A Walk In The Woods at the Fort Worth Nature Preserve

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It’s always such a treat to walk in the woods. The vivid reds and blues between the branches and the where there were bright greens now are rich browns and silence but a wrestle of the turning leaves and the crunch of fallen beneath my feet. A Marsh Wren came out to say hello (image below) as did a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a Yellow-rumped (Audubon) Warbler. I always remember my walks in the woods no matter how short or how long.

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Sanibel Island, Florida July 2019

A short three and a half day trip turned into six days thanks to Hurricane Barry.  I was scheduled to run over to Sanibel Island, Florida to have a quick meeting with a restaurant manager only to realize my pathway home was blocked by Barry.  What do you do on a resort island with nothing but time?  You go birding. Here are some of the photographs I took while I was there. It was around 95 degrees on both of these days, but I managed to see my first wild manatee, a green iguana and many thanks to Victoria at the Anchor Inn & Cottages for pointing out “King” the old “man” in the pond.

YCN Heron 1

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

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Brown Pelican fishing behind a Reddish Egret.

Antique shop

I love antiques and this store has been here for over 30 years…it’s one of the funnest antique stores I’ve ever been in.

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This is the Shell Mound Trail at the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. Don’t walk in here unless you have long sleeves and long pants on.

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Brown Pelican fishing.

YCN Heron 4

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

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Joey enjoying his view as we drive across the bridge.

Iguana 1

Iguana.

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A fish jumping. I waited a long time to catch this shot.

Manatee 2

The bst shot I could get of this manatee.

YCN Heron 2

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

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Green Heron hunting.

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Red-faced Ibis hunting.

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A giant alligator.

Ding Darling 1

The rare 16 Petal Daisy…just kidding, it’s a pretty flower I wanted to take a picture of.

Ding Darling

Palm frond.

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Thousands of crazy fish.

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The same iguana, but he noticed me.

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A Double-crested Cormorant in front of a Reddish Egret (both trying to catch fish) and the Brown Pelican watching behind them.

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Green Heron hunting.

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Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron

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Traveling to Sanibel Island.

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Sanibel Island

Inguana 1

“King.” He is a living dinosaur.

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Green Heron hunting.

YCN Heron 6

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

YCN Heron 3

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

DD Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret

YCN Heron imm 2

Spring Migration Trip Texas to California 2019

A random collection of photos of my trip to Yreka, California from Sanger, Texas.  Click on a photo for the slide show. These were taken with my new Sony XR10.

December Birding in North Texas

A feral pig hunt was on. It was a warm Saturday morning and the signs said, “Stick to the trails!”  I stuck to the trails (and kept a watchful eye for crazy pigs). This was the first day I took out my new camera, the Sony RX10 vi. It’s a lot of camera and more settings than I’ll ever need but I tried a few things on the following photos. The location as the Lewis Lake Environmental Learning Area (LELLA.org). It’s a large nature preserve that is very popular with the locals. It has a forested area, marshes, a river and open fields.  The bird species found here is astounding. I will certainly be going back.

Autumn Birding in Texas

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Crunching of brown and yellow leaves under foot, with no other sound. The sky so blue, makes you think of why blue is the rarest color in nature, yet it’s as vast as the sky above us. The bright yellow of the Cedar Waxwing seems as bright as the sun when in the darkened forest. It seems there is more color in autumn than there is in spring. I walked through the Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center in Denton, Texas one Saturday morning and discovered why it is one of the best birding hotspots in Texas.  Just two thousand acres, small for such a title but large for a city park. The photos above were taken there, except the mushrooms and the photo of the White-throated Sparrow were found at Eagle Mountain Park outside of Saginaw.  These photos were taken with the Panasonic “bridge” camera z80.  I demonstrated the zoom by focusing on the tail of the waxwing out and back.  All in all there were just 13 species in a couple of hours that I successfully identified. The bird of the day was the American Robin, yes, the robin. Why? Because I haven’t seen a robin in a couple of months and today, in the forest, there were over 30 of them.  The other birds that shared the walk with me were the Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Flicker, Northern Cardinal, Northern Harrier, Spotted Towhee, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a few Yellow-rumped Warblers.  It was a sunny warm day for November, but quiet most of the time. I encourage everyone to take a walk in the forest in November. Bring your camera, you’re going to see some very beautiful things.

