Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

If you would like to join me for my W.W.B.W. leave a guess in the comments below or make your own weekly what bird post.

Can you guess what theses birds in winter plumage are?

Leave your guess in the comments
Last weeks birds were Mottled Ducks (which Bird Boy got very close to by guessing American Black Duck) and the birds on the right were Blue-winged Teals, as Prairie Birder and BirdBoy guessed correctly.

Other What Bird Wednesday posts:
Bird Boy's
Cat's and the Birds

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

If you would like to join me for my W.W.B.W. leave a guess in the comments below or make your own weekly what bird post.

Do you know what these birds are? As a bonus guess the ones on the right.
Leave your answer in the comments
I guess the last week's was pretty easy, considering I posted pictures of Reddish Egret and Roseate Spoonbill just before, kinda forgot about that. Jonathon and BirdBoy got it right, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, and Snowy Egret.

Other What Bird Wednesday posts:

Bird Boy

Cats and the Birds

Monday, January 18, 2016

Florida (Part Two) - Ponce Inlet

This is a continuation of Florida posts. This is the second post, the first full day we spent in Florida.

After the lighthouse, we went to a nearby beach. For fun I made this on google maps, so you can get feel for the area:

There was a beach there, with a jetty that extended about 300 m into the ocean, and boulders go out a kilometer to break the waves for boats (I think).
Now for an onslaught of photos, some of the photos are William's, even though they all say Josiah Van Egmond.
Boat-tailed Grackle (lifer!)
Here's a group of Black Skimmers with a few gulls in among them.  There were large groups of terns and skimmers on the beach, 4 lifers right there, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black Skimmer and Laughing Gull.
Black Skimmers

Sandwich Tern
These Ruddy Turnstones were about halfway down the jetty.

They gave us a good photoshoot. This picture rather looks like it has a broken neck.
Ruddy Turnstone
Most of them were standing on one leg.
Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone resting in the sun
When William, Matthew and I were out on the jetty, we saw a sea turtle! It was pretty exciting.
Green Sea Turtle
Here are the terns. The ones with orange beaks are Royal Terns, the ones with black and yellow-tipped bills are Sandwich terns. It actually took a while to identify them. At first without looking at the bird book, I thought they were Caspian Terns, then after studying them with the bird book (and trying to keep the pages from flipping from the wind) I finally figured out they were Royal and Sandwich.
There is a Laughing Gull in the center of this photo as well, and Black Skimmers in the background.
Tern flock
City across the water.

Royal Tern
And of course, good ol' Ring-billed Gulls.
Ring-billed Gull
And the flock goes up!
Black Skimmers
There were some tiny shorebirds on the beach, quite friendly, Sanderlings.
This is one of my favorite photos I took there.
SHARKS!! Nope, just dolphins. There was a group of them coming up and down in the water on one side of the jetty, pretty neat. Not in Sea World.. we didn't do any of that sort of stuff, and wild animals we saw (which I much prefer). :)
Don't worry, not a broken neck, just stretching.
Sandwich Tern
The black backs of Black Skimmers
Black Skimmers

Royal Terns

Brown Pelicans were very common, here is a young one.
Brown Pelican
You can see how much longer the bottom of the beak is than the top, that's because skimmers skim over the water, with its beak scooping up water.
Black Skimmer
A Brown Pelican landed on a post on the beach, a fantastic photo opportunity, usually they were just flying by or far out in the water.
Brown Pelican
The Herring Gulls were much bigger than all the other gull, terns and skimmers, they really stood out.
Herring Gulls

Black Skimmer in flight

First winter Black Skimmer

Ruddy Turnstone
And this photo, one of my favorites! I love Brown Pelicans now, they're such nice birds.
Brown Pelican
That may have been a photo overdose, but I hope you enjoyed. If you haven't seen the previous post click here
Share if you want and don't share if you don't want, but it will be appreciated if you do! Please comment, I always love getting comments.

Stay tuned for the next post! There's plenty more nice photos to come.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

If you would like to join me for my W.W.B.W. leave a guess in the comments below or make your own weekly what bird post.

