Thursday, October 31, 2013

Birding Carlsbad, New Mexico

I am linking up with NF Winged   and  Skywatch Friday 

 I think by now everyone knows I went to New Mexico on vacation. One major attraction for hubby was seeing the Carlsbad Caverns and I figured there had to be birds there for me to see. The first day was mainly a travel day and on the second day we visited the Carlsbad Caverns and the national park. I am sharing some birds from the park for my NF Winged entry and I have some sky shots from around the Guadalupe Mountains.


We were up early and on our way to the Carlsbad Cavern National Park when we stopped to watch the sunrise.  


There were many New Mexico birds that were not lifers, like the House Finches above.


The Guadalupe Mountains and the moon seen from the road going into the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.


The Cave Swallows were a lifer.  It was fun watching the Swallows going in and out of the cave.



We hiked into the natural entrance of the caverns, 750 feet down. It was a steep one mile  hike for the Natural Entrance and  took us a little over an hour then we arrived at the BIG room which was another one mile walk.


I was able to watch this American Kestrel while it was watching the Cave Swallows.


For a scenic shot and showing off the pretty blue sky, I am sharing the view of the Cavern hole ( near the left middle of the photo and the seating for the bat flight program. It was cool to experience the bat flight, swarms of bats coming out of the cave.  As more bats poured out of the cave, I could look up in the sky and see the previous swarm of bats. The bats fly around at night eating within 30-50 miles of cave and then return early in the morning. The Cave Swallows wait for them to leave and they go back inside the cave for the night. Photography was not allowed during the bat flight program.




It was cool to watch the moon setting behind the Guadalupe Mountains. I hope you enjoyed my Carlsbad birds and my sky photos. We spent the first three nights in Carlsbad and visited the caverns and park a couple of times.

 Thanks for visiting my post and  blog and I always appreciate your comments.

  Happy Skywatching everyone!

To see more pretty skies from around the world please visit  Skywatch Friday
and to see more of the winged critters check out NF Winged

Thanks to Sylvia, Yogi  and Sandy for hosting Skywatch Friday! Thanks to Monica the host of NF Winged.   I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

American Bittern

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

I am sharing the American Bittern I found at the Bitter Lake Wildlife refuge near Roswell, New Mexico.

We were on the wildlife drive when I spotted the American Bittern slowing move its beak which allowed me to pick him/her out of the reeds. When alarmed the Bittern will point its bill toward the sky, attempting to blend in with its surroundings.





I took these shots from the car window, so not the best photos. But,  I have finally learned to turn the car off to keep the camera from shaking. 


The adult has a dark crown with distinct broad stripes, they forage mostly in freshwater habitats. For me, the American Bittern is a cool bird to see and I am always excited to see one.


Join in and post your birdies and to see more beautiful and wonderful bird photos please visit:
 Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Michelle's  Nature Notes.  Thanks to our host Michelle our host Stewart.  Happy Birding and have a wonderful week!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Mexico

  I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday 

October 27, 2013

Hubby and I are back after  a week long vacation to New Mexico. We were kind of scared the week before leaving with the government shutdown. Our trip was planned around a few National Parks and Wildlife refuges all of which were closed during the shutdown. Luckily the politicians came to an agreement days before we were to leave.  Driving a loop we went from Albuquerque RT 40 to RT 285 to Carlsbad. One of our main stops was at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We drove along on RT 180 the national park highway stopping at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. Continuing on to RT 25 to our next stop in the town of Truth or Consequences and a one night stay at a hot springs hotel. From there we stayed a couple of nights in Socorro and then back to Albuquerque. We put 1,250 miles on the rental car!

You can see some of the New Mexico sights we saw while on our first day. Rt 285 looks like it goes on forever. While driving I saw a couple of different herds of Antelope or I call them Pronghorn. After flying and driving for hours we started looking for food. The first town we came to was like a ghost town with tumbleweed blowing across the road.  In the next town of Vaughn we found a nice place with good food called Penny's Diner.

Above are the birds seen at the Bitter Lake NWR : lots of Sandhill Cranes, Pied-bill Grebe, Loggerhead Shrike, a few White Pelicans and a pretty shot of the full moon near Carlsbad.




