Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Back to the Present...

 A hot day in the neighborhood! Even the Ruby-throated Hummers were sitting still.

 Hard to believe, but I'm actually posting from this weekend! Yes, there's more from the crazy migration month...we'll save that for later...In the meantime...YOIKS! It was hot on Sunday when I went to Tallmadge Meadows for a "short" walk through the woodland and around the meadow. The temps were already in the low 90's when I got there in the morning. By the time I finished my "short" walk it was 99 on the car thermometer! And I could feel it. I wonder why the birds were all hiding in the leaves and scrub?

I planned on leaving before lunch when the temps were going to burn me alive, butt I kept seeing a bird here and there...AND THEN...the wild call of a Yellow-breasted Chat...the non-warbly warbly! I followed him back and forth through the scrub and into the trees...for an hour and a half...back and forth...forth and back...and...anyway...stoopid burd never came out. Nope, time spent on fire in the full sun and not a single photo to chat about...jerk burd. All I got was a sun burn. Stoopid human...

Oh well, I had a good time anyway and even managed a few good shots!

 This is a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird winding up for a take off...

 You could even hear the sonic boom when he let loose!
This photo was taken at one millionth of a second...really...fast camera...maybe...
  (Alternative facts are my life.)

 Please note the "rising" icon and the temp alert.
I should have noticed that earlier...

 A smarter than me American Goldfinch, aka imitation warbly, hiding in the shade.

 I could clearly hear this Brown Thrasher laughing at me...a lot...another burd that's a jerk.

 Uh...Cedar Waxwing being fluffy?

 These two were confused by the fluffiness as well...

 This is a Chipmunk frozen in time pretending to be not there.
He needs a little more practice.

 Any day I can sneak up on a "Common" Yellowthroat and get his photo is a good day!

 There was at least a dozen singing in the meadow, I found two!
This one yelled at me for blowing his cover.
Angry little guy...

 This is a dragonfly.
It's not really a dragon or a fly...

 This is another dragonfly that isn't a dragon or a fly.
I need to find a "Dragonflies From Behind" field guide.

 This is a guilty looking Eastern Gray Squirrel.
I think he stole that nut from the frozen Chipmunk.

 Lots of flycatchers out today catching flies.
Except for this Eastern Kingbird.
Please note the juicy bumble bee in the upper right.
Flew right past his face.
Must not like sweet bees.

 Speaking of far sighted birds.
This Eastern Wood-Pewee almost got clobbered by that Virginia Ctenucha moth!

 The moth was being a daredevil and strafed him again!

 "Doh...did you see a juicy bug fly by?"
Love that look of bewilderment...

 Wow...when a Field Sparrow sings, his whole body shakes with those trills!
I need to learn to shoot and post video...

 Okay, first, to the lady that was standing behind me while I was calling out "HARRY!," that's how you talk to a Gray Catbird. I'm not crazy...well...mostly not.
By the way, the catbird called back "David!"
I heard it.
I'll bet that lady talks to herself...at least I only talk to birds...and chipmunks...and bugs...and snakes...

 I also occasionally talk to Midland Painted Turtles when they're sneaking through the wetland.

 ...and sometimes Raccoons...

 I don't talk to Red-bellied Woodpeckers.
That would be silly.

 Enough of that...this Red-winged Blackbird told me to be quiet...

 Um...excuse me, butt you got a little something stuck in your beak. Might want to wipe yer face.
Those Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are messy eaters...
 
 All the Ruby-throats I saw were just chillin' out...or trying to.

 This poor Song Sparrow was singing his brains out, butt sinking lower and lower on that branch.
He needed to take a break.

 This one told me he just wanted to sit for a few minutes and rest.
Me too.

 This is the look you get when you ask a Tree Swallow if he's ever swallowed a tree.
Not evne a chuckle out of him.
Nothing.

 Just the crazy eye...
I think feeding all of those kids did a number on his sense of humor.

 Hey Look!!
It's that Virginia Ctenucha moth that the flycatcher couldn't catch!

 Hmmm...those wacky Empidonax flycatchers...
I think it was a Willow, he disappeared right after this shot...

 Lots of Yellow Warblies were singing...and hiding except for this one!
I got you!

 Just like this Pewee, I waving bye-bye for now!
See ya soon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Why They Call Me "Loopy..."

