Showing posts from January, 2016

Five-lined Skink

Back in August of 2014 I was at my parents' house, and I saw a skink on a tree in their backyard.  I ran and got my camera to take these photos.  These are very common lizards in the Eastern United States, but for some reason, I very rarely see them.  These are the first photographs I've ever captured of the species.  I love their blue tails.

2015: A Year in Review

For me, 2015 was a fantastic year of birding.  I've been doing this a while now, so gone are the days when I get 70+ lifers per year.  New birds are fewer and farther between for me, but that adds to the challenge.  And I've begun focusing more on county listing, which helps to keep things fresh.  This year, though, I benefited tremendously by one trip out west and two trips out of the country. These were not birding trips, but I had a little bit of time to at least check my surroundings to see what was available.

I found 16 lifers on my visit to Antalya, Turkey
White Stork Eurasian Sparrowhawk Laughing Dove Eurasian Siskin Common Buzzard Eurasian Jay Great Tit White-spectacled Bulbul Common Redstart Black Redstart Gray Wagtail Common Chaffinch European Greenfinch European Goldfinch Hooded Crow White Wagtail I found another 4 lifers in Acapulco, Mexico
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Dusky-capped Flycatcher Audubon's Oriole Rufous-naped Wren My trips to California and Alabama yie…

Wakodahatchee Wetlands, 1/2/2016

On New Year's Day our family drove down to Palm Beach County to visit my brother-in-law.  The following morning I decided to visit Wakodahatchee Wetlands. It's a wonderful place with a beautifully maintained board walk that takes you through the wetlands.  My primary hope was to see the Neotropic Cormorant that has been hanging out here.  It took a while, but eventually it showed itself--a nice, bright white line surrounding its gular pouch. My father and I also visited the park on Dec. 27th, so I thought I'd share photos from both of my visits.  My December visit was the first day I'd seen a Neotropic Cormorant in the U.S.

I also saw another cormorant that looks like it might be a hybrid Neotropic x Double-crested Cormorant, but I'm no expert on these things.  It seems to have the white outline to the yellow gular pouch, but it's more faint than it should be.

The wetlands area is a wonderful place for ducks, wading birds and other marshy birds. All kinds of h…

Sprague's Pipit at the Little Big Econ WMA (Kilbee Tract), 1/4/2015

Yesterday I met up in the early morning with a couple of my friends to explore the Little Big Econ WMA. Our biggest hope was to find the Vermilion Flycatcher that has been hanging out along the Econ River. We found that bird without much trouble, though it was very early in the morning, and we had terrible light (so I'm not sharing a photo).  From there we decided to walk northeast to see if we might pick up some nice sparrows. We didn't have high hopes, since it was rather windy, but we did pick up a Grasshopper Sparrow and a Le Conte's Sparrow.  The Le Conte's Sparrow was pretty amazing.  It flushed and flew into a clump of grass right in front of us. Then it crawled out of its hiding place and sat exposed for about 10 seconds while we fired off as many photographs as we could, then ducked under cover.  It did the same thing again, allowing us to get even more shots. Unfortunately it was always facing away from me, but at one point it turned its head to the side, gi…

Matheson Hammock Park, 12/28/2015

While on my trip to South Florida, my father and I visited Matheson Hammock Park in Miami-Dade County.  It's a beautiful park.  We visited once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  One of our target birds was a White-crowned Pigeon, and this seemed to be the best place to find one, but we struck out.  However, we did see our first Yellow-chevroned Parakeets (perhaps soon to be countable) in the morning, and in the afternoon, I was able to get some of my best photos of Least Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers.

The shorebirds were in an asphalt parking lot in a shallow pool of water, but when I got down low enough the reflections on the water made the setting look more natural.

It's a very pretty park, though, and I'd love to return again.  I spent a little time exercising my Canon Powershot G7X and took a few scenic shots. I'm still impressed with the quality of the photos you can now get with a point and shoot camera.