When I plan our vacations, I try to find attractions that both hubby and I will enjoy. On this trip the main attraction for hubby was the Carlsbad Caverns and of course I managed to research all the great places for birding. We managed to break up our drive along the route 285 stopping at the Bitter Lake wildlife refuge near Roswell, New Mexico.  I have to report we did NOT see any aliens on our drive.


I will be showing more photos from our New Mexico vacation, so I hope you will stop back and check out my post.  It was a fun trip..


As always, I hope you enjoy my post and thanks for visiting my blog. I always appreciate your comments.

Join in on the fun and for more wonderful photos please visit  Mosaic Monday and more
 from  Our World Tuesday

 Thanks to our host: Mary our host of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia, Sandy and Jennifer.  I wish everyone a happy week!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Birding is fun

Oct 24, 2013


I hope you can visit my post should be up at Birding is fun.





Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your visits and comments.

Have a great day.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Around the Yard, Oct 17

I am linking up with NF Winged   and  Skywatch Friday 
Sharing my skies and a few yardbirds, I hope you will be joining in on the fun.

Can you believe it is October 17 already?  The rain has stopped for now and the sun has come out. The days are getting shorter and the leaves are slowing falling off the trees. It is not a very colorful fall around the yard. I am either seeing green or brown leaves, a few yellows here and there! I was hoping for a colorful tree in my yard. One I can say WOW that is really pretty.  I am not sure why it is not a beautiful year for fall colors, maybe we went without rain for too long?


The Cardinals seem plentiful lately.. Sometimes they can be seen chasing other Cardinals out of the yard.



The birds enjoy the natural food around the yard, like this Cardinal eating the berries on the Devil's Walking Stick.


Dark-eyed Junco.

So here are a few of my sky shots taken sequence on Oct 7, all within seconds of each other.


At first the sky looked a golden color with lots of clouds.

Then the clouds turned so colorful. The sky was a WOW for me.. Hubby and I were surprised at how beautiful the sunset lit up the sky.




 Thanks for visiting my post and  blog and I always appreciate your comments.

  Happy Skywatching everyone!

To see more pretty skies from around the world please visit  Skywatch Friday
and to see more of the winged critters check out NF Winged

Thanks to Sylvia, Yogi  and Sandy for hosting Skywatch Friday! Thanks to Monica the host of NF Winged.   I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A few regulars

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

The rain kept me mostly in the house and I was not able to go birding this weekend. So, I am sharing some of the regulars or the year round birds I saw in my yard this last couple of days.


A couple of House Finches have been having around the yard.


The Cardinals are daily visitors to my yard


Lately I have been seeing a group of House Sparrows at my feeders.


The White-Breasted Nuthatch is also a regular visitor and one of my favorites. I have been seeing some of the winter birds moving in like the Ruby-Crowned Kinglets and yesterday I saw my FOY Dark-eyed Junco.  Thanks for stopping by to see my Wild Birds..

Join in and post your birdies and to see more beautiful and wonderful bird photos please visit:
 Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Michelle's  Nature Notes.  Thanks to our host Michelle our host Stewart.  Happy Birding and have a wonderful week!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekend Walk, Oct 13

  I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday 

October 13, 2013

This Columbus Day weekend  has been mostly rainy so I am sharing a previous weekend walk.  Since we have so many fireroads around our neighborhood we can choose to take a different walk each weekend.


 On this day before leaving on our walk, I watched a bike event on our street. I assume they were riding the loop around our lake.



 Some trails have become favorites only because we enjoy the views of the lake. We enjoy a nice walk among the tall pine trees, bushes with berries, the sounds of birds singing and views of the lake.

This trail takes us to our favorite spot for viewing the lake.  There were lots of different berries along the trail, I hope they were berries that the birds enjoy eating.


  Lately I have been seeing and reading on my listserve about the winter birds moving back into the neighborhood and state.  On this day I was able to see some great views of the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet. The Kinglets are winter birds for my area. When agitated their pretty Scarlet Crown is raised. They have a heavy eye-ring, but thin at the top and bottom. They winter in wooded and brushy habitats. It is a tiny bird only 4 1/4 inches.



The highlight of my rainy weekend, was meeting my niece's son for the first time baby Neill.



As always, I hope you enjoy my post and thanks for visiting my blog. I always appreciate your comments.

Join in on the fun and for more wonderful photos please visit  Mosaic Monday and more
 from  Our World Tuesday

 Thanks to our host: Mary our host of Mosaic Monday and to the hosting group of Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia, Sandy and Jennifer.  I wish everyone a happy week!



