Welcome to my Blog. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoy taking them!

All photos on this blog are for your personal viewing pleasure. They are copyrighted with all rights reserved. These images may not be used without express written permission.

Thanks for Dropping By and Have a Great Day, :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Closing pictures for 2011

The Lionel Derouen Road area not far from Cameron-Prairie NWR is a great place for Sandhill Cranes. Their red foreheads and white cheeks were prominent as they foraged through the fields in incredible numbers. You couldn't miss hearing their loud, rattling call that carries far and wide.

Water sprayed in the air as the puddle ducks slapped the water with their wings launching themselves in the air at Pintail Loop.

A slender, agile Merlin was perched on a limb watching for a meal.

A striking Vermilion Flycatcher with his vivid red color and contrasting black eyestripe was perched on a limb watching for 'fly-bys' when he gave us a backward glance. This little 'Coal of Fire' is nothing less than spectacular to see and is certainly one of my all-time favorite birds.

A male American Kestrel was perched on the Cameron Prairie NWR sign at Pintail Loop clutching a freshly caught Savannah Sparrow in his talons. He grew nervous and after a minute and flew off with his catch to dine in privacy.

A Ross's Goose posed for a picture.

A majestic Brown Pelican, our state bird, is always a pleasure to see.

The Sandhill Cranes with their outstretched necks and long legs trailing behind them flew off as the day came to an end. It was if they were saying, "Goodbye 2011" and see you next year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

American Kestrel

Who likes the small colorful American Kestrel aka 'Sparrow Hawk'?

This little girl was hovering in the air by rapidly beating her wings while scanning the field below for prey.

Left-Click to Enlarge Images.

She dove down, plucked a grasshopper from the field, flew up and lit on a nearby utility wire.

She transferred the grasshopper to her left claw and inspected it closely. Are all Birds of Prey ambidextrous?

The two black spots on each side of the nape of her neck are interesting. It is theorized they serve as a false set of eyes to help serve as protection from potential attackers.

Down the hatch!

This cute little speedster also hunts by perching. She was interested in something below as she stretched out to get a better look.

It was delightful watching this American Kestrel go about her merry way. She remained on her elevated perch watching intently for prey below as I drove away. What a wonderful way to end the day!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Burrowing Owl

Hat's off to Devin Bosler and Justin Bosler for finding a rare, review list Burrowing Owl at Hackberry Ridge and for generously sharing their find for all Labirders to see! They are on a serious roll with Owls lately with the Long-Eared Owl, Burrowing and Short-Eared Owl.

This little guy with his big bright yellow eyes, white eyebrows and long legs is an amazing bird.

All this little guy needs is a clump of grass in order to blend in with his surroundings.

Left-Click to Enlarge Images

This stately small Owl is quite a sight to see.

He kept a sharp eye on the Hawks as they passed overhead.

He never once let them out of his sight.

Even if the Hawks flew directly overhead he was on them.

He kept an eye on us as well. It was cool the way his pupils dialated different sizes in accordance with the shade and the position to the sun.

This little fellow really knows how to use the surroundings to camouflage himself.

I hope you enjoyed viewing these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Thanks again Devin and Justin. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Say's Phoebe

I made a run to Pintail Loop at Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge Saturday before the LSU / Georgia game for my third and fortunately final attempt to locate the Say's Phoebe. It was discovered on November 18, 2011 by Paul Suchanek.

I immediately spotted it sitting atop a tall clump of grass overlooking the dry marsh grass not far from the east end of the boardwalk It was exciting to finally see this rare vistior to Louisiana!

Left-Click to Enlarge Pictures


After a short while in the marsh grass area he flew west and landed on the boardwalk.

Assuming its elevated position, he periodically peered over the edge of the boardwalk looking for something to eat.

He quickly launched from the boardwalk in typical flycatcher fashion once he spotted prey below.

If he didn't manage to catch his prey in mid-air, he would either fly back to the boardwalk or land on the ground hoping to locate his quary.

It was a great day seeing this Review List bird and getting back home in time to watch LSU turn up the heat in the second half to beat Georgia and to continue their impressive, undefeated season. Go TIGERS!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cooper's Hawk / Am Pipits / Painted Bunting

This juvenile Cooper's Hawk was focused (pun) on finding his next meal and oblivious to being photographed. One would think this juvenile Cooper's Hawk was a model with his different poses while on the lookout.

Left-Click to Enlarge Images

A flock of approximately twenty American Pipits was foraging in an open field slowly working toward the road. As they drew closer, one landed on the fence in camera range.

Notice his white outer tail feathers.

The forest makes your heart gentle. You become one with it... No place for greed or anger there. Pha Pachak

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sandhill Cranes

I made a quick birding run before church this AM. Six tall, long-necked, heavy-bodied Sandhill Cranes were foraging in a field off of Lionel Derouen Road.

Once you hear their loud, rattling call you will certainly never forget it!

Left-Click to Enlarge

Friday, November 11, 2011

Long-eared Owl / Tropical Parula

Hats off to Justin Bosler / Devin Bosler for two spectacular finds and to Cody Conway for relaying the message.

Robby Bacon and I headed south after receiving the message about the incredible Tropical Parula. We found out the Parula had not been relocated but surprise, surprise, surprise, a Long-eared Owl had been discovered! Upon arriving, Devin and Justin graciously pointed out the Long-eared Owl roosting in the middle of a dense acacia scrub only thirty feet away. We stood there admiring this super-rare, remarkable Owl fully realizing this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime Louisiana bird.

