Friday, November 4, 2016

Feathers on Friday for 11/4

A Hawk and His Shadow


Happy first Friday of November!  This week, I went a little artsy.  This is the male Red-shouldered Hawk in my yard perched in the sun.  It didn't last for long but his shadow was cast on the tree behind him.  His coloring goes perfect with the foliage right now.  Don't you think? Have a great weekend and enjoy the fall weather!  Happy Birding!


More Feathers on Friday Post:









Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Squirrels and Hawks Part 3


Well, the Grey Squirrels are at it again. It's like a moth to a flame.  It is just baffling to me why they harass the Red-Shouldered Hawks so much.  Is it just pure curiosity? Or some sort of smell?  Or some sort defense mechanism like mobbing that birds use?  Whatever it is, it has made for some interesting photos.  



The death stare didn't work.


Finally, after being repeatedly harassed, the female Red-Shouldered Hawk flew off to another tree to get some peace.

 If you missed the first two parts, click here for part one and click here for part 2.   Happy Birding!


Monday, October 31, 2016

A Bird Walk and Some Luck



Last Sunday, I took a walk at the Papscanee Island Nature Preserve.  I have been there a few times and it is a great place to look for birds.  It has woods, fields and beach area on the Hudson River which, all give different chances to see a number of birds.

I had been walking around for awhile and hadn't seen much of anything for birds.  The highlights up to then were some Yellow-rumped Warblers and some White-throated Sparrows in a brushy area by the Hudson River.  After watching them for a little while and not having any success getting a decent photo, I headed down the trail to head back to my car.  I came around a bend in the trail and saw this...



The light wasn't great since it was early and cloudy too but this male(I believe) Bald Eagle sat there for a little until it took off and I was able to snap(first photo) one decent flight shot before he was gone.

Happy Birding and to those lucky encounters with our feathered friends!


Friday, October 14, 2016

Feathers on Friday for 10/14

Hairy Woodpecker


Happy Friday! The leaves are changing and the weather is getting chillier here in Capital Region of New York.  This female Hairy Woodpecker was pecking at the wood knots in my deck.  There must be little insects of some sort living in there. 



Here is a shot of her working on one of the knots.


Yes, you got caught!  I have seen a lot more woodpecker activity lately.  Pileated Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, and of course the Hairy Woodpeckers are all active in my yard.  Have a great weekend and enjoy the fall colors!

More Feathers on Friday Posts:










Monday, October 10, 2016

New Visitor to My Backyard

Yellow-rumped Warbler


This weekend, I had some unexpected visitors to my backyard.  I have seen these little guys at parks and reserves but never in my yard.  The Yellow-rumped Warbler or Myrtle Warbler in the East is versatile warbler.  They are able to eat a number of different things including the fruit of Bayberries and Wax Myrtles.  The wax on these fruit are undigestible for most birds.  This allows them to stay further north than most of the other warblers.  While most of the other warblers have headed south,  these guys are still around in Upstate New York.  

Yellow rump where they get their name.

My yard doesn't have a ton of fruit right now but the Yellow-rumped Warbler appears to be eating maybe ants or insects in the lawn.  My lawn took a beating this summer with the lack of rain.  I have a number of dead spots and these guys were foraging in those areas.


                                                                               Here is one forging in my lawn.  



It was fun weekend watching about 8 of these guys and hopefully they'll be back.  Happy Birding!  Have you had any unusual visitors lately in your yard?  Tell us about it in the comments or Facebook page or on Twitter.  




Friday, September 23, 2016

Feathers on Friday for 9/23

Black-capped Chickadee and Some More 


Happy Friday and the start of fall!  This chickadee came to visit our deck a few weeks ago.  He was fluffing his feathers when I got this shot.  Here are a few other recent visitors to my yard.   



Here is some "Fur" on Friday!  This mom and her fawn have been visiting my yard a lot lately.  


Stick bugs are just so cool!  It is just so amazing how much they look like a stick.  Happy Birding and enjoy the first official fall weekend.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Nature Walk

Lewis A. Swyer Preserve at Mill Creek




I recently made two visits to the Lewis A. Swyer Preserve in Stuyvesant, NY.  The preserve has a 1/2 mile boardwalk that starts on the side of route 9J and ends close to the Hudson River.  The Nature Conservancy owns the preserve and it is home to a rare freshwater tidal swamp.  


The boardwalk made the trek easy and also helps to protect the plant-life from being trampled.



On both of my trips, I was greeted by a doe and her fawn.  I believe it was the same two each time.  



A little ways down the trail on my second visit, I spotted a large Snapping Turtle sunning itself on a log.


The birds were numerous and very active on both visits like this Eastern Wood Pee-wee.  



There were many Catbirds "meowing" during both visits.  


Red-wing Blackbird perched near the Hudson River.  

Red-eyed Vireo( I think) foraging in the trees. 

A Song Sparrow(I think) perched near Mill Creek.  




 An Eastern Kingbird perched by the water.  


There is an observation tower at the end of the trail to get a good look of the Hudson River.  I heard Bald Eagles chattering nearby and I saw other water birds like gulls, herons, ducks flying near the Hudson River.  


A tugboat went by during one of my visits.  


A Double-crested Cormorant was taking a nap on a log on Mill Creek on my walk back.  He woke up to give me a good look of him.  


For more information on the Nature Conservancy and areas they protect like this preserve click here.   
Happy Birding and enjoy the great fall weather.