Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Events

The first week of March I was still trying to catch up with the blogs I missed while I was gone, and getting new post going for my own blog. It just almost was too much. I did finally get caught up, and then I started going back to Rockwood part time. For new comers to my blog, Rockwood is where my husband is during the week. It is 85 miles from home, and is 54 miles from my work, so I only try to go a couple of times during the work week. The plant Jimmy works at is 92 miles from home, that is the reason we bought the house in Rockwood. Hopefully, he will be retiring in 5 years.

I kind of think of Rockwood as my Lynne's Hasty Brook, the property that she has a camper on. There is no internet service at the house in Rockwood, which means before I go to Rockwood for a couple of days I have to prepare my blog post. But there are birds there, more than at my home. The house is coming along, not quite camping like Lynne does at Hasty Brook, but it was not livable when we first bought it. Jimmy could live with the bare basics, and he moved in 2 months after we bought it. I am trying to make it our 2nd home for the duration. The birds are more plentiful there than at home, that is probably because of all the mature trees on the property. I don't have a lot to do there (and I can't get on the computer) so I don't feel guilty when I just set up the photographer's blind and sit until the birds decide to pay me a visit. The first Saturday I sat in it off and on all day. In between times in the blind I knitted on the baby blanket for the grandbaby we are waiting on.
This month in my backyard at Rockwood I saw

Brown Headed Nuthatch

Northern Cardinal

Eastern Bluebird

Purple Finch (new lifer for me)

White Throated Sparrow (new lifer for me)

Downy Woodpecker

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

Red Bellied Woodpecker


Carolina Chickadee


Flycatcher (not id'd yet, may be a new lifer)

American Goldfinch

American Robin

Mourning Dove

Pine Siskin

Cedar Waxwing (only one day)

Jimmy has described another bird, but I have not seen it yet. Can't even figure out what it is by his description, so I will be on the lookout for it this week. Birding is so much fun!

Wendy is to the point of "are you sure he is not due until early May?" I remember those last weeks of pregnancy and thinking that every morning when I got up. Wendy's baby shower was the 2nd weekend in the month, so she has gotten her nursery ready this month. You can see her nursery on her post, here. I finished her 2nd baby blanket Sunday evening.
Early in the month I messed up my website REALLY bad. So since I had already made a mess of i Wendy suggested I convert my part to the same software she had used for Heirloom Goods. The picture is Wendy trying to straighten out all that mess for me. She has her husband on the phone. We didn't succeed, we had to wait for Lukas to get home from work. He is the software genious in the family. He did wonders with my Vista computer and this software. I have been working every since trying to get my web site back in order, it is going much better now, but I have lots of nature photographs to load to it.

Bald Eagle at Tierra Verde

This Bald Eagle nest is also on Tierra Verde
close to St Pete Beach in Florida. Taken February 2009.The nest is at the back side of a pond,
fairly close to a small ballpark.
We parked in the ballpark parking lot to walk
down to the 2 ponds that all the ducks were in.
About mid way of this pond there is a large sign telling people to stay away due to the Eagle nest. Not sure anybody could get through that thicket below the Eagle. But I am sure there would be some people try, if they weren't afraid of the ticket for doing so.
The reason the quality of these photos is so poor is because we stayed on the road side of the pond. We walked past this pond 3 different days, we only saw the Eagle one time.
What do you think, is the head totally white?
Or is this a 3rd year Eagle?
The reason I am asking is...it does not appear to be totally white to me, but one of the local birders I spoke to at the ponds (with all the ducks) said the one she had seen was a full adult with a definitely white head. But this was the same lady that told me there was a Ruddy Duck out there that day. When I got my photos to the computer I was never ever able to find a Ruddy in all the bunch. The Scaups is what I think she was seeing.

So what do you think? Is his head white or not totally white? Enlarge to see better.
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Monarch with extra wings

Yes, there are two Monarch Butterflies together.And I didn't give them any privacy.
I was amazed, never witnessed this before.
In my own yard I have seen butterflies chase each other.
But have never been around for the capture.
These photographs were taken at the Caloosa Wildlife Preserve,
and we were inside the butterfly atrium. Florida February 2009.
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Ring Necked Duck at Tierra Verde

These Ring Necked Ducks were at the Tierra Verde
pond close to St Pete Beach in Florida. Taken in February 2009.
This trip was my first experience with ducks,
beyond Mallards and the common white ducks
at the local duck pond.

I was so excited to see so many different ducks
at these 2 ponds at an entrance to a subdivision.
Notice the photo below and the 2nd from the top
also have American Coots in the photos.

I haven't actually counted the different ducks we saw yet,
because I am still going through the photos
to see what all I did capture.
As always if I have the id wrong, please correct me.
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pie Billed Grebe

Jimmy first spotted these Pie Billed Grebe.He said there was something out there that keeps sinking
and then coming up on the other side of the pond.
After you see one of these,
that is what draws your attention to them.

The first 3 were taken at Tierra Verde pond in February 2009.
Then I came home and was at the "duck pond" as the Fountain City pond is referred to locally and that tell/tell sign of sinking caught my eye. I had to go and investigate it. Sure enough there it was right here in Tennessee too.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lighthouse in the middle of the ocean

While we were on the cruise Jimmy stood on our balcony
with the binoculars to see what was out there.
I also took this photo with a flash, but I like this one better.

One day while we were out at sea all day he said to grab the camera and come quick. There was a lighthouse out in the middle of the ocean. I don't have a clue where we were, except it was the day before we got back to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Click to enlarge, but I can't tell that it is anything but a lighthouse.

Another beautiful sight from the balcony, on a different day.
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Mergansers - Common and Red Breasted

Mergansers - Common or Red Breasted. The first 3 photos were taken at the pond on Tierra Verde,
close to St Pete Beach in Florida.
I originally had all these photos grouped together.
But on closer inspection, I think I have the Red Breasted
in the top 3 photos, and the Common in the bottom 3 photos.

The bottom 3 photos were taken at Fort DeSoto Park,
also near St Pete Beach in Florida.

They were taken 3 days apart. Tierra Verde is the small
strip of land you travel to the Fort DeSoto Park.
I know the quality could be better, but I would still appreciate
any clarification of the correct identifications of these Mergansers.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

American Coots at Tierra Verde

American Coots are similiar in appearance to the Common Moorhen, except the Moorhen has a red bill and the American Coots are white.
Think they must have had a lover's quarrel.
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Six Mile Cypress Slough Reserve

Scenery of the Six Mile Cypress Slough Reserve in Florida.

Notice the Anhinga below. He just blends in.
And the alligator looking like a log.

I am sure I will post other photos from the reserve,
just wanted to share some of the actual scenery.
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