Wednesday, September 7, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XLII- Just a normal week

This was just a normal old week in Northern VA. No hurricanes, no earthquakes, nothing at all. With the end of summer approaching, I thought I would post some of the normal birds that I see nearly everyday here.

Sometimes, normal is good. 

Green Heron

Large flock of sparrows

Ring-billed Gull

American Goldfinch

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XLI- Windy Weekend

So the birds had to live through an earthquake, and then last weekend they had to survive a hurricane. I know that the birds are still molting, but they kind of look like they had their feathers wind-blown.

Molting Cardinals

Molting American Goldfinch

When the winds finally died down and I was able to sit outside again, I finally saw my first hummingbird of the year. It was buzzing my patio table trying to "drink" my red umbrella. I made up some hummingbird food right quick and he/she came right back in shortly after that. I did notice that there are at least 2 as well. Interesting that it took all summer until I finally had at least 1 in my backyard.


Standing tall

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XXXX - AKA Earth shaking Tuesday in Northern VA

Today was quite the day in Northern VA. It isn't everyday that you feel a 5.8 earthquake. Surprisingly, I don't think the birds or other animals even noticed. or did they?

What's all that shaking?

We are just going to eat.

Was that an aftershock?

Follow me, stay in line.

Most important, if another hits, everyone

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XXXIX - The busiest summer ever

I am back. Finally. This has been the busiest work and family summer ever. I feel like this female Northern Cardinal. You will see regular posts from me from now on.

I have been so busy that .....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - XXXI

Some days when I am walking to and fro, the birds just seem to have a better color to them. Last weekend was one of those days. Most of these birds are ones I normally see, but they just seemed a little more vibrant.

I also saw a few Northern Rough-Winged Swallows. Not a great picture, but a new bird for me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

another update to Dykes Marsh

It looks as though there are 3 Ospreys chicks in the nest down at Dykes Marsh. A couple of pictures of my trip down there yesterday.

Busy Nest 

Take-off for more food

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XXIX

I guess I missed another week last week. In my defense, it was a holiday week and those get crazy.

This week is all about a flycatcher. It is the Eastern Kingbird and they are a summer resident in Northern Virginia. It is one of the 6 in the Kingbird family. In the summer, it is common around semi-open habitat like my lake. They are often around water. They are solitary or small family groups, but they can be in a flock of hundreds during migration. They hang out on open branches and look for insects to eat. The white tip on their tail is an indicator that it is an Eastern Kingbird.

I have seen a bunch of these around the lake recently and fewer insects. Go figure....

Another type of Flycatcher, I noticed that the Barn Swallows have made a nest inside the lake spill control platform. (I know I said that this was only about the Eastern Kingbird)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XXVII - different locations

I went to several local Northern Virginia birding spots this week after I got back from a business trip. I am really blessed to have so many different spots to go to and be able to see birds. Each different spot has its own unique natural features and of course attracts different kinds of birds. I am even able to sit in my backyard and have many different species of birds come in to eat. Today's entry will be about different locations.

Dykes Marsh:

This is one of my favorite river areas and has the Osprey nest that I love to view. When I was down there this time, I talked with a young gentleman that was fishing nearby. He told me that he has been coming to that spot for 12 years and that the Ospreys have had a nest in the same spot for all of them. Although I didn't see it, he showed me a picture he took of the 1 baby Osprey in the nest this year. 

If you look really close that this picture, you will see a Sparrow in the front of the nest as well.

Dykes Marsh

The Lake:

There was a Spotted Sandpiper family out at the lake this week.

The Lake

My Backyard:

I have been watching both a male and female Brown-headed Cowbird that have been munching at my feeders and then in the grass. 

The male in my Backyard

The female in my Backyard

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Is it a boy or a girl?

According to the June - July 2011 issue of Birds and Blooms, there are 7 species of birds that the females look exactly like the males. They are all very common birds.

1. Blue Jays
2. Black-capped Chickadees
3. Tufted Titmouse
4. American Crows
5. Mourning Doves
6. Bald Eagles
7. House Wrens
This is a boy... no a girl... a boy...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XXV

This is a post about color. It is spring after all. There just seems to be a lot of birds out there sporting their mating spring colors.

A little Gray catbird:


Green Heron


Yellow-Rumped Warbler


Red-Winged Blackbird


Common Yellow-throat


Common Grackle

You pick the color... blue.. purple..

Saturday, May 7, 2011

2 new birds

I had to get up extra early on this fine Saturday morning, so I decided to make the most of it. After running my errand, I headed over to Dykes Marsh. Talk about a gorgeous morning! I was the only one out there this morning and I had the place to myself. I walked out to the point and found 2 new bird species for me, and got a male and female of one. Cute little birds that are both summer residents to Northern Virginia. The first is the Common Yellow-throat.

Male Common Yellow-throat

Male Common Yellow-throat

The other new bird is the Orchard Oriole. I got a picture of both the male and female.

Male Orchard Oriole

Female Orchard Oriole

All these birds and some more that I will put for World Bird Wednesday were all out on a little point of land, flying back and forth between trees.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - XXIV

Many times as I am walking and taking bird pictures, I have no idea exactly what bird I haven't taken a picture of until I am able to get back home and review the photos. Today was another day like that. I took a picture of a small brown striped bird. It's not like every bird is small, brown or striped, right? I leafed through the sparrows but couldn't find one that was close. Then it dawned on me, female Red-winged Blackbird. For whatever reason, that bird continues to confuse me. I also bite off on a different bird type until I remember the Blackbird family. Maybe it should be called a Red-winged Brownbird.

Tough bird to call

I had to add this picture since the Tree Swallow was so colorful.

A Darn good picture.

This little Eastern Phoebe seems a little shy.

A little camera shy.

I am not a turtle guy. Someone on the trail told me that this was a Snapping Turtle. Ok... sounds good to me. In 5 years I had not seen this turtle in the lake. The thing that struck me was the massive size of it. Trust me, it was huge. I wonder if this started out in some child's bowl on their desk.

Snapping Turtle?

Time to go get something to eat. See ya next week.


Want some?