Monday, February 18, 2013

Great Backyard Bird Count

Time to lighten this place up! Thanks to everyone who offered advice and words of comfort on my last post. I have the wisest, kindest blog followers in existence. Love y'all!

Today was the last day of the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), so I decided to visit Arsenal Park and Capitol Lake, which are side by side in downtown Baton Rouge. Somewhere between the two areas I dropped my iphone and after a frantic 20 minute search found it lying in the grass. Whew, that was close! I was having severe anxiety, lemme tell ya!

I counted 16 different species of birds and got a bonus animal that I was not expecting. A windy, cold, but totally fun couple of hours. As I was about to leave there were two trees that suddenly became populated with birds. Thinking they were the annoying red-wing blackbirds or grackles, I pointed my lens up to the tree and saw that they were Cedar Waxwings! There must've been a hundred of them. Unfortunately, they were very high up so I could not get a decent shot. But I am posting some photos of them anyway because it's the first time I've ever laid eyes on one. What a great way to end the event.
Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing line-up

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Eastern Phoebe

Ring-billed gull

Downy Woodpecker

Another sweet pose by Phoebe

Ring-billed gull

Ring-necked duck, male

Ring-necked duck, female

American Coot and Ring-necked ducks feeding frenzy

Nutria, my surprise visitor


Yellow wildflowers growing through the rocks

36 comments:

Brian King said...

These are gorgeous, Gail! We don't get waxwings here, but I wish we did. Your gull shots are incredible! Love the hover above the coots! Beautiful ducks, too!

Linda said...

Your Waxwing shots are wonderful, regardless of the distance challenge. The ringnecked ducks are awesome. The nutria...I'd never even heard of this one. I thought it was a beaver until I saw your caption. That sent me to good old Wikipedia to look it up. The yellow flowers have overcome hardship in order to bloom among the rocks. There must be a spiritual lesson there somewhere. :)

Jacquelineand.... said...

The waxwings are gorgeous...well, they all are! After seeing the nutria I have 'Muskrat Love' playing in my head. go figure!

Lit a candle and said some prayers for you last night Gail.

eileeninmd said...

Gail, congrats on your Waxwings sighting. They are beautiful birds. You have some awesome shots of them, showing their pretty colors. Cool shots of the Coots, looks like a lot of them. The Nutria is neat looking too. Wonderful photos and post. Have a great day!

Stewart M said...

Great set of pictures - and if they are not decent pictures of the waxwings I'll look forward to you getting some!! What great birds.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Beautiful....I especially liked the waxwings all in a row [a whole slew of them] and then the sweet pheobe with the little tufts of feathers blowing in the breeze. Oh and the yellow wildflowers...everything here today is just simply gorgeous.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Cedar Waxings are lovely!! their colors!! Beaver??? Neat!!
Your last photo is awesome!! Even on grey barren rocks will grow a lovely wildflower!!
You're so talented!!

Tricia Hays said...

The Cedar Waxwings are so smooth looking. They're all beautiful captures. Your surprise visitor is a cool lil dude, isn't he! =)

EG CameraGirl said...

You area gifted photographer, Gail. I enjoy your photos very much.

TexWisGirl said...

loved this whole set! the waxwings are just so fun to see! love how they cluster together like that. you got some great shots! love your sweet phoebe, ring-necks, nutria, but the gull coming in over the coots is awesome!

Stephanie said...

I could look at your pictures for hours - the waxwings are stunning! I don't think I have ever seen them before.
Beautiful, dear friend!

Hugs,
Stephanie

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Gorgeous pictures. I love the Waxwings against the white of the sky.I may have heard,but what kind of camera do you use? I think I need to get some lessons from you.Oh how I wish we lived closer to each other.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

OK,I just checked and found out which camera you use,But I still would love to go on a shoot with you.I have so much to learn.

hootnonny said...

Lucky you - lucky us! Awesome pics, and supper. I've read that nutria is good eating!

Mitzi said...

What beautiful images of God's little creatures! You captured them well my friend. xoxo

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I believe your new life bird must have been sent as a special gift of joy for you! A bird club leader told me once that migrating waxwings pick a different route each year, so I think something must have told them to fly where you could see them this time.

Wonderful post! Every picture brings me joy. (Well, except maybe for the nutria...they're not exactly the loveliest creatures on earth. Years ago one of my sons and his friends trapped one and then dropped it in the middle of our driveway while they were trying to figure out what to do with it. I was not a happy momma when I almost drove over it when I got home from a long day at work!

Rosie Grey said...

Such a fantastic collection of photos, Gail, absolutely amazing! I haven't read the post you are referring to, so I will go and have a look! Have a great week!

Hilary said...

Such beautiful photos of all your visiting winged friends. And what a joy to see your surprise guest.

Gina Gao said...

These are really amazing photos! I liked this post very much.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Justine said...

your bird shots are truly amazing. I just read your previous post, what a horrible rejection, something similar happened to us, leading a good life isn't enough for the church is it?

Stephani - A Defined Life said...

I love the yellow wildflowers growing up in the rocks. It's kind of like God's grace in the middle of our sometimes stoney path. He reminds us that he is ever present even during the difficult roads of life.

She Who Carries Camera said...

what a collection! i think cedar waxwings exist in order to be photographed! :-)

Linda R said...

You know I just love popping in here to look at your photos. They make my day! Can you see me smiling.

Hugs~

PS.. Have you ever seen the movie "The Big Year". It is such a fun movie about bird watching. If you haven't seen it you should.

the wild magnolia said...

wildly awesome photos. just plain fun to see.

Chatty Crone said...

I would love to know where you live to get this fantastic photos!

Renae at simple sequins said...

Such lovely photos, Gail! I love viewing your talent! Have a great night and see you tomorrow. I have a cool new necklace I am showing off. Thanks for your fun friendship.

Tricia said...

What a great collection of photos! Those Cedar Waxwings make me think of Cardinals, due to the shape of their face and the crest.

Buttons said...

WOW I love Cedar Wax Wings I have only seen them a couple of times here. Love the beavers. You are an amazing photographer Gail. B

Richard Pegler said...

Utterly beautiful images Gail. What a superb day you had - even if there was a moment of panic over the iPhone!

Pam ;) said...

One after another your photos just got lovelier Gail. Each one is stunning.
congrats on the Cedar Waxwings, their awesome birds.

Have a happy day ~:)

Lisa Gordon said...

Gail, your bird photographs are always so wonderful, and I love your little beaver friend! Such a sweet face.

Have a wonderful day ahead!

Jori said...

I'm so glad you are feeling better! That line up of birds is awesome! You always capture the most amazing photo's!

Barbara said...

I'm so glad you did the Bird Count! Your photos are so wonderful - hope you win! I might enter some of mine just for the bird count part of it. I haven't seen that many here, though. I admit I never realized nutrias were so cute!

Daniel LaFrance said...

Your photos are a treasure! As other's have noted, you're a gifted photographer.

The waxwings are special!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Girl, I only hope one day to meet with you and just watch a professional in action with her camera. You delight my eyes with GOD's gift. He sure knew to put a camera in your hands.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Incredible shots! I'm running out of adjectives!!!