 Please note the water...it's not supposed to be that high...not even a little...

 Please note my tiny car....it's about 4 inches above the ground.

 So...I took my weekly trip out to Magee Marsh a couple weeks ago. They had thunder storm warnings. All the better to see them warblies down low I thought to my silly self. They also had flash flood warnings. What do those weather folks know? I thought "I'll be fine..." I just won't drive the Miata. I'll take the Fiat 500 Abarth...so it's lowered...what are the odds that it will flood while I'm there.

The odds were excellent. I was on the main road...cars and trucks in front of me and a very large semi right on my tail...oh my...look how deep that water is on the road ahead...oh my...look how big that bumper is on that semi behind me...SH*T!!!!!! Well, no choice but to push ahead and create a nice bow wake in front of my tiny car. The river was pushing over the road with a calm pace. The exhaust tips were under water...making a cool glurgling sound...as long as I don't slow down or stop I'll be fine. And I made it!...twice...the second flooded area was a little more exciting. As I was driving through slowly, a semi came charging through in the other direction and buried me in lovely smelling marsh water. I heard him laughing as he passed...my window was open a crack.

Well, the smell is finally gone from my car and my hands have stopped shaking...and now you know how I got the nickname "Loopy." I ain't the brightest bulb in the box...butt I have a fun time!

Anyway...by the time I made it to Magee Marsh, it was closed due to flooding...duh. So next stop would be Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge...which was closed due to flooding (I even tried to sneak in...nope.) Well, I can't get back home because the roads in that direction are now closed...something about a tiny white car floating down the road...

I'll just keep heading west and stop off at Maumee Bay. There's higher ground out that way, then if need be I can head south from there, then back east and home. Lucky me! Maumee was open and the flood waters on that end of Lake Erie were lowering just enough for a few hardy birders to take a chance on their boardwalk. As you can see in the above photo, the water dropped enough to have a nice walk. It's still a few feet above where it should be, but it dropped off the walkway in most of the areas...besides, my shoes are waterproof and I'm relatively water resistant!

Onward!
 I don't know if he was calling his mate or laughing at the skinny guy wading with his camera.

 I know the female Red-winged Blackbird was laughing...I get that a lot...

 It was an excellent time to spot Blue-gray Gnatcatchers!
They even posed properly for me!

 A day isn't complete without at least one Song Sparrow.
I think he was in shock over the flooding.

 There were only a few warblies out and about....smarter than us humans.
This female Yellow Warbly was heading to a nest in the distance...

 Argh...this male Yellow Warbly was posed so well on that branch...a great butt shot...then zoom...

 Yep, lots of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers around every corner!
Love that Groucho Marx eye brow!

 Yes indeed, that is the rump of a raccoon...you could hear him snoring.

 I bumped into a very nice couple from Colorado, they came just in time for the weather.
They had two target birds on their list, which some birders laughed at.
They wanted to see a Northern Cardinal and a Blue Jay...we found both within moments of each other.
Never laugh at folks from other areas, your common and local birds may be very uncommon to others!...plus Cardinals and Blue Jays are cool to look at!
 
 Blue Jays have the most beautiful pattern on their back!

Judging by the look on that Muskrats face, whatever he's eating must be deeeeelicious!

 You can tell by the detritus on the walk that the water was quite a bit higher earlier.
It should be about another foot or so lower in this area...

 Every year at Maumee for the past four or five years, I've seen a red morph Eastern Screech Owl.
She didn't let me down!
And...
 BEEBEE OWL!!!!

 We were playing peek-a-boo through the blowing leaves and branches.

 I heard that there were three of these cutie owlets in the trees, but I could only spot this one.
Look at those mighty talons! Mousies beware!

 I may be one of the few that will chase a simple brown House Wren around trying to get a photo...another common bird that I love.
As you can tell, I finally gave up...he was hiding too well.

 Another one of those one second earlier he was posed so nicely shots.
Magnolia Warblies are always so busy hunting juicy bugs.

 A first year American Redstart turned around just for me.
What a nice lil warbly.


 Have I told you about the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher invasion yet?

 This Chestnut-sided Warbly did his best to hide in the tangles.

I will leave you for now with one final shot of a Gnatcatcher and his flashy tail!

See ya soon!