Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm bored with snow...

Orange-crowned Warbler. Yeah, well I'm color blind and I can't see the orange crown either.
By the way, that's not snow in the background.
After slogging an hour to two hours back and forth to work every day in that lovely white stuff that is now an awful shade of brown, I am finished with winter. Thank you very much. I don't want to play anymore and you can't make me! So there. Nyah.
So, I now declare it "Early Spring!" And here's the warbly things to prove it (even though they might not really be here yet.)...have a nice day.
An Ovenbird...not in the snow.

The flowers ARE white, but they aren't snow covered, nor is the Palm Warbler.

Look how warm this Prothonotary Warbler is!
This is better than the video fireplace!

Please note the green leaves under Wilson. Not snow covered.
Nice toupee by the way...duh.
And to "end", a very springy butt shot of a Yellow Warbler!

May you all have warm dreams tonight! I gonna turn up the heat, put on the bird sound CD and pretend it's not winter...

Monday, January 11, 2010

More "Cool" birding on the lake!

These are the smart gulls! This is the area where warm water flows out of our power plant.
Its the prime area for finding gulls in Cleveland in the winter. You just have to get past the smell of formerly frozen fish...

After the Western Cuyahoga Audubon walk at Dike 14, a few of us decided to check the lake front near the power plant for gulls and ducks. This warm water out flow is a magnet for water birds in the area. There are tons of fish that come to the surface of the warm water, then die in the icy cold for the ducks and gulls to feed on. I think there is a reason the fish are called "Smelt!"

As the lake is frozen out to about three miles right now, a spotting scope or a really powerful lens will be a necessity...and some grippy boots! The wind and waves coat the break walls in a thick layer of very slippery ice! Watch your optics! Warranties don't usually cover bouncing off rocks. Not to mention swimming isn't recommended this time of year...

Here's a few Canada Geese in the sauna!

Cleveland boaters are a special breed. I don't think they will be going anywhere for a while...

We see mostly Ring-billed Gulls. A lazy bunch were stealing the days catch from these Buffleheads!

This one is for my friend Chris in Iceland! It's an Iceland Gull of course! He's here for the sunshine I think...
You really should visit his blog, outstanding photos!

Also among the Ring-bills and Herring Gulls where a few Greater Black-backed Gulls.

Okay, get busy and name everything in this shot!
This is why birding on the frozen lake front is fun, there can be so many birds all crammed together!

And always a surprise out there.
In the back on the left is a Hooded Merganser, and in the right foreground in a Red-breasted Merganser.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Birding along the lake...or...

Lovely Lake Erie in January...No swimming please.

...What crazy birders do in the winter in Cleveland...

I went out without the Doodles(smart girl) this morning with our buddies from Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society for a 'bird' walk at the Dike 14 wildlife area just outside of downtown Cleveland. The temperature was a tepid ten degrees with a nice breeze from the north. In July we'd all be happy January...not so much. It really wasn't that bad as the sun was out early in the morning and the snow wasn't more than four to six inches deep.

Unfortunately, the birds are still smarter than us and layed low in the warm and cozy shrubbery and undergrowth. There was ONE American Tree Sparrow, well camouflaged in the scrub along a break wall. He didn't want his picture taken, at least that's the excuse I'm using.

Aye, thars a balmy breeze a-blowin' off the bow.

Believe it or not, this is the frozen lake with critter tracks going out towards Canada.
I don't think he'll make it all the way...

Oh my gosh! A bird photo! How'd that get in this post?
This Northern Mockingbird was digging for something in this patch of grass still visible in the snow.

I don't think this Praying Mantis egg case is going to make it to spring...nope.

A day of birding wouldn't be complete without at least one 'Bird From Behind!'
The Mockingbird may have been mocking me!

He was soon chased away by this Downy Woodpecker, also showing a proper pose!

We saw a lot of tracks from different mammals. Sorry to say, the only photo I have is of this fresh frozen little mouse.
I showed this pic to Bob, the Chipmunk when I got home...

He promised to be a good boy from now on!
"Please don't take me out there!"