Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge...still catching up!...

 Mandatory for every visit to dozen Bald Eagles.

Jeez...what month is this anyway? Yes kiddies, I'm still behind in editing and posting photos. I suppose I could do this twice a week...but I think that would be cruel and unusual punishment...for you, not me. We'll catch up one of these days...Meanwhile...back in birdland...

I took a drive out to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, not to far and very close to Magee Marsh(they'll be another day...) This little journey was at the end of May, the 29th to be exact, a very warm day with only a few folks wandering around. For the most part they were on the trails up front, only crazy people like me hike all the way back to the lake to fight off the insects and to search for anything that moves, then sits still for a second!

Birding with groups can be fun and I did walk with two nice woman for a bit and pointed out a few birds for them and they told me of their birding travels across the US. Birders are always friendly folks! But, I really like to get out alone in the peace and quiet of nature and just wander and listen. There's so much out there if you're silent and pay attention to the world around you.

Try it, you may get hooked!

 Did I mention the dozens of juvenile and adult Bald Eagles out there?

 When I was speaking to the other birders, we saw this Black-crowned Night-Heron in one of the ponds...of course before I could remember how to push the buttons, he flew off.
The memory is a terrible thing to, uh...uh...never mind...

 Later, as I was wandering at the far end, guess who I spotted in the tangles?
Yep, the Black-crowned Night-Heron found a nice fishing spot!
And I found a gap in the trees and shrubs.

 As always, the Canada Geeseses were leaving their "marks" all over the trails.
Fortunately, the goslings don't mark as much...yet.
Keep your shoes on.

 The turtle on the left is a Common Map Turtle, for something "common," I've never seen one before.
His log mate in a truly common Midland Painted Turtle.
I need to start looking closer at these guys!

 No, no, no...this isn't a politician running for president(take your pick.)
It's an Eastern Garter Snake in the grass...

 Though, like a politician, he couldn't make up his mind which direction he wanted to go.
(This is the end of my political rant. Thank you.)

 Eastern Kingbirds always know what they're looking for!
(And not the ones hidden in someones office...sorry, I'll stop now.)

 Um, Great Blue Heron. In the marsh. Standing still.
(I ran out of smart a$$ed remarks. Good thing, eh?)

 This Killdeer must have had a nest nearby.
There was a pair, one flew off screaming while this one wandered slowly into the grass, squatting down, then moving slowly, all the time watching me carefully.

 A nest of unknown ownership.
It looks similar to a Marsh Wren's nest and they do breed here.
Hmmm...any ideas out there?

 Aw! Ain't they a bunch o' cuties?
Love them lil Pied-billed Grebes...all stripey and fuzzy...

 The adult kept a very close eye on me, making quiet sounds to keep the kids at a safe distance from me.

 This guy seemed to have a difficult time getting his buoyant butt under water...
Must be a poor diet...more roughage little buddy!

 Purple Martins find it difficult to knock on doors without arms and hands.

 Well, at least the Red-winged Blackbirds laugh at my jokes...

 Oh yeah! Redheads are hot!
Oh, wait...uh...never mind...oops...
This is a Redhead duck.

And now we shall have an Egret Interlude...

 That's a male Snowy Egret in the center trying his hardest to impress the babe on the left with his fluffy feathery fierceness.
It didn't work by the way.
Oh, I almost forgot, that tall handsome guy on the right?
No, not me, it's a Great, EGRET, yeah, that's it.

 Mr. Smooth gave up on the females and decided to get something to eat.
Not unlike myself.

 Just chillin' out on a muskrat lodge.

 ...still looking for something to eat.
Seems this guy is really striking out today...
(Watch it! No jokes there!)

 And like me, he's showing off his graceful strides!
You try walking in that muck!

 Interlude is over...back to our regularly scheduled program...

 It's a little Song Sparrow trying to hide from me!
I can always spot you guys!

 You know that corny over done photo of the two swans with their necks intertwined to resemble a heart?
Yeah, well this is my version!
So there.

 Oh, they're Trumpeter Swans in case you were wondering.
Hard to tell from the butt shot.
Lots of minerals in the water here!

 Why it's a Warbling Vireo warbling!
Who'd have thought?

 Okay, name that Empidonax Flycatcher!
Oh look! He has a leg band too!
I f could make out the code from here, I would call and check.
But I can't, so I won't.
Oh well.
Looks kinda like a Willow...maybe...

I know this one!
He's a Yellow Warbly!

 This was the only shot I got of this Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
They're hard to find...and when you do, poof, they disappear!

One last Snowy Egret before I go!
It's so rare to get close enough to get good photos of least for me.

Thanks again for putting up with my silliness!
Until we meet again...


  1. Love your photos and the commentary is awesome! Your posts are always so entertaining and informative! Beautiful shots.

  2. Wow! This is a book! But I read the whole thing. Apparently you don't have a snakes from behind blog! Right now I do have a couple of yellow warblers visiting my yard.