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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. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Immature Bald Eagle

Jay, Mike and I were at the Wetland Walkway Wednesday AM. A striking adult Black Crowned Night Heron was standing motionless in the shallows searching for his next meal as we looked on.

All of a sudden two large birds flew in from the west. An Osprey was harassing an immature Bald Eagle. The immature Eagle with his variety of colors was indeed a pleasure to behold. We got great looks as they flew past with the Osprey hot on the Eagle's tail. What a great way to start the day.

Left-Click to Enlarge Picture

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wilson's Phalarope

It was a delight to witness Wilson's Phalaropes this afternoon at Global Pond. It was my second time ever to see one. The Wilson's Phalaropes exhibited classic signs of ADHD as they were in constant perpetual motion and never sat still. It was both fun and entertaining just to watch these active birds as they continuously moved about and fed in the shallows.

Left-Click to Enlarge

This one came up out of the water with something in his beak. I have no idea what it is.

The group of Wilson's Phalaropes at Global Pond.

American Avocets were out and about as well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Northern Bobwhite

As I was driving down Fabacher Road today several plump Northern Bobwhite scurried quickly across the road. I quickly grabbed my camera and jumped from the truck in hopes of getting a picture. I was fortunate that a few Bobwhites bringing up the rear had not disappeared into the field and was able to get their picture. Note how well these guys blend in with their environment.

The female Bobwhite is on the bottom right side of the picture and the male is to her left..

The Nothern Bobwhite is a Near Threatened species due to its rapid decline in recent decades.

I rarely see Northern Bobwhite but it is always a pleasure when they show up.

Left-Click to Enlarge

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Swainson's Hawk Smorgasbord 1 + 3

My six-year old grandson, Grant, and I set out one afternoon looking for birds. My little buddy and I had fun and came across some interesting birds. His favorite bird of the day, as well as mine, was this majestic Swainson's Hawk sitting on a perch keeping a sharp eye out for his next meal in the Fabacher Road area. Guess what picture Grant will be sharing with his classmates at school for 'Show and Tell Time'? Grant's next two favorite birds of the day we saw were the Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers and the Roseate Spoonbills.

Left-Click to Enlarge Images

JOHNSON BAYOU:  Interestingly enough, a few weeks prior to the picture above, Robby Bacon and I were along the coast one morning. This stately Swainson's Hawk was perched atop a utility pole a bit east of Johnson Bayou north of Highway 82.

It took to the air displaying its long tail and pointed wings (compared to other buteos).

The surprise of the day was two more sitting in the same tree a couple of hundred yards away from the first making a total of three Swainson's Hawks in the same place. I've been fortunate to see one Swainson's Hawk here and there but never three at the same time.

Mike Musumeche and Jay Huner observed an adult Swainson's Hawk and two juvenile Swainson's Hawks only a mile or two from this area a few days later which explains the relationship of these three Hawks. What is the probability these juvenile SWHAs were hatched in Louisiana? This uncommon Raptor in Louisiana is being seen more often in our state..

Side Note: If you pass through Hackberry and stop at Brown's Grocery check out their meat market in the back right-hand corner. Indulge yourself with their bacon-wrapped pork loin stuffed with cream cheese and Jalapeno Peppers. Cook it on the BBQ pit, take it up, slice it into 3/4 inch pieces and serve. Your taste buds will thank you.