Thursday, January 12, 2017

Just Some Burdz I Saw...part 797...


 Asheville has some of the best graffiti around!...and one odd burd...

And so goes the ever continuing saga of my trip to Asheville, North Carolina...will it never end?! Yeah...one day...

But until that dreaded day, here's some more burdies from around the woods and trails that we encountered on our morning constitutionals...so there! Ha!

 It's always exciting when you get a lifer!
This Brown-headed Nuthatch was the high light of the trip!
(Sorry Brian and Caron...but it was!)

 There were American Goldfinch Gangs everywhere!
You had to watch your step...they were more than happy to roll you for your thistle.
Thistle thugs...yeth thir...

 It was nice to see Carolina Wrens singing their hearts out in Carolina!
I have a pair at my feeders daily, though I have yet to hear them sing.
Maybe if I opened my windows...nah...too cold.

 The lone Chipping Sparrow...where's you friends?

 I was amazed at how many Eastern Bluebirds we saw zooming around.
Most didn't want their portraits done.
Hmmm...hiding from someone?
 
 Why are Northern Mockingbirds so angry?

 ...and why won't House Wrens sit still for me?

 Another great surprise was finding this Hermit Thrush skulking through the scrub!

 And of course the Golden-crowned Kinglets won't sit still..too much sugar I fear...

What a gorgeous little flycatcher!
 This Eastern Phoebe on the other hand posed quite nicely.

 ...at least for 3 seconds...
Places to go, bugs to eat!

 What do you think?
NO!

 I did see a squirrel though.
Probably as close as I'm going to get...

 Red-bellied Woodpeckers are the best for "Birds From Behind!"

 Don't tell the Song Sparrows this...
They have the skinniest heads!
Shhhh...

 This Tufted Titmouse looked great with the fall foliage.
He was trying to hide under a leaf.
Didn't work so well...

 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are always a cool find!
I don't see them at home very often.

 Oooo...a Northern Flicker...or is it a Southern Northern Flicker?...uh...

 Nothing like topping off a great trip with a warbly thing!
Gotta love those hearty Yellow-rumped Warblies!
They can make it in the roughest weather!

I'll end on this warbly!

Until we meet again...and I torment you with more burdz and silliness...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Gifts...

 An Eastern Bluebird catching a little ray of sunshine.

 Some days this time of year I find it a real struggle to get up and get out...cold...gray...blah. My bed is soooo warm and cozy and the chances of seeing any birds and getting a photo are slim. I'm just gonna roll over and pretend I'm asleep and ignore the daylight. Bah, gotta get up and get out! It's been a couple of weeks since I've been birding.

Yoiks! What's that blinding light? Huh, the sun is peeking through the clouds! Hmmm, the weatherman(ever so accurate along Lake Erie...not.) said it's going to rain. Well, there's enough sun peeking through the gray Christmas sky that I shall force myself to get up and out, just for you readers out there! I'm so thoughtful, aren't I?...yeah, and it's warmer out...

Ah, butt where to go? Stay close to home...it's gonna rain eventually...shall I chase that stoopid otter again? Nope, did that yesterday. Aaaaaaa....hmmmm...MUNROE FALLS PARK! It's close with a lovely variety of habitat. I started on the meadow path, because I didn't see much ice on it and I'm sick of falling down. The very first birds I see are a tree full of Eastern Bluebirds! Then the sun breaks through once again. Merry Christmas birdies! What a great gift to get!

There was a nice mix of feathery friends out and I even had a Bald Eagle fly by over head!

 American Goldfinches were out en masse today! I love their winter plumage, their faces and necks seem to glow.

 This one didn't want his photo taken...

 I'm not sure what these shrubs were, other than popular to the American Robins...

 There were quite a few American Tree Sparrows out and about as well...and another goldfinch trying to get into the picture...

 The "Butt of the Day."

 What? I like to take butt shots of birds.
I'm not weird...really...well...never mind.

 It's amazing how I walk right past these nests along the trails during breeding season and never see them.
Time for new glasses?

 Black-capped Chickadee on speed.
He would not sit still.
Too much sugar.
Kids.

 This Cedar Waxwing thought it was funny...wise guys...all of them.

 Really? Nope.

 Flying in to devour more little fruit...nummy Christmas treats!
I'll stick with cookies, thank you.

 Don't adjust your computer. This guy was having fun eating berries upside down.

 Once again, don't adjust your computer...or your neck.
Downy Woodpeckers sometimes like to walk sideways.
Nice change of "pace."
(Get it? "pace"..."walk"?...never mind...)

  More of that yummy mystery fruit...and a House Finch.

 Wow! A Tufted Titmouse sitting still AND on the ground!
I better get this shot fast.

