Ventures Birding Tours on Instagram: “Northern Gannets from our 2017 Venture to #newfoundland . Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve is home to the most easily accessible seabird…”

Raptor Wednesday

Backyard and Beyond

What a racket! Twice recently I’ve come across a storm of American Robins sounding their strident chip alarms. A perching Red-tailed Hawk was the source of the commotion both times. In this second case, a buzzing Northern Mockingbird was in on it, too, repeatedly razzing, sometimes even clipping, the big raptor. When the hawk flew out, the Mockingbird stayed with it around the Sylvan Water.ourSoon after, but hnheralded by any pissed-off songbirds, this Red-tailed flew up off the ground to land here before taking off to a higher perch.

Reports of three young hawks in the Green-Wood nest. Reports of a nestling in Tompkins Square Park dying: rat poison remains a serious threat up the food-chain.
Out at the Salt Marsh, at least two heads of baby Osprey were seen here recently. One can be seen between the two adults. Looking much a mini Loch Ness monster.

We are…

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The Big Birds of May

Wildlifewatcher's Blog

Great Blue Heron

Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Sandhill Cranes, a Limpkin, a few Wood Storks, and a lot of White Ibis, and Snowy Egrets (not pictured), were all spotted here in The Villages, Florida last month, May, 2017.

We often spot the egrets herons and ibis, but the cranes, wood storks, glossy ibis, and limpkin, are only spotted during certain months of the year (Sandhill Cranes being the most easily seen of this particular group of wading birds).  We also get to see Tri-colored Herons and Little Blue Herons on occasion.

These larger wading birds enjoy the many small and medium-sized lakes here in our community where the food is usually abundant.  We are recovering from a recent drought so the lakes happily are refilling with recent rains.

Most of these big birds eat aquatic snails, frogs, worms, and small fish.  Some of the birds such as Sandhill Cranes…

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Aberdare, the ark and some lakes…

Nurse Jess does Kenya

By Sunday lunch time our journey had taken us to the Aberdare Country club. We checked in for our overnight stay and headed for lunch. It’s safe to say I felt underdressed! This place was amazing!

It was the first time we had had a la carte menus for a while (even though it was for four courses!!) and I decided to go for steak. Tom went for his favourite green grams.

There was also a soup course – but it was green and tasted like spinach so it doesn’t deserve a picture!

After lunch we boarded a bus and headed off to our hotel 16km away in the heart of Aberdare National Park. I was concerned it was going to be a long drive – we stopped 6 times down a 100m driveway to talk about different trees and to see zebras and warthogs, but we did well after…

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A flock for Lesser and Greater Flamingos gather during noon at the holding ponds at Seawoods, Navi Mumbai.

It had been a while since I last visited the site. And given the immense heat and we witnessed this summer, I didn’t expect any birds in the region. But my joy had no bounds when I saw these magnificent beings come down from the skies in large numbers, electrifying the whole area with their sounds and vibrant colors during this time of the day when I would love to stay indoors.

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Guanajuato Birding Adventure – Lake Yuriria!

The Experienced Intermediate Birder

Once again, it was an early start from our hotel as we headed to the southern area of the state of Guanajuato. We looked forward to some wetland birding along the shore of Lake Yuriria. Our drive took us through a broad valley of lush agricultural lands ringed by distant mountains. We met Jose Ojeda Orranti outside a school on the edge of the wetland. Jose is an Environmental Services Expert and works for the Environmental Ministry of Guanajuato as coordinator of the Natural Protected Area of Yuriria. He also runs a statewide research program that studies the Golden Eagle. He’s an excellent birder and was good company.

Lake Yuriria

Jose Ojeda Orranti

The birding was very good. A combination of a bad cold and my indifferent photography skills produced a rather skimpy selection of photographs but I managed a few highlights.

Tri-coloured Heron

A mottly Northern Jacana

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A Canoe Paddle to Rijpwetering, NL

The Cedar Journal

This last weekend was absolutely gorgeous here in The Netherlands!  A full weekend of sun, warm temperatures and camping.  We couldn’t ask for much better. Seeing this morning forecast (which in the 12 years I have lived here, I have found to be less than accurate) is for rain this entire week through the weekend I am glad we got in some paddling this last weekend.

Being a long weekend for most people here (Thursday was a holiday), the campground was full. The downside of a large campground is the amount of noise on a busy weekend. Nothing like young girls screaming at the top of their lungs during the day. Then it switched to drunk men laughing at stupid jokes late at night.  An investment in good ear plugs is necessary for the summer.

On Saturday morning we started out on a planned trip to have lunch at a…

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Sexy Saxicola

Wading through Wigeon

Some more early morning birding, and it was nice to get some reward in the guise of a simply stunning male Whinchat.

They are a jewel of a bird, a bit like a mini jazzed-up Wheatear, with their lovely orange tones, white super and tail pattern. This bird was feeding with 2 male Wheatears on the same patch of ground in the Sand Plant and as I watched them from the banking by the fence they congregated on a nearby bleached out log, allowing me to take about 1,000 images!


What a beauty, but this Wheatear didn’t want to be out shone:


The Greenland Whitefront was still on Crossens Outer – this bird has caused some confusion and comment, but to me it’s a Greenlander:

  • Peachy orange bill with an elongated structure.
  • Generally dark colouration (although on the paler side for Greenland). The head colouration is pretty concurrent and not…

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