Left-Click to Enlarge Images

Robby and I went hunting for the Tropical Parula that Devin and Justin found earlier in the day. We slowly made our way through the trees when much to our delight a  yellowish bird flew up and lit in a nearby tree. Sharp-eyed Robby exclaimed, "That's him!". The Tropical Parula hopped from limb to limb, tree to tree and flew away. The picture obtained was blurry but good enough for a positive ID for the bird.

It was a treat seeing these two, once-in-a-lifetime remarkable birds in Louisiana this afternoon. Great finds Devin and Justin and thanks for sharing!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Towhee Trifecta

Left-Click to Enlarge Pictures

My day started at Sabine Woods hoping to find the Green-Tailed Towhee spotted and photographed the previous day by Kelley Sampeck and Cody Conway. After about an hour, I rounded the corner and couldn't believe my eyes. An Eastern Towhee and a Green-Tailed Towhee were sitting side by side in the same tree.

This is the boy I was hoping to find. A first for me. He was partially hidden in the tree but in the open enough to get a picture. He didn't hang around long and vanished as fast as he appeared. Thanks for the heads-up Kelley and Cody!

The Eastern Towhee ddn't hang around long and made a quick departure.

On my return trip home I stopped at Peveto Woods. Devin Bosler informed me a Spotted Towhee was in the woodlot. The Birding Gods were with me as the Spotted Towhee made his debut.

Another picture of the Review List Spotted Towhee. A second first for the day. Thanks Devin!

It was challenging to get a picture of a Nelson's Sparrow. They popped up, flew off and landed back low in the dense grass. Fortunately one peeked up long enough for a picture. A third first for the day.

Another Nelson's Sparrow that cooperated.

A Grasshopper Sparrow happened to be at the Wetland Walkway on my way home along with a couple of Juncos. Lo and behold a fourth first for the day. Perhaps I should go home and hit the casinos?

A Junco perched on a limb with its feathers fluffed out in the cold morning chewing on a piece of grass was quite stunning.

A Flicker flew up and posed for his portrait.

Swamp Sparrows were about during the day.

And Field Sparrows as well.

This whitish Red-Talied Hawk sitting atop a utility pole was cool looking.

This Red-Shouldered Hawk was equally worth the stop in order to get its photo.

All in all it was a great day to be out and one of the best birding days ever!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Bit of Fall Color

I never get tired of seeing the striking, graceful Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers with their long tails.

Left-Click to Enlarge Images

It is always a pleasure to see  a Canada Warbler with its yellow throat, yellow breast and contrasting black necklace. Are these guys cute or what?

Who was this Pewee trying to impress with his crest up?

A handsome Northern Parula.

This nervous male American Redstart was kind enough to pause for a picture.

A female American Redstart with her signature yellow tail.

This striking male Painted Bunting was amazing in its fall colorful plumage.

This female Painted Bunting was close by with her brilliant yellowish-greem plumage.

A handsome Clay Colored Sparrow paused for its picture.

How do you like the expression of this Black Throated Green Warbler?

This male Vermillion Flycatcher is not in its mature adult plumage but is nonetheless a good-looking bird.

This Ovenbird found a bit of water and decided to bathe.

The Olive-Sided Flycatcher is always a pleasure to see.

A Least Flycatcher sitting on a limb watching for his next meal to fly by.

A Seaside Sparrow clinging to some reeds.

This Oriole flew down and plucked this bug right from the ground.

This brilliant orange Baltimore Oriole was hard to miss perched on a limb in the woodlot.

This vusually stimulating metallic Roseate Skimmer with his glowing pink neon tail was a first for me.

The smallest of the falcons, the colorful American Kestrel is a welcome sight unless you are a grasshopper, lizard, mice or small bird.

An up close and personal pic of a cooperative Willet.

Left=click and check out the antennae on this guy.

While driving west on Hwy 82  just past Holly Beach there was a Dolphin in the water practically on the beach. It paralleled the beach for a short distance then moved out to deeper water. I've never seen a Dolphin this close to the beach and was glad to get a picture to share.

It reminded me of the scene where Killer Whales charge the beach, grab a basking seal and belly-flop back into the water. I suppose the Dolphins are not aware of this behavior and the Laughing Gulls sitting at beach's edge feel they are safe. :)

The Sabine Pass Lighthouse situated in SW Louisiana on the Sabine River has stood the test of time since it went into use in 1857.

Six years later on September 8, 1863,approximately 5,000 Union soldiers sailed up the Sabine River to take control of the river and Sabine City. Fort Griffin, a small earthwork fort practically in the shadows of the Sabine Lighthouse, was designed to defend the city. The Union fired cannons from their ships on Fort Griffin from afar. The Confederate soldiers were out of sight and did not return fire as the Union ships were out of their range. Due to this lack of return fire and seeing no Confederate soldiers, the Union assumed the fort was abandoned. They advanced upriver not knowing Confederate soldiers were laying low and waiting for them to come closer. Once in range the 44 Confederate soldiers took on the 5,000 Union soldiers in their ships. The brave and determined handful of Confederate soldiers fired fiercely upon the Union ships with precise accuracy shouting,"Victory or Death" as cannonballs struck closeby. After only 45 minutes the smoke cleared and the Confederates were victorious. The Union lost 28 soldiers, with 78 wounded and 315 captured. The Confederates did not lose a single man.

Notice the Gull flying to the left of the  Lighthouse. :)