Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Had Some Time to Enjoy the Outdoors.

Location: Ichetucknee river, FL, near . Things seen of note: Birds (see list below), coons, manatees, otterscat, crawfish, bass, bream, mullet, rednecks, turtles, a lined sole, or maybe a hogchoker still suprising though...
I had to stop to take a pic, couldn't help myself. Poetry came afterward.

For the birds, there wasn't enough time for a "formal evaluation," but for an informal evaluation, I was able to accumulate quite a list!
Carolina wren
Tufted Titmouse (see Greg Scheckler's excellent portrait of TUTI)
Carolina Chickadee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Pileated Woodpecker
Red Bellied Woodpecker
heard a Downy Woodpecker
Fish Crow
Blue Jay
heard many Northern Parulas
Yellow-crowned Night Heron - I really really really needed a good long telephoto lens for him!
heard a Hummingbird (i'm guessing Ruby throated. Sounded like every RTHU I've ever heard)
Cooper's Hawk
Heard Barred Owls at night (many of them, more than 2!)

The girls got a kick out of seeing it all, especially when I pished up the TUTIs, had those lil jokers hopping all around me. Thought a couple of them looked like they had recently fledged, they were begging from others in the group. Is it time for them in Columbia County to be fledging? I've never taken part in a breeding bird census, mainly because my work schedule keeps me busy when normal people have the time for such things. Maybe it's time to start such a thing, especially if I can get the girls involved during the summer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Sisters Go Exploring.

The Survivors
The latest birding adventure is without lists.
Not that I wasn't keeping track of what we saw, but that Friday was just about seeing things. I'm not entirely certain, but I'm pretty sure that the point of birdwatching is to watch birds. :)
I took all three girls around some of the key lakes for Lakeland birds, and they had a blast. The trick to keeping kids interested in watching birds is to have interesting birds to watch.
Lake Hollingsworth goes from brimming with flying swallows, fishing pelicans, stalking ospreys and eagles to frantic searches to find the regulars. For us, birding from a car, we had to be fast, noting and calling attention to interesting birds on the fly, so that people didn't get backed up behind us. Looping around Lake Hollingsworth a couple of times and Lake mirror a few times more was all my youngest could handle. We dropped her off at the house where Momma said she took a nap.
Then the Two Sisters and I took a ride to a couple of more places.
Didn't see much at the first place. So we went to a place I call "The Jackpot". The kids call it that every time we drive by it now.

The "Jackpot"
In the middle of the picture above is a Sandhill Crane on a nest.
it's hard to see. People, you really should donate to the blog (at http://skattagun.blogspot.com my other blog site.) so I can buy some camera gear, and a spotting scope.

best view I can do of the bird on the nest.
as of last Friday, the bird was still on the nest. I'll be taking the girls out again, for a little birding by car (if they are interested) this Friday.
We'll gladly report back.

I may even ask K to keep a list!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Interesting Developments in the House...

When I originally conceived of this blog as an idea, it was to basically encourage myself to get outside more, and get some exercise. I also planned on introducing my kids to the wide world of birds, hoping to spark their interest in science or something.
I started this blog when I had 1 kid about 2 years old. Now I have 3 kids, and the youngest is 3.
There hasn't been a lot of time in my schedule for strict birding only type trips, but that is coming around I think. The eldest has shown an interest!
That's right, on her own, K has decided to investigate birds. We've gone on one Daddy/K only fieldtrip to one of the local hotspots, and I think we can do some more. It will be short trips, about an hour each. I'm even thinking about letting her do the write up for the trips. It would be a good summer project.