Wednesday, July 29, 2009
We've stayed near Munising and photographed almost all of the falls in this area. We'll be posting many pictures when we get home. Tonight we photographed the sunset from Miner's Beach at a small un-named falls that we happened to stumble upon. The sunset was amazing and our pictures were fantastic!
Tomorrow morning we will head for Grand Marais and the huge sand dunes in that region. Hopefully there will be many more great photos to come. This picture is one of my favorites from the sunset tonight!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Both of these pics are from Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The first episode aired on July 18th and featured birding along the California coast and the Island Scrub-Jay. This week’s episode will take place in Guyana where James will search for the critically endangered Sun Parakeet. I have not had the opportunity to see the show yet but I plan to tune in the next time I am not out birding on a Saturday morning!
I will be sure to let everyone know more about the show after I have the opportunity to watch it.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Check out more great Watery Wednesday Posts here.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Dusky Grouse chicks
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Dawn will soon start airing new commercials aimed at teaching people about the use of Dawn dish soap as a way to help birds and other wildlife that have been caught up in oil spills. For over 30 years, the International Bird Rescue and Research Center, one of the organizations that Dawn is now supporting, has been using Dawn to clean birds that have become covered in oil after spills.
Dawn has launched special packages of dish soap that have a code that can be entered online and for every code that is entered, Dawn will donate $1 to help save marine life. The donations will be split between IBRRC and the Marine Mammal Center. They will donate up to $500,000 so please, do your part and purchase Dawn. And don't forget to enter those codes by going to Dawn Saves Wildlife.
I have spent the last couple days exploring the hot deserts of Utah mostly in Arches National Park. Birds are somewhat scarce but we have seen many Black-throated Sparrows, a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, and my first Canyon Wren after hearing this bird about 30 different times in the past. The landscape is very beautiful during the mornings and evenings and has been good for photography.
A desert canyon about an hour after sunrise.
After shooting the sunset I was driving out of the park and came upon this scene. These were the best clouds in the park this evening.
Pine Tree Arch. The sun really turns the rocks a nice red color during sunrise and sunset.
The following photos were all taken on the last morning of my trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina last week. The whole family gets up very early to start the drive home since it is a least a 14 hour drive for everyone. While it can be hard to get up so early, the sunrise sure makes it a lot easier. While I was packing the car, my wife took these photos on the beach. Each photo is taken about 5 minutes apart showing how quickly a sunrise can change.
5:46am5:51 am 5:57am
Friday, July 10, 2009
One of the first birds we saw in the Visitor Center parking lot was a Red-Winged Blackbird that had some sort of pigment disorder. The area right below his beak was a pale yellow color instead of black (see below). It was a sight that neither my wife or I had ever seen before! Later, after birding a couple of the trails, we saw a photo of this guy in the Visitor Center. He must be a local!
We walked the main trail that was on a levee between two wetland-type units of the refuge called North Pond and New Field Pond. This area contained an amazing number of birds. Both ponds had numerous Great and Snowy Egrets, Tricolored Herons, and White Ibis. There were also some Little Blue Herons and Willets. While watching the Willets, two Marbled Godwits flew in and landed with them.
As we continued up the trail, I noticed a group of terns up ahead. After getting closer, I realized that it was a highly diverse group containing pretty much all of the expected species as well as a Black Skimmer. The final count of terns was 12 Royal, 2 Least, 1 Gull-billed, 2 Common, 2 Forester’s, and 3 Sandwich. After walking the rest of the trail with little else other than mosquitoes, we headed in to check out the visitor center. They have a great setup with a fantastic shop. They also have huge windows overlooking North Pond with Zeiss spotting scopes set up for everyone to view the birds in the ponds.
After checking out the visitor center, we headed farther down the road to where Roseate Spoonbills had been reported earlier in the week. Although I did see them briefly, we could not pull over due to the heavy Saturday beach traffic. While heading out of the property, I had an American Avocet fly over the road and saw an American Oystercatcher feeding in one of the ponds.
Overall, it was a great day exploring a new place. I will be heading back to Pea Island for a few hours tomorrow morning before the 12 hour drive home!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Although the skies have been pretty boring so far in California the light show is always good at Yosemite. Arriving early to any busy park is always the best way to go because you get to enjoy the park without the large crowds.
Yosemite Valley - The entire Yosemite Valley is filled with breathtaking
views many of which include beautiful waterfalls.
One of the many smaller falls in Yosemite. I'm not sure if this one has a
name but it is in a very interesting creek.
Same falls as above but a different perspective.
Monday, July 6, 2009
After spending a few days in California my family and I arrived in Shelter Cove a couple days ago. The coast is amazing in the northern part of the state with many beaches, coves, and rocky coasts. I have seen many species of birds among the abundunt wildlife here in California. Here are a few pics from around here.
Driving through the Avenue of the Giants (the Redwoods).
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
After Palmetto Peartree Preserve, we will head for the coast and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. This is a very large refuge located in the Outer Banks just south of the city of Nags Head. I am hoping to find many birds that I haven’t seen yet this year and possibly a lifer or two if I get really lucky. I have read that you can find Clapper Rails, a lifer for me, in the marshes at the property, but I know this can be a tricky species to find. Depending on the amount of time the first two stops take, we may make a quick stop at the Bodie Island Lighthouse to look around and check out the freshwater ponds located on that property.
We will then be spending the week at a beach house in the Corolla area. There aren’t that many places to bird up that way, but you never know what you can find on the beaches.
If anyone has any suggestions on other birding locations in the northern part of the Outer Banks, please let me know!
Here are a couple of pictures from last year's trip to the Outer Banks:
Sunrise in the Outer Banks
View of the marshes from the Corolla Lighthouse