Here is a photo from Florida, three heron like birds. Can you guess them?
Leave your guess in the comments

Last weeks makeshift WWB post was 1. Roseate Spoonbill   2. Reddish Egret    3. Ruddy Turnstone

Other What Bird Wednesday posts:

Bird Boy

Cats and the Birds

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Florida (Part 1)

Florida... If you have been reading my blog, you know that my family and I went on a trip to Florida recently. As promised, I got this post out within a week.
We left on December 15th, one day before what we were planning, in a desperate scramble to beat an incoming snow storm. Florida is a 32 hour drive. The temperatures in Winnipeg were extremely high at the time, the snow was melting, and it was becoming patchy. It often reached 0 C (32 F), and sometimes even higher in the day. And, the day we left the temperatures plummeted to the -20's C, and a few feet of snow blew in. We mostly missed the snowstorm, but had an 'interesting' drive in the evening. We were on the interstate when we hit black ice, almost slid off the road, plus huge semi trucks barreling past beside us, unaware of the ice. We inched along until we finally found a town. We were considering stopping the night because the roads were so bad, but after talking to some people at a Burger King, we devised a new route that lead us along side road. The driving was a lot better from then on, and we drove until 4:30 in the morning.
 The next day we hit some hard snow for about half an hour, and a bit of rain. The weather began getting warmer as we pushed further and further south. We started seeing Black Vultures eventually. There were a lot of vultures! Turkey and Black. Lifers started being added to our list. I haven't yet made all the eBird checklists yet, but in one of the later posts I will have a full list of lifers we saw. We stopped the second night at our parents old friends house in South Carolina. In the morning we saw Tufted Titmouses (I don't know, plural "Titmice"?), Carolina Wrens, Black Vultures, Northern Mockingbirds, and others. Here are a few photos.

Carolina Wren

By this time, the weather was warm, probably around 15 C (60 F), so it was T-shirt weather, and we went for a short bike ride.
Northern Mockingbird
Another 8-hour drive brought us to another of our parents friends house in Ormand Beach (Near Daytona Beach), Florida. We stayed two nights there, so we had a whole day before we went to our resort near Orlando. This post will be a bit shorter than other ones because it is part of the day there. The other part of the day we were at the beach where we got lots of photos, which wouldn't have fit in this post (the beach will be a post on it's own).

Here is a lizard. I have very little knowledge of lizards, but I very briefly looked it up and I believe this is a Brown Anole. If I am wrong please correct me.
Brown Anole
We walked to a nearby pond and there saw A Great Blue Heron, Muscovy Ducks, and these White Ibises! Of course, this was the first time we had seem them, so it was very special, but by the end of the week, after seeing a bunch of them around every corner you turned, they became pretty normal. They are very pretty birds, and I can't believe how common they are there.
White Ibises

White Ibises

immature and adult White Ibis 
The turned out to be quite bold and walked up so close I couldn't fit it in the frame. That was with the 300 mm lens Christian most generously lent to us.
White Ibis portrait shot

immature White Ibis
And for a few non-bird photos. This was at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona beach, where my parents friends work. And my dad was a rocket scientist and is an engineer so he enjoyedthe stuff there, such as the massive observation telescope. The palm trees everywhere were rather strange for us.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
After that we went to a lighthouse park, and we climbed all the way up it. There were Brown Pelicans, and some other seabird lifers.
Here is William walking down a path in the lighthouse park.

Atop the lighthouse was extremely windy, but the was a beautiful view.
A view from the lighthouse

Down the stairs...

After that we went to the beach, which is what the next post will be about. There we saw Sandwich Terns, Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls, Brown Pelicans, Black Skimmers and a handful of others. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Florida Teaser Post

I have started sorting through the pictures, a process that takes a while..

Here are two of the many fantastic photos we got to show you the kind of birds we were seeing in Florida.

This will also act as a Weekly What Bird What, it is probably quite easy. So name these three birds. Last times WWBW post was a Yellow-rumped Warbler.


Hopefully I can get a post out within a week. Happy New Year!