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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dave's Pond Today

My Son-in-Law (Tom Maddox) and I headed south today hoping to find the Ferruginous Hawk, the Western-Wood Pewee and the Black-Headed Grosbeak. The bird of the day on the menu at Peveto was the Pine Warblers in their bright yellow decor. (Left Click on Pictures to Enlarge)

We met up with Devin Bosler at Dave's Pond. He pointed out a Song Sparrow eating seeds in the dense foilage adjacent to the pond.

After Devin left we hung out with Jeff Harris and Dave Patton at Dave's Pond watching for birds. A Palm Warbler and Indigo Bunting fared their feathers, bathed and shook their feathers briskly to dry.
A Tennesse Warbler and Sparrow couldn't stand it and joined in the fun.

The highlight of the day was when the elusive Review List Black Headed Grosbeak came to join the party at Dave's Pond. He flew into the top of the Live Oak Tree behind Dave's Pond and began his descent hopping down. He bounced onto an open limb, stopped briefly for his picture then flew back into the woods.
What a great way to end the day! We met some super nice, knowledgeable birders at Peveto and had fun watching the birds.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sage Thrasher

ROBBY BACON had an AMAZING FIND today at Sabine National Wildlife Refuge on the Blue Goose Trail ... a SAGE THRASHER !!!.

After work I grabbed my camera and my wife and took off. Robby was spot on as usual. It didn't take long to locate the Sage Thrasher hopping along the trail catching grasshoppers, bugs, etc. We were enchanted with this rare bird and watched it until sunset. It should still be there this weekend for all to view.

WAY TO GO, ROBBY. WHAT AN OUTSTANDING FIND !!!! (click to enlarge)

At times the Sage Thrasher enjoyed playing in the sand piles close to the parking lot. (Click to Enlarge)

What was the Sage Thrasher doing? He was strolling along the path keeping a sharp lookout for insect, bugs, etc. When he spotted one, he would dart in the grass, catch it and down the hatch it would go. It was a pleasure seeing and watching such a rare bird in Louisiana thanks to Robby. (Left Click to Enlarge)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Grandson's First Bird Pictures

Our Grandson Andrew, who is in middle school, and I went on an adventure today finding birds and taking their pictures. His first subject was a Cormorant perched on a limb with his wings spread drying out.

A secretive Clapper Rail walked from the grass right in front of us offering a great photo opportunity.

An immature White Ibis happened to be sitting atop a gate and posed long enough for Andrew to focus and capture his picture.

THE FISHERMAN. This Clapper Rail was perched at the end of a culvert as the water ran through waiting to snatch up a shrimp or small fish that passed by.

Andrew was delighted with the birds he experienced and the pictures that he managed to get. Most important of all, we had fun.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dave's Pond at Peveto

Hard working Dave Patton added a new dimension to Peveto with the advent of his pond last year. The birds love the water structure and love to hang out there, especially during dry times.

This first ever for me Nothern Waterthrush perused the edge of Dave's Pond bobbing its tail up and down as it looked for food. Occasionally, he would hop up on some of the larger branches providing for a better photo opportunity.

The Northern Waterthrush's lightly streaked brown throat continuing onto its breast and flanks separates it from the Louisiana Waterthrush which tends to have a more white throat with less streaking than the Northern Waterthrush.

Another first for me, the Louisiana Waterthrush with its white throat was entertaining to watch plowing right through the middle of Dave's Pond in quest of sustinence. On one occasion he dipped his head down and came up with an earthworm. These two species are strikingly similar.

This wet Kentucky Warbler just finished his bath thanks to Dave. He hopped onto a limb to air dry since towels are not provided.

An exhausted Great Crested Flycatcher flew into Peveto and landed on a limb in Dave's Pond. He was a real crowd pleaser as he perched motionless a short distance from a host of birding enthusiasts.

One day early in May my Son-in-Law and I approached Dave's Pond to see what was up. He glanced up in the tree behind Dave's Pond and saw something that didn't look right. Lo and behold a Review List Lesser Nighthawk happened to be resting motionless on a horizontal limb overlooking the water structure. What a great way to start a day of birding.

Nashville Warblers also enjoy Dave's Pond as this one perched in the bushes close to the drip preparing for a bath.

These remaining pictures were not taken at Dave's Pond but are birds found at Peveto similar to the Waterthrushes.

The inconspicuous Ovenbird is hard to see on the forest floor. The white ring around its eye coupled with its orange and black crown distinguishes it from the Waterthrushes with the broad whitish eyestripes.

The Wood Thrush with its white eye ring, brown back and white chest with dark spots on its breast, side and flanks greatly resembles the above Waterthrushes and Ovenbird.

Robby Bacon quickly pointed out this Veery as we silently skulked through the woodlot at Peveto birdwatching one day this spring. It is more reddish lacking the distinct spots on its chest from the other Thrushes.

This Gray-Cheeked Thrush popped out of nowhere. It was the first and only one that I have been lucky enough to witness.

Every birding trip is an adventure. It is exciting and you never know what you will find. Birdwatchers are some of the friendliest, helpful people that I know. Dave Patton was the first person I ran into at my first visit to Peveto. Weeks later, Gary Broussard motioned to me and my Son-In-Law (his second birding trip ever) at Peveto to come see, pointing to a Yellow-Green Vireo up in a Live Oak Tree. My Son-in-Law remarked, "There is nothing much to this birding." The knowledge of these birders along with others that I have been fortunate to meet such as Steve Cardiff, Donna Ditmann, Robby Bacon, Mac Meyers, Matt Pontiff, Jim Johnson, Paul Conover, Jeff Harris, Jay Huner and others are impressive.

I'm glad that I have the opportunity to meet such friendly people, to see amazing birds, to take pictures and to share these treasures with others.