Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Silhouettes

Sometimes the sun is not quite right (meaning I am standing in the wrong place but take the picture anyway) or hidden behind gray skies leaving my shots looking like silhouettes--just one reason I love dreary days so much.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Word Bird Wednesday 10

It's Wednesday--well, Tuesday night-- and that can mean only one thing---Word Bird Wednesday with Springman over at The Pine River Review!  So, grab your camera, your love of birds and your desire to see some great pictures from all around the world and join us!

This week I am featuring my deck visitors.  There were several other visitors, but they wouldn't be still long enough for me to capture their picture. 

Blue Jay who wanted to be left alone to feast.

Yellow-rumped warbler---such a pretty little bird.

My old friend the Cardinal.

Grackle alert!

And, at the bird bath (though it was still somewhat frozen):

A lone mourning dove.

This guy walks into a bar....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Word Bird Wednesday

It's Wednesday--well, Tuesday night-- and that can mean only one thing---Word Bird Wednesday with Springman over at The Pine River Review!  So, grab your camera, your love of birds and your desire to see some great pictures from all around the world and join us!

Here are the shots I saved for WBW from my walk on the beach with Birdie (DD3) and the dogs. 

This laughing gull was not worried about us being so close as he was concentrating on his breakfast.  Apparently, he is dressed in his winter plumage.  According to BIRDS OF THE CAROLINAS, their heads are black in the summer and molt to mostly white in the winter. 
This is a sanderling.  There were, what appeared to be, hundreds of them on the beach.  They were very entertaining as they ran back and forth following the coming and going of each incoming wave.  When a wave would retreat, the sanderlings would probe the wet sand for their breakfast.  As another wave came in, they would scurry away.  Quite the sight!
The sanderling taking off.
Just a few of the numerous sanderling groups out there that day.
My best guess on this pretty bird is a willet. 
This is the willet in flight.  I'm using that white stripe on his wings to help with identification.
The laughing gull coming back for more.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Beach Birds

Birdie (DD3) has no classes on Tuesdays/Thursdays so she and I took the dogs out to the beach for a cold morning walk.  We didn't get there in time for the dogs to run unleashed, but I did get a few pictures!

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.  Jacques Cousteau

I have heard the mermaids singing to each other.  T.S. Eliot

Across the narrow beach we flit, one little sand-piper and I; and fast I gather, bit by bit, the scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry, the wild waves reach their hands for it.  The wild wind raves, the tide runs high, as up and down the beach we flit, one little sand-piper and I.  Celia Leighton Thaxter

I find myself at the extremity of a long beach.  How gladly does the
spirit leap forth, and suddenly enlarge its sense of being to the full
extent of the broad, blue, sunny deep!  A greeting and a homage to the
Sea!  I descend over its margin, and dip my hand into the wave that
meets me, and bathe my brow.  That far-resounding roar is the Ocean's
voice of welcome.  His salt breath brings a blessing along with it.
  Nathaniel Hawthorne

A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.
Dixon Lanier Merritt

Why does the ocean rock the moon to sleep every night?  So the sun will wake and kiss the beach.  J. Henson

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Word Bird Wednesday

The weather has been quite interesting here the last couple of days.  That huge winter storm that they called for did nothing other than dump some much needed rain on us.  Oh, there was enough ice to shut down the bridges for about three hours but, other than that...Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  I am not discouraged, however, as winter is far from over and I am ever hopeful for a bit of snow that sticks and looks pretty for a day or two.  We got some last February so, fingers crossed! 

Because of all that rain, coupled with the fact that I have been neglecting them with the camera, I decided to stay 'focused' on the yard birds.  And so, for Springman's Word Bird Wednesday over at The Pine River Review, here are the birds that came to feast in the yard today. Oh, and, as usual, I ask your patience as I, once again, attempt to identify this weeks birds.  

This one was tough.  It was a toss up between the Downy Woodpecker and the Hairy Woodpecker.  I'm going with a Downy here because his beak is somewhat smaller. 

A Mourning Dove

Carolina Wren

This Cardinal was the first one to brave coming in close on the deck rail.

Followed by this Blue Jay who took a bite and then stared at me.

And then by this House Finch who stood there and ate pretty much no matter what I did.

This red-bellied woodpecker is new to the back yard.

I heard a ruckus in the left back corner of the yard and saw that these Cedar Waxwings were the cause.  I love these birds and this is only the second time I've gotten a picture of one!  I've seen them once over at the pond but this is a first for the back yard.  There are four of them in the picture.  Can you see all of them?

 I say Warbler on this little guy and my best guess would be a yellow warbler.  Argh!  Bird identification is so HARD!

Those, my friends, are Charleston, South Carolina icicles.