Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Just Another Day in the Woods...

 "What? You wanna a piece of me?!"
Spring Robins will kick your a$$ if you're not careful...

I had a little wander in the woods on the Indian Springs trail at Munroe Falls Park Sunday. It started out quite cold...go figure cold spring temps along the Lake Erie coast in the spring? Give it a minute...it'll change...and it did. A nice warm and sunny day...still no bear though.

All of the usual suspects were singing their brains out plus quite a few that I don't know...like that warbly thing waaaaayyyyy up in the tree tops...by the time I got my bins on him, he skedaddled out of there. May have been a Prairie Warbler, by the song, or not...he did have a yellow belly...and not because he flew away before I could get a photo. Oh well, Magee Marsh is coming up in a couple of weeks!

 This Black-capped Chickadee is giving me the same look as most humans...I don't get it...
I thought I was normal...sort of...

 "Leave no leaf unturned!"
That's the Chickadee motto.

 I couldn't believe he actually sat still!

 Another rare photo!
A Canada Goose with his bill shut!

 Yep, them is caterpillars....yep.

So first I must apologize to the person that was walking up behind me.
Yes, I really was talking to this Chipping Sparrow.
No, I am not(completely) crazy.
I was just asking him to come a little closer so I could get a better shot.
(All of these sparrow photos are uncropped by the way.)

 Well, Chippers are quite amicable and are always willing to help.
He came a little closer(and the person behind me started getting further.)

 He moved up a little closer on these rocks.
"How's this? This is my good side."

 "Is this close enough?"
I really was talking to him...the stranger was gone by now. 
Doesn't everyone talk to birdies?

 Then he hopped a little closer.
Most humans don't get this close to me...or listen...

 I asked him if he would get on the rock as it would be a more natural setting.
He was kind enough to oblige.
I like Chippers.
I really like it when I don't have to crop the photos.
I am a happy boy.
Yea!

 Okay, back to my semi-reality.
I've heard this Eastern Towhee singing for a couple of weeks now.
This was the first time he was sort of in the open.

 You can tell by that glare he was not happy with me and my camera.
Get over it.
Towhees are snobby.
No, YOU drink it jerk!

 Sometimes fish stare at me in disbelief.

 That Red-bellied Woodpecker must have found something delicious in there!

 ...or maybe not so delicious...

 I see Tufted Titmouseseses on my feeder everyday.
But when I'm out to take a few photos...nope...
WAY up in the tree tops.
Lucky that song is nice or I'd be mad.

 I played hide and seek with this White-throated Sparrow for about a half dozen shots.
He won, I gave up.
I could hear him laughing as he flew away.

Flowers...wild huh?

I was tired and they were sitting still so I took their photo.

I'll be back...don't go anywhere...well, I guess you can go for now...BUT COME BACK!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Happy Birdday John J.!

Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler

I almost forgot to celebrate John James Audubon's birthday! I'll have to go out and search for a warlby thing...!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Seen any Song Sparrows Lately?



 (I'm on the other side trying not to slide into that icy water!)

I didn't make it out this past weekend for birding...I managed to catch the lovely virus sweeping around our shop...ack-ack...so, these are from the previous weekend...so there.

After looking for bear, but not bare(too cold!) I spent a little time at the Pond Brook Reservation. After speaking with the naturalist, I found out there's four river otters living there now! Of course they didn't show themselves for me. Maybe next time.

Butt what I did see...SONG SPARROWS! Lots and lots of song sparrows...along the brook, by the trails, along the access road, in the trees...jeepers! I heard a few other birds singing in the hopes that spring would hurry along, but mostly I saw song sparrows...one of my favorite little birdies!

 The American Goldfinches are getting gold again!

 If you hadn't guessed already...Song Sparrow...

 A rude little American Tree Sparrow flashing me.
Such behaviour...tsk.

 Another Tree Sparrow playing peek--boo.

 What are the odds...another Song Sparrow!

 This angry Dark-eyed Junco was charging at me like a mad bull!

 ...and a Song Sparrow hopping down the bunny trail...
 
 A cold and hungry Eastern Phoebe looking for frozen bugs.

 This is what a Song Sparrow looks like when it slips on the ice....graceful...

 These two male Wood Ducks were merciless in chasing that poor female around...

 ...and yes, another one of those whachamacallits...

 And the Wood Ducks are still at it...reminds me of a Marx Brothers movie...

I'll leave you with one final Song Sparrow of the day...until we meet again...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Gettin' Bare in the Woods...



