I'm sure.
He is om-nomming something tasty!

 Northern Cardinals have always been difficult for me to shoot.
UNTIL I discovered that they fall for that "look behind you" line!
 Got you this time!

 I like pond lilies.
They don't move...too much.

 Oh, that poor Red-tailed Hawk.
Why is it that Red-winged Blackbirds and Grackles love chasing them around...?

 ...and plucking feathers out of their behinds?
They must have some sort of feather collecting game going on.

 "Whoaaaa!"
Don't you hate when get yourself into a predicament like that?

 That female Red-winged Blackbird didn't laugh as much as me.
Now that I think about it...BIRDS STILL CAN'T LAUGH!
Except, of course, for the Kookaburra...and they still don't live here.
Ask Stewart.

 Speaking of no sense of humor... Snapping Turtles...zero sense of humor...
Good stare though...

 I just remembered...this is Bird From Behind...
There. It's a Song Sparrows butt.
Happy?

 Okay fine.
Here's another.
Tree Swallow FROM BEHIND.
Bossy kids...

 Ha-ha!
Tree Swallows front!

 I had a beautiful serenade from this Veery.
I walked all around and under this guy and he just kept singing.
I just sat there quietly and listened.
Life is good when you can listen and be still.

CUTE DUCKIES!!!

 I have a friend that goes crazy for duckie photos.
This mother Wood Duck with duckling will make her go wild.

 The kids are getting a lesson on proper preening.

 Now they can go for a swim and have a little lunch...

 I get the crazy eye from so many birds...I wonder why?
Maybe they've seen this goofy blog...

WARBLY!!!
And it's a Yellow one! 
It's getting harder to see them with all of the leaves out.

Speaking of leaves out...I'm leaving!
For now...
See you next week with more wacky adventures in...
BIRDS FROM BEHINDDDDDDD....(pretend that's an echo. Cool.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green...

 "It's too hot!"
 I had a great walk Sunday in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at the beaver marsh off Ira Road. This is always a busy area with joggers. bicyclists, walkers and even birders! This day was no exception with gorgeous clear blue skies and plenty of warmth...good for Loopy burd nerds, not so good for overheated Green Herons!

I was there for around 4 hours with most of the time spent watching this single Green Heron. Better than TV! When you watch a bird for a long time you actually learn a few things...and attract a lot of attention. "What do you see?" "Oh, that's a pretty bird!" "Are you looking at the turtle?" and my favorite..."Oh my, that's a big lens!"...ha! I don't think this guy has ever had such a large audience. Most of the folks I spoke with never would have noticed it. Best of all, it was a lifer for a fellow birder that I walked along with.

Meeting and speaking with new people is almost as good as watching the birds...

 He was showing off his smooth dance moves...

Now that's an impressive move!

 It's been pointed out that his legs and my legs are quite similar...

 Hmmm, that reminds me, I forgot my water and I'm thirsty too!

 The nice thing about wings...you can always make your own shade!

 He was watching an insect flying over...that's gotta be rough on the neck!

 I think it landed on his tail!

 ...or maybe it went under his nether regions...

 ...chasing his tail like a doggie!

 "I can't tell if that's the pond smell or me!"

 "Eesh...definitely the...uh...pond...yep...the pond."

 I was so busy gabbing with people I nearly missed lunch time!
*If you click on the photo and make it larger, you'll notice the nictitating membrane protecting his eye...cool fun facts you only get from Birds From Behind!...sort of...

 Okay, imagine eating sushi...with no hands.
You have to catch the fish in the marsh with your mouth.
Then you have to be coordinated enough to flip it around so it goes down head first.
Good luck!
(I would starve to death...)

 And there it goes!
With a little duck weed garnish...fancy...
 
 This Green Heron was waiting for flying fish.
Not gonna happen buddy!

 And that's a day in the life of a Green Heron.
(Well, maybe a couple hours anyway...)

 Stop back soon for the rest of the days gorgeous finds!
See ya!