 And as usual, he's angry and is going to use his mighty talons to tear my face off and eat my brains.
(Look it up on the internet! It' happens all of the time!)

 I think my screams of panic scared him.
He's trying to hide like chicken little under the leaves...
HEY! Stoopid! I can still see you!
Cute, butt not too bright.
Just like me!

 Yep, I'm gonna give up looking for those otters.
I don't think they really exist anyway...rumors, vicious rumors.

Until we meet again...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

BREAKING NEWS! "Still Hunting for the Otters?"

 The infamous photographic evidence courtesy of my brother...Fabulous Phil...

So...there I was, hard at work...at work. Well, actually hardly working hard at not working hard to be honest...you know me. Anyway...suddenly my phone began to buzz and blink...it was an urgent text from my brother Phil(you know, the one I brainwashed into liking me and becoming a birder.) Of course being a loyal brother, I jumped for the phone to read, with bated breath, this urgent message from my brother, Phil, you know the one...the...uh, never mind...

I read with great excitement, and a little bit of jealousy(a lot actually) his text that he FOUND the otter at a local park, quite a distance from where I was told they would be. HOLY CATS Batman! As I looked at his amazing photo( amazingly blurry,) I thought to myself, "Myself, that doesn't look like an otter. THAT is a weasel!" I forwarded the photo to a couple of friends to confirm my identification and they also thought that photo was indeed blurry. And a weasel. An amazing find none the less. 

It's rare to see a weasel out in the open, and even rarer for Phil to be able to move fast enough to figure out how to A) Find his phone, B) Figure out how to turn it on and C) Actually take a photo. The boys got mad skills that I wasn't aware of apparently. Then after all that he managed to text it to me...on his first try! (Oh, I am having too much fun here, which I will soon regret.)

Moving on with this exciting news flash...this past Sunday was our little family Christmas gathering and feast at Fabulous Phil's with a delicious meal cooked up by Crazy Cookin' Carole! Nummy nums! The talk turned around to exchanging a couple of gifts...and the amazing discovery of the wild weasel in the woods...
 
 Yep. I was set up.
Phil bought a stuffed otter for me for Christmas and took the "blurry" photo of it just to pay me back for all of the "love" I've shown him over the years.
I'm still impressed that he pulled that off and managed to take a blurry photo on purpose.
Just wait...just you wait...

In the meantime, the hunt continues...

Until we meet again...out there somewhere...happy birding...or ottering!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holy Cow!...I'm Still Lost...part 769...and counting...

 Gotta love that southern hospitality! Even the Eastern Towhees wave!

 So, where was I? Asheville, North Carolina! LOTS of photos to bore one and all for at least one more week...

As I said in the last few posts, I was visiting my boss, buddy and gracious hosts down south for a few days of R&R...that would be "ring-necks & rear ends..." We spent every morning walking around Biltmore Lake searching out our feathered friends and brainwashing one more person in the way of the birds. Mwahaha! I was surprised that the forest fires were causing so much haze and they were about 75 miles away if I remember correctly. It smelled like one of my brother Phil's barbecues!

We didn't go to any of those areas, too dangerous and best to stay out of the way. I hope to go back in early summer to check out the breeding birds in the area...and a few more great restaurants and art galleries! I'll have to post a few of the more "touristy" pics next time.

We shall see...in the meantime...
 

 The early morning scene at the far corner of the lake.
There's a nice marshy area back there, I'll bet in spring a few rails could be found!
 
 And once again...another crappy photo of a Belted Kingfisher!
One of these days I'm gonna sneak up on him and get a good photo!

 Somewhere out in that smoke and mist were a number of ducks...Ring-necked Duck and a Pied-billed Grebe of which there were many!

 Of course there were a gang of Mallards nice enough to get close.
Probably hoping for some free food...


 Easy one!
It's a Blue Jay!

 Let's see...were in the Carolina's...so it must be a Carolina Chickadee!
 
 Best butt shot of the day!
A beautifully streaky Song Sparrow.
Brian was questioning my sanity as I was shooting and getting too excited!
"Wouldn't a shot from the front be better?"
Nope....not in my world!

 I really like this Northern Cardinal hiding in the tangles.

 Guess?
No.
 
 Now I know where all of my local Towhees went!

 Lots of the residents around the lake are kind enough to put out feeders.
The Tufted Titmouseseses appreciated it!

 AND they were nice enough to give me that proper BFB pose!

 One of the surprises of the day!
Among the group of Red-winged Blackbirds was a lone Rusty Blackbird(bottom center)!

 I can't understand why anyone would want to move away from the city and get stuck in a place like this...hmmm...yep, gotta go back...one more time...or two...

Until we meet again...tata for now!