 Oops, I meant to say "Bear!" I just thought that would either get your attention...or make you run away at the thought of me baring my "soul" so to speak...ANYWAY...

I spent a lovely northern Ohio spring morning at Liberty Park along the Ledges Trail. There was quite a bit of "spring" on the ground this weekend...what happened to that 80 degree walking in shorts weekend I just had? I think we've been robbed my friends... This day was barely 25 to start out with about 3 inches of spring on the ground. I never realized spring could be so slippery and cold to walk through...

You may have noticed the close up of my friend the Black Bear. He's been spotted in this area, butt not by me...yet. This is(was?) his late cousin. He ate too much...he's feeling stuffed.

 This American Robin turned his back on me, probably like what you're doing right about now...

 I've had a difficult time finding Brown Creepers and getting photos of them.
That was my goal on this walk, and, go figure, I found one!
 
 Their camouflage is amazing.
I watched him for quite a while. Their tails are really cool!...and they're kind of chubby too!
 
 I saw this lone and freezing Eastern Phoebe working low branches and anywhere the snow was clear.
Every time he landed on a branch, his feathers puffed out to save the warmth.
 
 This was the only Golden-crowned Kinglet to sit still long enough for me to get a shot of...
..at least for a second...
 
 ...then, poof...off he zipped!

 I was talking to this Hermit Thrush, asking permission to get a nice behind shot...

 And, wouldn't you know it, he obliged!
Hermits are much friendlier than their name would suggest.

 There were quite a few Hermits on the move through the area.
When there's not much vegetation, they're easy to find.
Wait til May...

 Just as I was getting this guys portrait, a moron with an unleashed dog came tearing through the woods and scared him and everything else away.
Idiots.

 A couple of frozen Song Sparrows.
North and South views!
 
 The rules say I have to end with a butt shot, so...
I saw this bird following a flock of Robins through a wetland area.
At first I thought it was a Common Grackle, then it turned and it's tail was too short...and looky there, it was a Rusty Blackbird!

Stay tuned for part 2...a walk through Pond Brook...

I want to thank Janine, a park naturalist I met at Pond Brook for her info on the area...THANKS!




Wednesday, March 30, 2016


 Once again, I have a display of my photos at the Carlisle Visitors Center in the Lorain Metroparks. I think this is the 7th year for me. The folks out there are great(Hi Jennifer and Mary!) and the center is a wonderful place to visit. They have an activity room for children, a "window on wildlife" and gift shop, meeting rooms and fantastic trails through woodland, meadow and wetlands. This past weekend the trails I wandered on were especially muddy...I loved it!

Once I finished setting up my photos...somewhat straight and even...I decided it was time for a little birding. After an hour or so in the sun, the temps went from 30 to the upper 70's! Time for shorts and a t shirt and summertime!...at least for a day...northern Ohio changes from minute to minute. Me and my bird buddies enjoyed every moment in the sun!

 I caught this American Tree Sparrow dozing off  in the warm rays of the sun.
I was thinking of doing the same thing...

 The Black-capped Chickadees were all around...this is the only one that sat still for me.

 While I walked around the wetland I heard dozens of Rusty Blackbirds but couldn't get a single shot.
I did get one photo of this sparrow skulking in the clumps of vegetation.
It look like a Chipping Sparrow, but I can't say for sure...
What do you think?

 With the very warm temperature, the birds had plenty of insects out for lunch.
This Downy Woodpecker was busy digging into his meal.

 The Eastern Bluebirds were out in force on this day...in the wetlands and in the woods...

 Nest boxes are all around the center and you can watch the Bluebirds and Tree Swallows argue over property rights.

 I enjoyed watching these gorgeous birds fly catching from branch to branch in the woods.
( I should have taken a shot of my feet buried in the mud while I stood there and watched!)

 YEA! The first butterfly of the year, an Eastern Comma.
They hibernate through the winter in log piles and the hollows of trees.

 Hmmm...another mystery sparrow.
That dark streaking and big bill reminds me of a Fox Sparrow more than a Song Sparrow...

 The Midland Painted Turtles were also enjoying the warm sun.
I couldn't find a log my size to lay on...

 This Red-bellied Woodpecker was finding plenty to munch on in that old squirrels nest.

 Once again, standing ankle deep in the mud, transfixed on this beautiful singing Song Sparrow!

 I think the Tree Swallows were VERY full!
They actually sat still for me!

 Another sure sign that spring has sprung at last!

Bluebirds are absolutely gorgeous!
I heard him laughing at me as he zoomed away...
"Ha-Ha! The mud sucked your sandals off!"
Yep, that's okay...it was warm and not snowing...