Sunday, July 31, 2016

The birds are coming!

"The birds are coming back!", that's what I was thinking to myself when I noticed that a few species that I hadn't seen for a couple of months are now making an appearance and that, my friends, is a very good thing.
Come along and see what's happening at the Bailey Tract....
a Pair of Pileated Woodpeckers made themselves known by their kuk kuk keekeekeekeekeekuk kuk high-pitch sound which was followed by their drumming action - don't you just love to watch those as they go up/down/around the trunk while tilting their head in order to hear the insects within the wood!

Nearby, a male Anhinga wondered what the fuss was all about.

Then I came around the corner and right away noticed....

a Gator's head on the alert....

I'd be willing to bet that it saw me before I saw it....

and off it went to the pond across the trail - after all the ponds across the way always look much better, don't they?

A yellow bellied Cooter was leading the way on the path - slow and steady it goes.

A young Red-bellied Woodpecker - it doesn't have any red feathers yet.

Ha! Looks who's back! A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher buzzing by and moving quickly between the branches as it gobbled up insects galore.

Across the path a Carolina Wren with the sunlight hitting it just right - I love it when a photo comes together like that.....pure luck if you ask me.

And look who else is here....

A beautiful Prairie Warbler.

On my way out I finally got to see the family of

Mottled Ducks - 5 of them now and almost all grown up.

A Spotted Sandpiper silently flew in front of me before landing on this grassy weed bed - making me reflect on all the birds that I saw this morning and making me smile with the thoughts that the birds are coming back for the winter - how sweet is that!

Then, just as I get ready to get in my car - I noticed this Buteo at first thinking it was the usual Red-shouldered Hawk until I put my bins up - wait a minute....this is not what I thought! Those birds are a challenge and they are always sending me to my books and my friends ;) to confirm the right identity....

and it was finally figured out that I was looking at a Light Short-tailed Hawk - how sweet is that....and what a great way to end the morning!! I am blessed.

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