Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lucky Ducks!

'Tis the season for babies...and who can resist baby ducks. This momma didn't like me coming so close, but I had to get a good look at the babies...right? This is a Muscovy Duck and her little ones.

On the other side of the lake was a Momma Mallard. She had a very large brood...twelve ducklings. She was leading the group from a feeding spot to the lake, when one of the little boogers got turned around and headed the wrong way...straight for the road! I wasn't going to interfere but he seemed to determined to get into harm's way. Momma was busy with the other eleven and couldn't go after I stepped in. He didn't like his first flight...but he was relieved to get back to Mom. What a bunch of cuties!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I do have a Ruby Throat!

I do, I do, I DO have a Ruby-Throat! A handsome male with a full and shiny gorget has come to call. I saw him first on the driveway feeder--happened to notice a bird on the feeder Monday and thought the green was slightly different. Sure enough--he is much more emerald than the Rufous. Knowing how territorial they are, I was afraid he'd driven off the Rufous, so yesterday when I got home I staked out my patio feeder, waiting with the video camera. She showed up, right on cue, but the camera wouldn't focus with the weird setting sun light and she was gone before I could get a good pic. Waited some more, and who shows up at this feeder, but Mister Flashy RT! Got a great closeup of him. The resolution isn't quite as good as I'd like, what with shooting through the window in the odd light. But it's a great intro to the summer hummer season!

Click to see Mr. Flashy

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hummer census

I still have two Rufous females in the yard! Heard the electric zzzt and snap this morning when I went out to fill the other feeders. Also saw one on the feeder and witnessed it chasing off a rival. Of course the rival may be the Ruby-Throat I think I saw on Monday! The feeder has shifted and the bird's full-on back was to me, but it looked like a whole different color green and when it flew off I thought I got a glimpse of full gorget. So, we'll see! I'm excited my little ladies are still with me though...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Second trip to Lake Martin

Went back to Lake Martin on Sunday to see what changes have taken place. Daniel and Lee and Jason came with me. Jason just got a new camera and wanted to try his hand at nature photos.

The Spoonbills had gotten a little farther along in their mating process. They seemed to be pairing off and building nests. I bet they'd give anything for opposable thumbs!

Everything has to be just so...

I TOLD you not to touch that!!

The Egrets were definitely paired off and had well-established nests. We saw some Egret-nookie going on, and I shan't be surprised to see little Egret babies before too long...

Love, Egret Style

The Little Blue Herons were on alert looking for the odd frog or fish...

Got one!

And the ungainly Common Moorhen looked on with envy in his eyes...

Get a load of those feet!

Mama Gator and her pups were enjoying the sunny day...hoping a bird would stop by for a snack...

Here, birdy-birdy-birdy!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Trip to Tickfaw

BRAS and LSU Bird Club sponsored a trip to the Tickfaw State Park today. 19 people showed up, so the Boslers and Richard Gibbons each took a small group on the different trails. We totaled 55 species for the day, starting out with a Wild Turkey while we were not even out of the starting gate (picture to follow)! We saw all the usual suspects for this time of year, including several Northern Parulas. Our guide, Richard, was big on birding by ear and even had bird sounds loaded on his palm pilot for us to listen to and to help call the birds in. Probably our best bird of the day, and the most elusive was the Yellow-Throated Warbler, but we finally got a great look at it at the very top of a tall pine. No pictures of it though as it was much too far away.

I picked up about a dozen different types of Salvia at Naylor's yesterday and got them planted today. Should be quite a smorgasbord at the end of the driveway for my summer hummers! People all over the South are spotting Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds already, but I haven't seen one yet. I saw a female Rufous yesterday and today at two different feeders. Not sure how many birds though...

Tomorrow Lake Martin again!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Weekend birdwalks

It was a pretty Saturday morning, and we had a good group for the birdwalk at Bluebonnet Swamp. Unfortunately there was no guide from BRAS and I kinda got elected leader. Knew we were in trouble then :-) Fortunately John the nature photographer was there to show us the newer trails. We started out in the clearing to the left and picked up a dozen or more birds just standing there. Then we headed for the other newer trail on the north side, but didn't see a whole lot. We did spot a Brown Creeper in the distance at one point. Also had a mystery bird that a bunch of us were trying to ID...turned out to be a White-Eyed Vireo that was singing its song, which we haven't heard in a while! Someone yesterday called it the "Redneck Vireo" because its song sounds like "Bring me a beer, chick!"

On Sunday morning I spent some time at Summit Lake. Saw my first-of-the-year Towhees. Sparrows are still hanging out (White-Throated and Swamp). Also saw at least two House Wrens. Not an outstanding day, but not bad either...