Thursday, June 10, 2021

I'm still alive!

 I haven't posted lately because I'm in the middle of moving...big fun! I have lots of photos to share soon from visiting Magee Marsh and showing friends the wonders of birds during migration. 

In the meantime, I'm having a moving sale this weekend! In you're in my area stop by and say hello! I'll have prints for sale and the money will go to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory! 

4737 Waterford Circle 

Stow, Ohio 44224

 

Thanks!



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Boy, do I need practice!

This is the view of the new Cleveland Metroparks bridge that will connect to trails going through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park all the way to Akron. You can ride your bike or hike all the way to the shores of Lake Erie. 

YOU can, I'm lazy, I'll drive...


So, I decided to hit the shores of Lake Erie to get me some hot warbly action! This was actually the third time I made it out birding, I'm going to be a little behind in posting for a while. On top of this spring craziness, busyness at work, and the regular insanity of life, I've decided to move to a new abode. Why would you want to do that you say? I found a nice place smack dab in the middle of the parks! Summit Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park! With a view of the woods from my deck...I'm hoping to get some good yards birds there! I'm really going to miss my great neighbors (especially the cookies!) and the neighborhood. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

So....back to where I am...Wendy Park is a tiny wood lot and grassy area saved from developers and now run by the local park system. Right on the lakefront and bordering downtown Cleveland and the industrial flats area, it has turned into a real migrant trap in the spring. There's been a number of rarities that have shown up here...of which I have missed most of them. If you live in the area and have never been, get your butt down there now! You won't regret it...

I found a number of American Goldfinches gathering nesting material and eating bugs so I wouldn't get bitten. Thanks buddies!


There American Redstarts galore this weekend...lots of juvenile males were singing and trying to show off like this guy...women won't be impressed...I've tried...

Ooooo...pretty warbly!

I was amazed at the number of Baltimore Orioles flying through...most at the tippy top of the trees where I couldn't get a shot of course...

It's also butterfly time with a boondoggle of butterflies zooming to and fro. This was a Black Swallowtail. I also saw Cabbage Whites, Pearl Crescents and Sulphurs, butt they wouldn't hold still!


I got so excited to see my first Black-and-White Warbly of the year! I had to show off my B-and-W tattoo!

I was a little surprised to see this Black-throated Green Warbly gathering nesting material. I have no idea where he was flying off to with it, but I don't believe they ever nest around here.

WARBLY BOOTAY!!!

...and an proper grown up shot of the Black-throated Green Warbler. It's soooo hard to act like an adult...

The dreaded Brown-headed Cowbird, the scourge of little birds nests. In case you weren't aware, Cowbirds lay their eggs in others birbs nests and make them raise their spoiled kids. Kinda sounds like a good idea...

My only shot of this very secretive Cape May Warbler...I also saw a Black-throated Blue, but he was TOTALLY uncooperative. Poop head.

The Chestnut-sided Warblies were making things difficult for me too!

I'm trying to learn how to do this after being off for a year, give me some slack!

See that?! 

The Eastern Kingbirds knew that I was struggling to learn how to focus, hold the camera and chew gum at the same time. They cut me some slack.

YEA!!! My favorite birb...next to warblies of course! Gray Catbirds were in great abundance with meows coming from every nook and cranny.

This humble House Wren was kind enough to come out from under the logs and stumps to give everyone a nice view.

I also remembered how hard it is to shoot  a dark bird in intense sun, like this Indigo Bunting.

Blue is a color I know! Yea me!

Getting the stare down for disturbing this Lincoln's Sparrow. Sorry buddy...

He was kind enough to let me get a little closer while he chowed down on seeds.

My only shot of this Prothonotary Warbly. He was in a hurry to leave town I guess...hot date maybe?

I'm not the greatest with sparrows as I only see a select view when I'm out. But, I'm pretty sure this is a Savannah Sparrow.

