Let’s Fly!

It’s been a couple months since we’ve gone anywhere, other than the E.L. Huie ponds on a birdwatching trip. Tonight, I am planning a trip up to Rome, Georgia. I love the fact we can drive to places less than an hour away to see some of the most magnificent birds around.

Let's Fly!

 

I was lucky to capture the shot of the Eastern Kingbird shown above. It’s those spontaneous shots that keep me coming back for more.

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Lookin’ For Love

Green Herons are fun to watch, especially when they’re trying to impress each other.

Green Heron #3

 

Green Heron #5

 

For the record, the female made her appearance just moments after these photos were taken.

My Fine Feathered Friend

I’ve got a lot scheduled over the next couple days, so I hope you’ll bear with me while I post some photos today and tomorrow. I promise, they’re good ones.

Red-Tailed Hawk #5

 

Red-Tailed Hawk #4

 

See. I told you. You can see some more awesome birds on my Flickr account.

Asleep At The Wheel

Do you remember when Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast? I sure do. I remember seeing people at our local truck stop who had nowhere to go. I remember talking to those people, and they questioned our government. They wanted to know why it took so long to respond after the hurricane hit.

Then President George W. Bush was criticized, along with his administration, for the slow response. So what’s happening in the gulf now?

Officials in the Obama administration began for the first time Friday to publicly chastise BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, calling the oil company’s current resources inadequate to stop what is unfolding into an environmental catastrophe.

That’s right. Ten days after the oil rig exploded and eight days after the oil rig sank, the Obama administration began criticizing BP. Uh, hello?!?

This oil spill could cause a complete and catastrophic failure of the commercial fisheries along the gulf coast because the Obama administration, not BP, waited more than a week to send any kind of response to the region.

The Defense Department has the equipment needed to help disperse the oil before it reaches shore. The Defense Department has the technology needed to help mitigate the damage from the leak. The Obama Administration waited a week, oblivious to the fact that they were capable of doing anything to help.

Doesn’t that explain this administrations entire record? They are oblivious to the facts, and they are incapable of doing anything except tearing apart the fabric of our country.

If you would like to know how you can help, visit the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, or the Audubon Action Center.

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The Rarities Continue

You can’t keep good birders down.

After a fantastic two days birding, the boys wanted to recuperate by, you guessed it, birding.

On Sunday, we had planned to head out later in the afternoon, but there was a report of a Wilson’s Phalarope at a pond just 30 minutes up the road. This pond is right around the corner from the pond where we were able to view the Black-necked Stilt just a couple weeks ago.

The boys didn’t want to wait, in case the bird was just making a quick stop before heading north. They made a convincing argument, and we were out the door within 15 minutes.

Wilson's Phalarope #1

 

For all you non-birders out there, the Wilson’s Phalarope is the one nearest the center of the image that looks completely different than the other birds in the photo. Yes, the one with the mask.

After a rather uneventful day today, they convinced me that we should double-check to see if the Wilson’s Phalarope was still hanging around the cow farm. Since it’s just up the road, I figured we could make the trip again.

The bird had moved on to greener pastures (hah), but we did get a chance to observe a few different species of sandpipers, a Green Heron that kept flying in and out of the area. We checked all of the other locations we usually do, and we saw this beautiful Red-Tailed Hawk.

Red-Tailed Hawk #1

 

I have several appointments for the remainder of the week, and we probably won’t get a chance to get out much in the next few days, so I hope they got it all out of their system for a bit. I know I did. I need time to recharge and recuperate myself. 😉 Now that’s something you don’t see around here very often!

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Let’s Go Birding!

Today was the official start of the 5th Annual Youth Birding Competition. The boys have spent the past three months waiting for this trip. By waiting, I mean asking me if today is the day, marking the day off on their calendar, checking all of their birding equipment (field guides, binoculars, spotting scopes), and asking if we can “practice” a bit before the big day.

We’ve practiced the past several weeks, taking small trips to locations on the weekends, getting them acclimated to quick identification. We’ve spent time at Carter’s Lake, the Bartow County Loop, Tanner State Park, Sweetwater Creek State Park, West Point Dam, and every place in-between those locations.

Well, after just three hours of birding today (the competition started at 5:00 pm), the three boys spotted and identified 54 species of birds.

Black And White Warbler

 

Blue-Headed Vireo

 

Orchard Oriole

 

We started the competition up at Fort Mountain State Park and worked our way down to the dam at Carter’s Lake. We spent some time below the dam, in the sparrow field, and over at the lower re-regulation dam. Before it got too late, we made our way back down to the Bartow County Loop, where they have been “practicing”.

The best part of the day, was the fact that all I had to do was drive. It was their job to spot the birds and identify them.

Tomorrow is going to be a much longer day, as we have to get up early so we can begin our day down at West Point Dam. I’ll post more when we return tomorrow night.

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