March 2, 2018 at Eagle Mountain Park, Texas

Through a couple of hours of a sunny trail in the woods, I discovered some colorful treasures.  The birds were singing and the ground was still muddy from the previous rain.  It was a very nice morning with the camera.  The bird of the day was the Wild Turkey I saw along the road as I was leaving the park – but that Cedar Waxwing was sure a beautiful sight to see.

 

2017 Big Year Photos

August 3, 2017. While taking advantage of the strange cooler morning weather, I walked around the lake while Keith and Christine fished off the dock.

Fishing (not birding) in Saginaw, Texas on June 16, 2017.  Although not a single fish was caught by myself, I did take some photos of the numerous turtles.

 

Birding from California at the Joshua Tree National Park, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Great Smoky Mountains, and Texas again.

 

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Weekend Birding February 11th & 12th 2017

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Red-tailed Hawk

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If you can see the Northern Harrier, in the center of this image – I zoomed in on it on the next picture.

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Norther Harrier.

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Eurasian Collared-Dove

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Eurasian Collared-Dove

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Eurasian Collared-Dove

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Eurasian Collared-Dove

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Eurasian Collared-Dove

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Eurasian Collared-Dove

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Tundra Swan

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Eurasian Collared-Dove

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Eurasian Collared-Dove

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Northern Harrier – male

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Northern Harrier – male.

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Any guess on this dove?

2/7/2017 Sauvie Island, Oregon

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This is the dove in the tree for size reference. Found on Rentenaar Road

2/7/2017 Sauvie Island, Oregon

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I’m calling this a Cooper’s Hawk mainly because of the size that you can’t get a reference for here.

2/7/2017 Sauvie Island, Oregon

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The smallest kingdom in the world

This was one of the best posts I’ve read for a long time – I’m reblogging it on mine, hopefully with your permission. My favorite photo, though difficult to choose, was the Hay Bluff. I’m a sucker for sheep for some reason, perhaps I was a shepherd in my previous life in the valleys of Norway. Thank you for your post!

iago80

Some believe that the tiny Island of Tavolara off the coast of Sardinia was the smallest kingdom in the world. They are wrong. The smallest kingdom is on the border of Wales and England.

It lies on a river. The fifth longest river in the UK to be exact. A river which helps form the border between England and Wales. The river Wye:

River Wye River Wye

A much smaller tributary of the Wye also forms the border between England and Wales and runs through our pocket-sized kingdom: it is called Dulas Brook. As I stood on a bridge this weekend gone, straddling England and Wales with a leg in each and peering through a curtain of vines, I saw a pair of some my favourite British birds, the water-bound Dipper:

White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus)

The Kingdom is nestled in a valley overlooked by the northern outpost of the Black…

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Three Days, 40 Pounds And A Full Thermos…Birding Humboldt Refuge

Arcata Marsh Bird List February 11, 2015

Arcata Marsh Bird List
February 11, 2015

With fresh coffee in the thermos, dog in car and the GPS pointing toward Arcata Marsh, California, we headed out.  This marsh was one of the best places to bird on the west coast, and you can very well bet I was ready to see a lot of birds and a lot of strange things I’ve never seen before…

Arcata Marsh is just north of Eureka, and luckily for me, just 15 minutes from my kabin.  I arrived at 8:23 a.m. and proceeded to get my equipment together.  This was to be the first time I field tested my new heavy-duty tripod.  So, with backpack on the back, digital camera with 200mm lens around my neck, 20×80 binoculars securely on the new tripod and the tripod resting on my shoulder, small binos in my pocket (dog in car, sorry Joey), and coffee cup in the remaining free hand, I headed for the trail.  If you are new to birding – remember, NEVER leave any equipment behind that may cost you a bird!  When in doubt, bring it!  This includes food, because if you’re hungry, you’ll be impatient, and you can never be in a hurry when birding. Continue reading

In The Land Of Redwoods And Scoters, The Big Year Continues…

This is how far this little scoter is from home: 5,278 miles.  He is from Holland and he took a very wrong turn.CommonScoter CrescentCity3

Needless to say, I had to go see this bird.  It is the first ever sighting of the Common Scoter in the United States.  Ever.  I left Scappoose, Oregon on February 10, 2015 very early in the morning and arrived at Crescent City, California at about 3pm.  The ten hour drive down Interstate 5 was like my backyard, but once I turned right at Grants Pass, I saw something I’ve never seen before.  The Redwoods National Park is something everyone should see – I mean everyone.  These trees were so big that I couldn’t even photograph one in the frame.  You seriously need to back up a long ways, but you can’t because there are these monstrously beautiful trees everywhere. Continue reading