Tuesday, March 30, 2010

30 Mar 2010

There were lots of large birds circling the lake today when I went out on my walk. I got about half-way around and missed a picture of one of them when it landed in a tree near me. I let it go, waited a few minutes and continued around the lake looking for it. I heard several crows and then spotted this bird up in the tree with them. It is an Osprey eating a fish out of the lake. I just wish that branch wasn't in the way. This is a summer resident to NOVA.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

28 Mar 2010

After reading some blogs on http://www.birdsense.net/ I decided to make a few things clear.

#1. I will not be a bird lister as this is for fun, enjoyment and learning about birds.

#2. I will not become a combat birder.

#3. I am staying out of the rain. I really hate to get my feet wet.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

27 Mar 2010

I woke up early and knew it was going to be a good day for birding. After getting out to the car at 0845, I looked at the car thermometer and it was reading 37 degrees. BBrrrrrrr. I headed over to a new spot, Huntley Meadows Park. It was a great idea.
Huntley Meadows

When I got there, the parking lot had about 15 cars. Most of the people were in a large group with trash bags and were cleaning up the parking lot. Nice people!! I need to check into helping out with that next time. I walked the over 2 miles of trails out into the marsh and woods and got some great pictures. I added 2 birds to my list and 4 that were winter residents getting ready to move out to Canada.

I got a great picture of a male and female Wood duck and a male and female Red-winged Black bird.

The 4 winter resident birds that I saw were Northern Shovelers (which were cool), Hooded Merganser, Green-winged Teal (tough to see, it is right in the middle of the picture) and Gadwells. (pictures in order)

It was interesting to watch people lugging in their cameras and tripods with the 1000mm Zoom lens. More power to 'em.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

24 Mar 2010

I walked down around the lake, but since the sun was shining and it was nice out, there were not a lot of birds like yesterday. Of note, I did see a Pied-billed Grebe which is classified as a Winter Resident to NOVA (Northern Virginia).

Another classic Great Blue Heron picture.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

23 Mar 2010

I walked down by the lake today and walked over by the softball field. There was a large flock of American Robins.There were probably about 25 robins in it.

I also got a great picture of the Northern Cardinal. It was a male in full red color sitting in a tree near the lake singing away.

There was also a large flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds with possibly European Starlings mixed in. The pictures of those and my Red-Winged Blackbirds didn't turn out well due to the gray skies and it was getting a little dark.

There were many birds diving at the lake chasing insects. I tried to get some pictures but the birds were zooming by too fast. I would aim and shot but the birds were not very clear. They looked blue and were probably Tree Swallows. I am going to go back to the lake tomorrow since it is going to be sunny.

Monday, March 22, 2010

22 Mar 2010

So today I violated the first rule of photo-birding... never, ever, ever go out on a walk, no matter how short without your camera.

I got home from work on a rainy Monday. (it is Northern Virginia, year of the rain cloud.) Since it was lightly raining and I could hear thunder, I hurried up to get in my lap around the lake. I walked down the hill near the dam and -damn- walked right up to an Eastern Bluebird. I hadn't seen one in 5 years of walking around the lake. It posed for a few minutes and then flew off.

Of course there were birds everywhere and I had to pass on at least 3 more great shots.

And I got rained on.... twice..

Saturday, March 20, 2010

20 March 2010

Happy first day of Spring!!!

I hit a couple of places today birding. I was out in my backyard reading for a little while when 2 House Finches came flying in. They ate some sunflower seeds, drank out of the bird bath and then took off.

I drove down by the pool and immediately saw a White-breasted Nuthatch, a Tufted Titmouse and a female Downy Woodpecker. Going to post 2 out of 3 for now and try again for the Woodpecker.

Friday, March 19, 2010

19 Mar 2010

Another bird for the list. But, more on that later.

I went down to the Mason Neck State Park area today. It was 72 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The woods are starting to green up. I walked 2 miles out to an observation point with a little observation house. I did not see another person on the walk out or back. That was a total bonus.
Mason Neck State Park

I bought a new 300MM zoom lens today on the way out to Mason Neck. It seemed like all of the birds I was trying to photograph were always just outside the range of my 200MM zoom. Man, is it nice.

I saw a few Red-bellied Woodpeckers and got a picture of one. It was extremely high up in the tree, but the 300 got it anyways. Looking through all of my earlier bird lists, it seemed like I had never seen one before.

I stopped by the Wild Bird Center on the way home and bought a new feeder. I asked the guy working there if he felt like the long, difficult winter with 3 feet of snow had any effect on the local birds. He thought that the bird population was down slightly after the winter. I am tending to agree with that so far as spring gets closer.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

18 Mar 2010

Tomorrow I am planning on having the bird flu and will be staying home from work. I will be birding all day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

15 Mar 2010

I redid the colors and style of my blog. I added the great banner. I hope you like.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

14 Mar 2010

It was super rainy this weekend. It started on friday and it is still raining today. I had several types of birds in my feeders so I set up the birdcam. I got only 1 good picture of some House Sparrows. I am going to go out and trek around the neighborhood to see what I can find.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

10 Mar 2010 part 2

I am going to put 2 more pictures in here but will replace them later. I got a picture of a Killdeer and 2 Bufflehead ducks. Buffleheads are winter visitors to VA not permanent residents. The Killdeer (which I will get a better picture of) is a permanent resident.

10 Mar 2010

I took a road trip today looking for birds, bald eagles to be exact. Well, I saw up to 4 but could not get a picture. I did run across a flock of Black Vultures. There were around 10 in the group. I thought I saw a Turkey Vulture or 2 in the group but no photo evidence.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

7 Mar 2010

I got a picture of a Great Blue Heron eating a minnow.

I also had to add 1 more Mallard picture.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

6 Mar 2010


Canada Goose

I decided to add 2 more easy birds to the list. I walked over to our lake and got a picture of 2 Canadian Geese and a male and female Mallard duck.

Friday, March 5, 2010

5 Mar 2009

According to Audubon, there are 53 permanent resident birds in Northern VA. There are ducks, geese, herons, eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, ocean shore birds, owls, woodpeckers, and others too numerous to mention. My goal is to get a picture of each one and post it to my blog..... yeah yeah.... good luck...


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2 Mar 2010

I survived the big snows and am ready to bird again. I saw what looked to be a northern mockingbird and got a great picture of it. If this isn't a northern mockingbird, please let me know.

I am going to start looking for Bob and Doug.