Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Belleplain State Forest

Sometimes Matt persuades me to do things that are difficult to do while holding a camera.  I said difficult, nothing is impossible.  Matt insisted that he wanted to ride a bike which I agreed to do under the condition that our terrain was utterly flat.  Not even a speed bump.  Belleplain State Forrest seemed like the perfect choice.  So while Olivia was off riding roller coasters with trombones and colorguard flags we headed out for a bike ride.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Grosbeak, Rose-breasted & Blue

You gotta like birds with flashy colors.  And then if they do acrobatics too, well, what's not to love.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thompson's Beach

Short-billed Dowitcher

Clapper Rail


Thompson's Beach is a very cool place that the Heinz Photo Group introduced me to a few weeks ago.  I've been back twice since and took these photos.  One major highlight of the location is the Clapper Rail.  They make a really cool noise but hide out in the tall grass.  While I was waiting for a rail to show itself the Short-billed Dowitcher thoroughly cleaned his/her feathers.  I love the combination puff and shake.  There was a lot of that going around as you can see by the second rail photo.  And I always love a wren.  Seems like it should be a Marsh Wren but I'm not positive.  Usually Marsh Wren look scragglier to me so for the purposes of this post I'll just call it a wren.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron is not in the least shy.  He took off out of the water (first two shots), then landed on the boardwalk railing, waited for me to catch up, posed for a few photos, and then took off from the railing (second two photos.)  I was very close to him on the boardwalk.  You can see I couldn't even get his whole body in the frame. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Boys Showing Off

More images from Wednesday morning's walk around Heinz.  The turkeys and brown-headed cowbirds were each part of a group of three that included a female.  I guess she was probably the cause of all the commotion.  It's amazing to see these birds puff up their feathers and do their dance.  I wish I had the whole thing on tape.  The turkey fluffed up his feathers and then made rattling sounds.  The cowbirds each made a coo of sorts before their performance.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Half Pint

I can't help but reference Little House on the Prairie here.  This little guy was so cute.  I really wanted his mama to come out for a size comparison but no such luck.  All I can say is that our groundhogs grow into hefty creatures about five times the size of this little sprinter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I stayed home Monday to work on some watercolors, clean, and organize.  Working my way through the stuff on my desk I found these doodle pages I made awhile back.  Once I started making them I didn't stop until the markers ran out.  Now I'm thinking I should go get some more.  Nothing like a good doodle to loosen up and work out all the kinks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Songbird Trail

This awesome Great Horned Owl could be why I wasn't seeing any songbirds on the Songbird Trail.  The trail is part of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge and pretty much ended right after I saw the owl.  It was my second stop on an all day birding trip I took to New Jersey on Thursday.  Anyway I only got these two shots of the owl.  He heard me take the first one and gave me that look before flying off. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Warbler Roundup

Prairie Warbler at Cape May Point State Park

Northern Parula at Cape May Point State Park
Magnolia Warbler at Cape May Point State Park
Black-throated Green Warbler at Cape May Point State Park
Yellow-breasted Chat at Cape May Point State Park
Common Yellowthroat at Cape May Point State Park
Blackpoll Warbler at Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
American Redstart at Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
Bay-breasted Warbler at Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
Ovenbird at Belleplain State Forrest
These are most of the warblers I saw this week.  I have a few unidentified photos so perhaps I'll add another but they might also be vireos so I'll just wait for the experts to weigh in. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

In the Trees

My first visit to Matts Landing in New Jersey bowled me over.  For a minute I thought I was in Florida.  A small stand of trees in the middle of a pond/lake/impoundment was FULL of birds.  Big and small egrets, Night Heron, and Cormorants.  I saw quite a few territory disputes and several birds bringing in new sticks for their nests.  A spot to keep an eye on for sure.