Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Back from vacation - World Bird Wednesday XXIII

I am back from Texas but getting a slow start to birding. I took a few walks after work but the birds have been hiding out. I was able to find a Double-crested Cormorant.

At the lake

There was the back side of a Eastern Towhee. I chased several of these around until I gave up.

I don't want to turn around for nothing.

The Yellow-rumped Warblers were still around.

I will be heading up north soon.

For whatever reason, 3 Brown-headed Cowbirds decided to hang out on top of the baseball backstop.

Swing and a miss

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XXII

Birding in Northern Virginia is on vacation this week. Still looking at birds, but with only a cellphone camera. See ya all next week with new bird pictures!!

Rock Pigeon

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Update on the Ospreys for World Bird Wednesday XXI

I thought I would spend a little time updating everyone on the fate of my Ospreys on the Potomac near Dykes Marsh. I went by there on Sunday to see how the nest was, if it was still there and to see how the water traffic was affecting the Ospreys. I received an answer to all 3 questions and then some.

It seems like there is more than the single Osprey that I had been seeing. I had an inkling that there were more, but had no pictures. I was coming up on the area where the nest was when I saw an Osprey up on a branch. It was just sitting there making little clucking sounds.

Look at me... Cluck Cluck.

Then another Osprey swooped in and the 2 of them took off. Sorry, too fast for a picture. So I was thinking.. "there are 2". I quickly walked over to the nest and there was another one just sitting in the nest. It could not have been one of the other 2. The (probably female) Osprey was just watching the guy fishing.

Look how close the boat is

Then out of nowhere, the male flew back in with a branch for the nest.

A peace offering?

The 2 of them had a little discussion in the nest. This was the first time that I saw them both there of course. Notice her back is turned.

Hey... I'm sorry...

And then the female got up and took off leaving the male by himself. Trust me, they switched places.

You watch the nest

Male watching the Female fly off

I thought "it looks like the Female went off to hunt for some food, ..." but no, she landed in a tree about 40 yards away and just stared at the nest.

I'm just going to sit here awhile and stew

Here is what I gathered. There must be eggs in the nest. Both parents sit on the eggs. The fishermen and boats are not bothering the Ospreys. Don't hang out with your friends if you don't want the spouse to be mad.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Birds that are back

There are a lot more migrating birds passing through Northern Va. The Warblers are everywhere although I didn't get great pictures due to the weather. I am hoping that the sun comes out either today or tomorrow so I can get some more clear pictures of the Warblers. Nothing super spectacular yet, but everyday is an adventure.

Palm Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

There is a small group of Killdeer down at the lake now as well. They are always a good sign that spring is moving along.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Back again

I was walking around the lake today and I saw something that made me wonder why birds build nests in the same places year after year. Last year there was a Canadian Goose that built its nest right off the trail on a small peninsula. Well, guess what. Either that same goose (probably) or another goose has decided to build a nest this year in the same exact spot. It is within a foot or less from last years. I did a little Google searching to see if I could come up with an answer as to why they would do that. I couldn’t come up with any more than "It’s a matter of instinct.” and “they are hard-wired” “like robots”. There are a hundred better places to make their nest, but for some reason they want to build it right off the trail were a hundred people walk by every day.  I wish them luck again this year.

Nesting on the peninsula.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bird Experiments

Let's face it, most of my birding experiments haven't worked out so well so far. I tried the grape jelly thing to attract Orioles with no success. I put up a few bird houses that had no visitors. I thought that heating the water in my birdbath all winter would attract great flocks of songbirds in my backyard. None of them worked.

I was looking at my feeders through the window this morning as the drizzle was falling and saw a great sight. Chickadees were coming into the nesting materials that I put out and were taking it back to make nests. Finally!! Success. I didn't want to scare them away so I took a picture through the window.

Back to the Motel 6.