Monday, March 31, 2014

Rookery Action

Instead of having this post scheduled days in advance like I normally would, it's 4:00AM and I'm just getting started. Sometimes insomnia works to my advantage. Since Friday night it's been a whirlwind of activity, highly unusual for us homebodies. My house is filthy, the laundry is piling up, and photos to document the weekend have barely had a glance. There may be enough images to make a post every day this week, but maybe not; I saw some stinkers in the bunch.

In between laundry loads today I will be checking in on my favorite blogs to see what you've been up to! Have a great week, y'all!

More images from the rookery at Lake Martin on March 22nd.

Sharing with Eileen's Saturday Critters. Thank you for hosting!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lake Martin Hodge Podge

Miscellaneous images around Lake Martin, LA. on 3/22/2014.
Early morning view

Pied-billed grebe

Pileated woodpecker. No amount of coaxing would get her to come out of the nest.

Snowy egret in breeding mode

Snowy egret

Roseate spoonbill

Black-bellied whistling duck
I thought of TexWisGirl while shooting these. My hat's off to her photography on these guys.
They were lined up so wonderfully on three different branches of one particular tree;
I'm certain Tex would have gotten the perfect composition from it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Little Boy Blue

Images of the little blue heron from our recent weekend trip to Lake Martin, LA. I will preface this by letting you know the light was bad and the nesting site was a few hundred feet away, so it was a challenge to shoot. I'm trying to talk Double D into returning this weekend. Negotiations are a little tense, but I have a good feeling I will get my way. :)

When I shot this I had no idea an alligator was sneaking up behind.
The gator must've sailed past because I didn't hear or see a commotion.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Reds

Years and years ago when someone in my family was irate about something or someone, my grandmother would say, "He's got the reds." Is that a Louisiana thing? I've never heard it anywhere else, but I've only lived in two states, so I'm not an authority. Also, when I was a youngster, a 'sore throat' was called a 'red throat.' Anyone hear that one?

This post has nothing to do with me having the reds or a red throat; just wanted to display my pretty little back yard birds and I'm running out of ways to title my posts. :)

I guess this is more of a rosy-red. And I only WISH he was a back yard visitor. :)
Roseate spoonbill, Lake Martin, LA
Linking with Wild Bird Wednesday and I'd Rather B Birdin'. Thanks hosts!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The first ruby-throated hummingbirds began arriving a couple weeks ago and we are thrilled to be hosting again. The feeder shown below was purchased at Wild Birds Unlimited. It's got two parts only, the red top lifts right off, so it's a breeze to keep clean. Ruby approves.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Adventures in Kayaking

I am happy to report that our birding and kayaking went off without a hitch. We carpooled with two really sweet ladies who were planning to kayak for the first time also. In all, there were nine of us with only three that had prior experience. They were very helpful to us newbies and nervous nellies.

Now for the BIG EXPERIENCE. When the owner of the rental asked who wanted to go first, I shot my hand up and said "ME!" because I was afraid I'd lose my nerve. I got in, then immediately froze and began to shake uncontrollably, like one of those panic attacks I sometimes get. Some men watching from the sidelines were cheering me on and offering soothing words to help me relax. Suddenly, my mind switched a gear and said, "Get it together or you WILL die in this contraption!" So, I began to paddle, unsure of where the strokes would take me. But I quickly caught on and joined the others. Go me!

The only thing I brought with me was a bottle of water, binoculars, and a zip-lock bag to hold my iphone. We actually paddled near several alligators, one of them just a baby. Another gator roared nearby and that one really spooked me. The kayaks were a bit flimsy and it was a challenge to not tip over, so using binoculars or my iphone did not happen often.  My only goal was to not drown or swim with the gators. Oh! If there was a log jutting out of the water, it seemed my kayak made a beeline for it. I hit almost everyone in my path!

Besides gators, we saw anhingas, cormorants, a yellow-throated warbler, a northern parula, and a common gallinule. Floating among the cypress trees was so peaceful. I loved every minute and so did Double D! We will both be doing that again. Soon!

iPhone shots from the day:
Our birding instructor, Jane, has her own kayak so she entered from a different section of the lake.
Double D spotted her and alerted the group behind him.

There she is on the right with another birder from our class who borrowed an extra kayak from Jane.

We all stopped to admire something here; don't remember what, but I'm sure it was cool.

Double D and new friends.

Jane shooting a young alligator resting on a log.

Teaser shot from the nesting site. Great egret in breeding plumage, ready for business.
Linking to the wonderful Eileen at Saturday's Critters!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fluffed Up

This white-throated sparrow was busy pecking underneath the feeders when all of a sudden he fluffed up and nestled into the ground. I have no idea what this behavior signifies, but it was interesting. The more I learn about birds and their behavior, the more fascinating they become. The white-throated sparrow's song sounds like "Oh-sweet-Canada-Canada" or "Old-Sam-Peabody-Peabody."

The last field trip for our birding class is at Lake Martin tomorrow and several of us have rented kayaks after birding. Thank you to sweet Suzzz at Tree Hugger for encouraging me! A rainy weekend is forecast which may put the kibosh on the whole thing. I'm going to remain positive though! Hope everyone has a great weekend. Catch up with you all on Monday, unless I'm rained in.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Loud and Proud

Let me say first that I am not a fan of the brown-headed cowbird and their parasitic nesting habits, but I caught this one in some good light and noticed their black feathers are actually midnight blue.

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday.
Please visit Stewart and other birds around the world!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Let's make it perfectly clear...

I don't like spiders and snakes. And that ain't what it takes to love me." Remember that song by Jim Stafford? It just came to me as I was creating this post. Don't worry, no spiders here, but there are snakes since a few of you said you didn't mind, and I'm running low on material.
Broad banded watersnake

Smaller broad banded watersnake

Let me pretty things up with some dewberries

Possibly a diamondback watersnake.

Large clump of trillium growing beneath a young tree.
Sorry for any heebie geebies or ear worms resulting from this post. :)