A Kettle of Hawks

Picture Walks

February 2, 2019

Today’s adventure took us to the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve Raptor Fest which we thought would be a really fun activity, but didn’t even consider the possibility that hoards of other people might also think it would be a fun activity on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Florida! Not exactly what we had in mind.

So, we attended half of a raptor presentation, looked at some of the raptors in cages, on perches, or being held by their caretakers, and then headed out to the trails where it was much quieter and calmer and less ‘peopled’.

Great Horned Owl

I particularly enjoyed getting off the trail altogether and slipping into the woods a bit where it was even quieter—only the birds were chatting. In one area where I had wandered, there were dozens of robins flying in and out among the trees…

View original post 278 more words

Three Walks

Picture Walks

February 1, 2019

Mel’s Great Blue Heron at Clam Bayou

Yesterday, Mel and I took so many pictures at the Clam Bayou Nature Preserve that there was no time left to write a story and post them. This morning, I went birding with a friend at the Fort DeSoto State Park and took even more pictures! When Mel and I got back to the house, I felt like taking a walk around the neighborhood here —and I took my camera along just in case! There are just so many beautiful and interesting things to photograph that I hate to miss anything!

Clam Bayou Nature Preserve was a gold mine of beautiful birds: great blue herons, ospreys, black crowned night herons, cormorants, pelicans, anhingas…every sort of bird. We spent hours roaming around the preserve and capturing as much as we could.

View original post 344 more words

Sunny with a chance of Frostbite

Picture Walks

January 13, 2019

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard off for a chilly stroll!

It’s been a week since I’ve been able to go out and take pictures. A week! I think that’s been my longest stretch of ‘picture free’ days that I can remember– so I was getting very antsy. The primary reason for my picture hiatus was the weather. We’ve had rain, we’ve had snow, and we’ve had both at the same time. Not good, not good at all. Today, though, the weather forecast called for sunny, sunny skies —but below freezing temperatures. I could live with freezing. So I bundled myself up and headed out the door to one of the few nearby places that I would be guaranteed to see lots of birds—the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary!

Whenever I go to the bird sanctuary, I typically spend at least an hour…

View original post 684 more words

A Squabble of Gulls

Picture Walks

January 6, 2019

A Squabble of Gulls

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here for the last few days, sunny and spring-like with temperatures in the forties and fifties. Surprisingly, though, we haven’t seen many birds, even though we have been out for hours every day looking for them. So today, Mel and I decided to try a change of venue and head over to Lake Michigan (about an hour’s drive) to look for birds there. If nothing else, we’d enjoy a pleasant drive and a visit to our favorite South Haven coffee shop (Julia’s), and our favorite South Haven restaurant (Phoenix Street). 

Even though our
birding adventure didn’t afford us much exercise, we had a great time standing on
the waterfront attempting to get interesting pictures of all the seagulls—on the
piers, on the beach, on the light posts, on the railings, in the water…

View original post 437 more words

Early Morning Walk

Picture Walks

December 2, 2018

It’s been raining on and off for at least two days now and I’ve been having a hard time finding windows of opportunity to go for picture walks. Today’s forecast, for example, called for rain all day, then it said it wouldn’t rain until 2:00, then maybe 3:00. So I took the early morning window that was available and headed out to the Kalamazoo Nature Center –thinking I’d have the better part of the day to walk the trails. WRONG! The rains came at noon!

Bluebird silhouette in the morning light

For those of you who don’t live in this area (Kalamazoo, Michigan), we had 5 inches of snow last week! It was a beautiful winter wonderland! Today, not so much! It was overcast, wet and muddy. But hey… it wasn’t raining when I I started out, and I had all the fields and all the woods…

View original post 457 more words

Beak of the Week: Pileated Woodpecker

Feathers & Flora

I have to interrupt our normally scheduled program, on warblers and other migrants, to share this incredible bird encounter from yesterday! I (finally) made my way out of NW Ohio, after days of lingering, and planned a stop at Eagle Creek Park, outside of Indianapolis. I was so impressed by this park and its 3900 acres of forests and trails. I headed straight for the Ornithology Center – an impressive building with a plethora of educational resources and two wildlife viewing rooms, one that overlooks a large lake and one that overlooks feeders.

I parked and grabbed my hiking boots out of the back and proceeded to prepare myself for a hike. While shoeless, I heard a series of very loud, deep, resonant “kuk” notes, fired off in succession. You can imagine my surprise when I looked up to see a Pterodactyl flying toward me! Oh, wait, not a…

View original post 434 more words

Keep Looking Up That’s The Secret Of Life

Through Open Lens

F/7.1, 1/200, ISO 320.

Pileated Woodpecker

What did one eyeball say to the other eyeball?

Between you and me something smells.

Interesting Fact: A Pileated Woodpecker pair stays together on its territory all year round. It will defend the territory in all seasons, but will tolerate new arrivals during the winter. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pileated_Woodpecker/lifehistory )

View original post