Tuesday, March 29, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XIX

Wow... I can't believe another week has passed by and it is World Bird Wednesday again. Where does the time go?

I spent a great deal of time since the last WBW staking out the hummingbird feeder hoping to see the first Ruby-throated flier of the year. I haven't see one yet, but it is just a matter of time.

The birds in my backyard seemed to have paired off. I have seen pairs of Doves, Chickadees, Cardinals, Wrens and Woodpeckers around. Here are a few pictures of my backyard birds that came in while I was scoping out the Hummingbird feeder.

Mourning Doves

Slick looking like devil was feeding like crazy the past few days.

Getting his color back

Couldn't get the chickadees to stay still. They have way too much energy right now.


A little bit like abstract art.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Odds and ends - World Bird Wednesday XVIII

This is going to be an odds and ends post to catch everyone up on what I have been up to here in Northern Virginia.

The Osprey is done with his/her nest and will probably have eggs in it soon.

Nest done

The blooms are out and the bees are already busy.

Bee doing its thing

I put out an array of materials for the birds to line their nest.

Calling all birds, Come and get some free materials for your nest

Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been spotted in Virginia already so I have the hummingbird feeder filled up and put up. I heard that there is a chance of snow on Sunday. Oh well...

Feeder ready for another season

I saw a total summer bird when I was out for a walk this weekend. There were Tree Swallows all over the Potomac River and one actually stopped long enough for a quick pic.

Tree Swallow

Sorry for the odds and ends, but it is Spring and there is always a lot to talk about.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Helping the birds to make a nest

My daughter was reading my latest copy of Birds and Blooms and saw on page 10 the story about providing the birds materials to make their nest. We went to the local wild bird store and bought a suet holder. She gathered up some cat hair, cotton balls, fabric, yarn and some other items. She put them all in the holder and we hung it from the fence in our backyard. It will be interesting to see if the birds use it.

Nesting materials

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XVII

Last Friday when I down at Dykes Marsh checking out the high levels of water on the Potomac River, I walked over by the Belle Haven marina to see if the Osprey that I saw on 4 March was back in the area. Low and behold, he or she was. Not only was the Osprey in the area, it had decided to build a nest about 10 yards offshore. I sat at the picnic table right next to landing and watched the Osprey hard at work. It would fly into the woods and get some sticks and fly back to the nest it was building. I watched for about 30 minutes and then decided not to bother the Osprey anymore.

If a person is in the Northern Virginia area and wants to see an Osprey in the wild close up, this is the place to do it at. Please be kind and let the bird work.

Osprey working

Working on the nest

Gives you an idea of the size of the nest

I love the sharp claws...beware!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hummingbird Migration

When I was outside filling up my feeders, I noticed an old friend. It was my hummingbird feeder, sitting there waiting for another summer use. I thought to myself "Self, how is the hummingbird migration going?" So I got on my computer and checked out the learner.org site to see how far north the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have reached. According to the map, they have reached Florida and are starting to move through Georgia, Alabama and a few other states.

It is just a matter of weeks before they reach Virginia. 

Hummingbird migration as of 14 March 2011.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XVI

Last Friday when I was out at Huntley Meadows, I saw an interesting aerial display. There were 2 Red-shouldered Hawks out doing a type of mating flight. As I was getting close, I heard a "kee-ahh" call over and over. I saw the 2 Red-shouldered hawks gaining altitude and then the male would fly down at the female. They did this over and over. The interesting thing was that the male did this will carrying nesting materials at the same time.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Hawk 2

Close up

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More signs that Spring is springing

For a 2nd consecutive Friday, I was able to get out to Dykes Marsh and again the place was overrun with American Robins. Usually I see a few sporadically throughout the winter, so seeing so many made me think that the waves of Robins heading north has begun. Thanks to learner.org and Laura Erickson for all of this great information on Robins.

Waves of American Robins

Basically the red triangles are waves of Robins observed in Feb and the red circles have been observed in March. They will be arriving soon in MN, Wisc, and MI in greater numbers.

One the many American Robins that were out eating at Dykes Marsh.

 Here is a link to the learner.org site for more information on the progress of the 2011 American Robin migration.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring is springing

My first official "summer" visitor of the year and it was a good one. I was near the marina at Dykes Marsh today and got this picture of an Osprey. I got pretty close too.

The rare bird list that I check religiously said that there were early returning Ospreys in the area and I found one. Yay me!!

Osprey at Dykes Marsh on 4 March.

Just checking things out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XV

This week is ducky. Literally. I am going to post some of the pictures of ducks I took last Friday. The weather was great and the ducks were out everywhere. Seems like they were tired of the cold dreary weather and wanted to stretch their wings. I am not going to post every species of duck I saw, just some of the more interesting pictures.

There was a flock of Northern Pintails. This is a new bird to my posts. The Northern Pintail hangs out in Northern VA in the winter.

Northern Pintail

Here is a Green-winged Teal that flew by.

You were fast, but I got ya

Same with this Mallard. I liked the water falling off it's feet.

My feet got wet.

I didn't notice the turtle with the Hooded Mergansers until I got home.
Check out the turtle.