Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baby Barred Owls Came Home!

We had to head out to a concert at the High School and once we got there I noticed we had forgotten something. I had to return back to the house. Dang. However, as I was getting back to the car, I heard a familiar noise by the side of the property. A small hiss I had not heard in a couple weeks. Could it be?

I quickly grabbed the camera and rushed around to the side of the house. It was true! My baby Barred Owls had returned to their nesting spot!!

Barred Owl

They were busy watching a Cardinal dart around the yard and stared at me. The smaller of the owls jumped over behind a tree trunk but the other continued to pose for a bit. I wish I had more time for more shots but I was expected back for the concert.

Barred Owl

I later heard from a neighbor that there was a lot of groundwork going on at the wetlands where the babies have been for the past couple of weeks. Probably annoyed enough that they returned to the quiet space where they were born. Fine by me. Glad to see them back no matter how short that visit might be.

They grow up so fast...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Visiting the Baby Barred Owls

Finally got a chance to go check on the baby Barred Owls that were born next to my backyard at their reported new location down the street at the Greenwood Wetlands. It did not take long for me to find them across the bridge in the Cypress trees.

Barred Owl

The first baby Barred Owl I found was looking at me for a couple of seconds but was much more interested in the Red-winged Blackbird flying back and forth across the creek.

Barred Owl

I began looking for the other owl when a Great Blue Heron tried to sneak around behind me to go to a new fishing spot.

Great Blue Heron

The other baby was a few tree to the West just relaxing.

Barred Owl

Now that I made another contact with my kids, I headed closer to the lake to see what else was around. A Common Gallinule glided out into the open but was not too sure what to make of my presence.

Common Gallinule

Off to my left, I could see a small flock of Wood Ducks hunkered down among the Cypress knees. How can you ever resist a shot of male Wood Ducks when you get a chance?

Wood Duck

Suddenly, an Anhinga bobbed up from the water during its search for breakfast.


I knew there was a family of Limpkin with chicks in the area but I never found the brood. Eventually, I did find one of the adults in the reeds near the willows.


Heading home, I was surprised to see a Raccoon scurrying around the stream below the owls. At least they are not around our house as much as they used to be.


I will have to go back again to try for the Limpkins when I can and there may be even more sights to see. Just need the time.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mute Swans Relocated

I got used to seeing the Mute Swans paddling around the lake but one day I could not see them lately. I began to worry. Then it hit me. Maybe they moved over to the next lake over. Hadn't be there in a while but as soon as I pulled around the corner...

Mute Swans

Yep. They moved the kids during the night a while ago. They seem happier in this quieter spot. Most of the birds were busy feeding all except this little one.

Mute Swans

Others were looking for morsels to snap up while I took photos.

Mute Swans

Soon, a young Wood Duck swam by to see if I was offering any handouts.

Wood Duck

Daddy Swan kept a close look, protecting his brood. At least I know where to look for them now.

Mute Swans

Next, I swung through the cemetery to check on the Bald Eagles. One of the chicks was testing its wings while Momma stood guard.

Bald Eagle

Down below, I finally got a shot of a bird on a headstone. I keep wanting to get one of the eagles down low but I will take a Fish Crow for now.

Fish Crow

So, the swans are safe and the young Bald Eagles are getting ready to leave the nest. All is right in the neighborhood today.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bald Eaglet in the Shade

I can never seem to arrive at the cemetery with any good light these days. Kids are graduating soon so I can't head out too early. Still only getting the eaglets in the shade as this one waits for the next food delivery.

Bald Eagle

In a couple of weeks I might have better lighting choices once the busy end-of-year events are completed. Will the eagles still be here by then?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lunch at the Bald Eagle Nest

On this recent overcast day I swung through the cemetery and found Momma tearing the latest fish to eat and pass to the kids. One eaglet is up in the nest and the other is down by lunch.

Bald Eagle

Still soldiering on in the heat of a late Spring. I will check back in later. These guys all need to head out asap. They aren't even suppose to be here this time of year. All wacky this year.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Baby Barred Owls Have Made the Move

It has been a while since I spotted the baby Barred Owls around the house. In fact, I hadn't seen or heard them in the couple days before I posted about Papa Owl by the deck a few days ago. Luckily, I have nearby neighbors that report bird sightings and it seems that the babies moved to the Greenwood Wetlands not long ago and have been documenting it.

A new friend I have made is Jennifer Gwynne Oliver who has been seeing the owls at dusk and beyond. Here is one of our owls on the bridge to the wetlands.

Barred Owl

Nice having some others reporting on the progress of the babies. They seem to be doing well. Just wished they hadn't moved off so quickly this year. Now I need to make a trip out there for myself when I can.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Surprise! The Mute Swans have a Big Family!!

On another trip to the store I headed around Lake Davis along my usual route and was stopped in my tracks as I hit the edge of the lake drive. I noticed Mute Swans, which I hadn't seen in a while. Guess they were busy as now they were now hanging with six cygnets!

One of the youngsters was sitting on Mom's back and I was saying aloud, "No way!" as I pulled over to get some shots. Last year, this pair had one baby so six was stunning, to me.

Mute Swans

One of the cygnets seemed to be saying, "Dad, why don't I get a ride!?".

Mute Swans

Once I came down to the bank of the lake the Swans turned around back toward me and the few others now gathering behind me. Dad was rafting (some birds and sea mammals raise a leg into the air to regulate body temperature like this) and led the family back towards us.

Mute Swans

This let me get some close up shots of the youngsters. A lady across the street puts out seed every morning and the birds in the lake are always looking for a handout.

Mute Swans

Who can resist trying to get cute shots of a cygnet Mute Swan on a beautiful day? Mute Swans are not native and some do not like the fact that they breed here now but...

Mute Swans

While I was shooting away, a female Boat-tailed Grackle flew in next to me as if saying, "Hey, what about me?". I could barely get it in focus as it came so close.

Boat-tailed Grackle

The Mute Swans soon figured out that we had no food from us and began to head back out into the center of the lake. One of the other cygnets was busy trying to get onto Mom's back to join the current rider. Interesting that I recently saw a post that someone posted that swans do not carry babies on their backs. Need more proof?

Mute Swans

Now that the other baby was on board, they left us.

Mute Swans

Maybe it was the fact that all of the Winter ducks are gone, but I love seeing more bird life next to home. Good luck to the cygnets.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Another Week, Another Swallow-tailed Kite Shot

I thought that last week's visit by the male Swallow-tailed Kite was going to be all we would get at the banding site. Nope. He came back to the same spot again this week to preen as we took even more excellent shots. My favorite of the bunch was this one.

Swallow-tailed Kite

Could be having young ones to watch in a bit. Can't wait!