Here's the shot that convinced me of his ID.

Speaking of hard birbs to ID when you're color blind...what do ya say? Swainson's Thrush?

Another angle of the many I saw...

Cleveland's landmark Terminal Tower. Built during the depression to house a train station with stores and offices above. It's been struggling for the past few years but, still looks great.

There were dozens of White-crowned Sparrows passing through on their way to Canada...eh?

Not to be left out, the White-throated Sparrows were on the move as well!

I watched a little birb dart in and out of the shrubbery, but couldn't quite catch a good view of it...goldfinch, or...

Terrible lighting in there, but it turned out to be a Yellow Warbly building that nest!

I finally got a proper pose from my warbly buddy!

Of course there are always plenty of Butter Butts around!

Oops, apparently he doesn't like being called a butter butt. Yellow-rumped Warbly of the Myrtle variety.
 
That's it for now, I have plenty more from the previous weeks, but now...I'm heading for my happy place, MAGEE MARSH!
 
I'll be at Maumee Bay with friends for 5 days of birding bliss...they don't know that yet...shhhh!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

First Warbly of the Year!

First Warbly of the year, guess who?!

 

After one crazy year I finally made it out to find some of my birdy buddies!

I decided to stay somewhat close to home and went into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Station road. I've always had a great time finding something to photograph there and this day was no exception.

I haven't done much other than dust my camera since last May...and it was still a bit dusty. The batteries were dead...first thing, charge them up. All of my settings seemed to have disappeared as well...so, go in and reset date, time, name and my personal preferences. Next I did an inventory of what to take out with me...I went very light, being my first time out. Camera, extra batteries, polarizer for shooting in the water and a monopod.

Jeepers! After a year of only working and idle laziness, going out chasing birbs really hurts!  My out of shape body needs a lot of work, but, boy did I have a great time! Four hours and a few miles and even a few birds along the way!

With a little more practice, I hope to get back into burd butt mode!

 

A White-crowned Sparrow trying to hide amongst the new growth.

This Tufted Titmouse found something delightful to tear to shreds! 

Nom-nom-nom!

 Another Titmouse doing a few pull ups to keep in shape and impress the ladies.

 


I was surprised at the number of tadpoles swimming in the old canal and puddles.

 

There had been a dam running across this section of the Cuyahoga River for years and years. They finally removed it and the river is running much faster. It will add to the health of the river.

Another surprise was watching this crazy squirrel balancing on branches...

 The first peep of the year too! This Solitary Sandpiper was wandering up and down the canal probing for tasty morsels...


Woo-hoo! At long last, a burd from behind!

Believe it or not, there's a tiny lil fuzzy headed burb in that nest. He stuck his head up for a millisecond then disappeared....it may have been a raptor of some sort...hmmmm.

 All of the regulars were around today also...like this Northern Cardinal striking a dramatic pose....maybe Hollywood is looking!

 With all of the bright sunshine and warmth, the Midland Painted Turtles were out in force. This trio was having some sort of union meeting.

Mallard.....awake...

Mallard...asleep...

And I thought I was tall and skinny! This Great Blue Heron has me beat!

I seemed to have gained a little weight lounging about instead of birding...ruh-roh!

A very rare and elusive Treemunk! Cavity nesters, they are rarely see in the open...

Yea! A Choo-choo train!

CVNP has a rail line going through the park for sight seers and bicyclists that discovered they aren't in as good a shape as they thought...

Ribit.

I'm not sure what that means, but that's what the Bullfrog said to me.

I had a hard time finding a Black-capped Chickadee that would sit still for more than a second! I am wayyyy out of practice!

 I kept getting asked if I've seen the Bald Eagles...yep, I saw one...a juvenal too.
They also have a nest close by.

Yes, you guessed right! The first warbly of the year was a Yellow-rumped Warbly! 

How appropriate for me! 

 

Stay tuned for the further adventures of Birds From Behind!