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chincoteague NWR

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Linking up Camera Critters and I'd-Rather-b-birdin  
I hope you are joining in and posting your birds and critters.


I have a long weekend for the Columbus Day holiday and usually I would have visited Shenandoah Nat'l Park to see the fall leaves or I would have headed to Delaware to visit Bombay Hood wildlife refuge. No plans today... Am I the only person upset with the government over this stupid shutdown..



 Chincoteague had to cancel their pony roundup... ruining a lot of people's plans to visit.



 With the shutdown still going on, most of our National Parks and Wildlife Refuges are closed.  The government is allowing each individual states pick up the cost of running their park. That is,  IF  they want to open their own state National Park. So far, I only read about the State of Utah and Colorado. I had wished that they would have all opened by now.


A green heron hiding in the bare branches...see in Chincoteague NWR.


 See this article about New Mexico's National Parks: Carlsbad Nat'l Park
 After reading this article and seeing that some states are not hurting I think the Oil companies that are booming should pay to open the parks.. After all the are drilling in our National Parks, it only seems fair..Enough of my rant...I am just mad because my vacation is being canceled due to a park that is closed.




More from Chincoteague NWR, Snowy Egrets and a few juvenile White Ibis...At first I posted they were juvenile Glossy Ibis. 





I do have some great news..I am a Great-Aunt ..My niece had a baby boy Neill Stephen 7 lbs 11 oz.  Congrats to Melissa and David..and welcome baby Neill.



Thanks for stopping by and  I wish everyone a happy weekend.
 To see more beautiful photos and cute critters

 please visit:  Camera Critters and I'd-Rather-B-Birdin. Thanks to the gracious hosts Misty Dawn of Camera Critters and to Anni of I'd Rather-B-birdin.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Some of the locals

I am linking up with NF Winged   and  Skywatch Friday

This week is actually going slow for me, maybe because we have a long weekend coming up. Monday is the Columbus day holiday. Yes! A long weekend, I hope the weather will cooperate. This post is about watching the sunset and sharing some neighborhood birds. I am looking forward to seeing your skies from around the world, I hope you are all joining the Skywatch.


 A neighboring field, I am not sure what is growing here but the green leaves were turning beautiful colors.

 A nearby local pond always attracts the Canada Geese and sometimes GB heron.


On a day I was riding by there was one lone domestic goose. 


The birds gathering at the local pond, mostly Canada Geese and one Great Blue Heron.


I am sharing hubby's sunset shots over our lake..  Looks pretty.


Hubby got some pretty reflection shots too.


This cardinal has a sad look, maybe a young one that has been scolded by the adults. Thanks for visiting my post and  blog and I always appreciate your comments.

  Happy Skywatching everyone!

To see more pretty skies from around the world please visit  Skywatch Friday
and to see more of the winged critters check out NF Winged

Thanks to Sylvia, Yogi  and Sandy for hosting Skywatch Friday! Thanks to Monica the host of NF Winged.   I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Backyard Warblers

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

I am sharing more of my backyard warblers that have been seen the last two weeks.


Another backyard warbler...the Black-throated Blue Warbler.


A closer look at the Black-throated Blue Warbler


















This bird was a little confusing for me..I had to get help from my bird club. Anyone want to guess at this warbler before scrolling down.




Ok I will not keep you guessing, it is a first fall Northern Parula.  I think it is a gorgeous bird and I love their pretty colors. I am more use to seeing the adult Northern Parula, so the juvenile was a treat.

The Northern Parula is a breeder in the woods next to my house. Here is my previous post showing the adult Northern Parula.
The warbler show may be over now, this past weekend I believe I saw one for a short time..it was the Tennessee Warbler 


On 10/5.... I had this quick sighting and an awful shot of the Tennessee Warbler.. It disappeared quickly. Here is a link to previous visit from the  Tennessee Warbler

Till next year warblers..I will be looking forward to seeing you all again.

Join in and post your birdies and to see more beautiful and wonderful bird photos please visit:
 Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Michelle's  Nature Notes.  Thanks to our host Michelle our host Stewart.  Happy Birding and have a wonderful week!

Saturday's Critters #205

Welcome to Saturday's Critters! If you love critters like I do and also like to blog about them and take critter photos this is where...