Birds in Flight

During an early morning walk along the shore of the West End of Jones Beach I came upon a flock (is that the correct term?) of Semipalmated Sandpipers. The have protected areas all along the southern ocean beaches of Long Island. Very skittish little guys, I did manage to catch them while they were scampering around on the sand, but once one spotted me they took off… and what a sight! They put on quite a show!
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper

Old Barns and Antiques

I think the northeast is the best place to discover and explore old stuff. Well let’s face it, that’s where it all started 400+ years ago. But instead of considering it old, it embraces the history and sells it for far more than it’s worth LOL. OK so that was my Segway into the next series of photos. Visited an “Antique” store in Miller Place on LI. I’m guessing it used to be part of an old farm, had the barn with horse stalls, the workshop the outhouse and the original home. If I had to guess I’d say the older couple living there have owned it for many years. They’ve turned the barn into a workshop/Antique shop. The gentlemen refinishes and creates some nice pieces. The furniture was nice but I LOVE the old buildings.



Long Island visit

I grew up on the beaches of Long Island New York thinking that all those shorebirds were just Seagulls…yeah I know they had different colors and were different sizes, but I just figured they were old or young, not fully grown etc. I go back to LI every summer to visit my kids, my childhood friend and THE BEACH! This is my first trip back since discovering my fascination with birds, learning about them and identifying them….who knew there were all kinds of gulls :)
Monday morning I drove to Robert Moses State Park to watch the sunrise and work on decompressing…if this doesn’t relax you, nothing will!
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This guy was squawking like crazy…
Common Tern
Another noisy one…
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A least Tern
Least Tern

There will be more to come, I’ll close today with the Fire Island Light house. Happy to see all the repairs are completed from Hurricane Sandy.
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Software experimentation

I’ve been wanted to purchase software to create slideshows with music…did some research and found ProShow Gold. It was rated very high so I downloaded a trial…if you don’t like classical music or photos of birds then you’ll probably not like this HOWEVER, if you do like either one, grab a glass of wine and sit back and enjoy Vilaldi’s

Four Seasons and some photos

Colleyville Nature Area

Went on-line last night to find a new place to explore for my Saturday morning outing, read about a great little spot hidden away at the end of a residential road. I got there very early and so enjoyed my walk under the large trees….I miss trees. There really aren’t many to speak of in the DFW area, not the big old ones anyway.
I guess it’s dragonfly time of the year, there were hundreds of them flittering about.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

I came upon a juvenile Wood Duck. Talk about ugly duckling, this guy is definitely in the awkward pre-teen years…but I think he is still cute :)
Wood Duck Juvenile

And speaking of ducks, I think the female mallard is so overlooked, she is not terribly colorful as her husband but look at that pretty face…
Mallard female
I’ve saved the best for last….
I this what I have renamed as “the Darth Vader raptor”!!!

Mississippi Kite screen testing for Darth Vader

Mississippi Kite screen testing for Darth Vader

Sunday Morning Escape

My plan for today, well on Friday the plan was, to work. It’s end of fiscal year and not enough hours in the work week to get it all done. HOWEVER, I was having my early morning coffee on the patio when the weather and the birds convinced me to enjoy the day and just work later at night during the week :) Honestly it didn’t take much to convince me :) Packed up the 400mm and headed over to LLELA (Lake Lewisville Environmental learning….something ) Not a soul was there when I arrived and rather than making stops along the trail as I usually do, I headed straight to the blind that sits out on the water. It was wonderfully peaceful, except for the tree frogs, assorted birds, bending boughs of the trees, and rustling of the leaves. MAGICAL! I quickly recognized the loud chipper of the kingfisher, the elusive photo subject. Not that I haven’t seen them, but they are never really close enough to get a good clear shot. Not today, they were busy fishing and I would guess that some of them may be
youngings” as there were 5 of them together and I usually only see them fishing alone? One landed on a limb close to the blind, closest I’ve ever been :)

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

Now had someone told me a year ago that I would TOTALLY enjoy watching and photographing birds I probably would have smiled and said “not likely”. Well I haven’t used anything on my camera but the 400mm since I got it and with the exception of flowers, haven’t really shot anything but birds for the past few months!…and this is how bad (or good) I’ve become. As I stood in the blind totally enjoying the view and sounds I heard human voices!! Now this is a public place, so who am I to complain about other folks interrupting my tranqility….BUT really it’s a bind meaning you “hide” from birds in there. WHY would two folks be walking up to the blind chasing MY BIRDS away :)…They said good morning, as any respectable southern would do…but in a LOUD voice..I replied in a whisper “morning, there are kingfishers fishing out there see…..” They didn’t get the hint. OK so I won’t go into all the thoughts that were running thru my head. I picked up the tripod and left…yes my NY attitude probably showed a bit :)
So as not to make this a novel…I continued down the trail to the smaller blind and found a Great Egret imitating the Karate Kid….
a diamond backed water snake, (I looked it up, it’s not a venomous)
the cutest little Eastern Phoebe and a Blue Damselfly.
I had a wonderful 2 hour vacation from the real world. Hope you enjoy :)

Great Egret posing as the Karate Kid

Great Egret posing as the Karate Kid

Diamond Back Watersnake

Diamond Back Watersnake

Blue Damsefly

Blue Damsefly

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe