Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Beach Visits in Review!

I didn't get to the Charleston area beaches too often this summer, 3-4 times maybe. But whenever I go, I always take my camera. You just never know what you may see there!  And often there are neat, unusual and/or interesting things and people to photograph.

This presentation features Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach.

Using Kizoa, a fun and easy (and free) program for creating slideshows and videos, I produced this three minute presentation.  Click below to view. If that's not playing properly, click here. Enjoy!
                                           The Beach 2017
The music used is courtesy of my go-to free music site, Incompetech.com. I found the song titled, "Parsail" among the Ambient music offerings. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Back To My Birding Roots: Magnolia Cemetery!

Selfie- note the sweaty arm reflection- it was a hot day!
With Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma impacting South Carolina today (Sept. 11), I am hunkered down at home and hoping for the best!

With no school, I'm trying to be productive by getting to a few blog posts I've been wanting to write.

Last month on a Sunday, Alesia and I went to Magnolia Cemetery to walk around and see what birds we can photograph.

Snapseed Phone App a Snap for Photo Enhancing

Recently, while driving to work on Ladson Road, I was struck by this photo opportunity. I liked the leading lines of the power lines on the left and the sky had a cool look too.

So I very carefully took a few pictures with my iPhone 7.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Red-Shouldered Hawk Pair

Like my previous post about the Great Egret downing a fish from the pond near my backyard, I also did not have to leave my driveway to capture these images last week.  These are Red-shouldered Hawks atop a pine tree across the street from my house.

First I heard their high-pitched call, then I spotted them, then I grabbed my camera and monopod, then quickly started shooting!








Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Down the Hatch" with a Great Egret

I feel fortunate to live in a nice neighborhood with lots of trees and a small pond just beyond my backyard.

The environment, plus my bevy of bird feeders, baths and houses, is very hospitable to our feathered friends.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Interesting Feeder Visitor!

Yesterday I spotted at my backyard feeders this Cardinal-sized bird that I did not recognize.

It perched at this tube feeder for a while, at least 15-20 minutes that I observed.
After taking several photographs, I went to one of my go-to bird books to try to identify the type of bird this is.

It has a finch bill, but these colors I have not seen.

So I'm going to whatbird.com for assistance.  The site's bird identification forum never fails in correctly naming bird types or confirming them for me.

This is no exception as the word from a couple fellow birders on whatbird.com tell me this is a Brown-headed Cowbird, a male juvenile.

Young fellow may be on his own for a short time.  I hope you have a nice life and you are welcome at my feeders any time!


I have had adult male and female Cowbirds in my yard before, but never a juvenile.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cardinals and Hummingbirds Grace Backyard Feeders

My backyard bird feeders have been staying busy this summer. It's been all I can do to keep the tubes and suet holders stocked!
Northern Cardinals (a pair seen here), Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Downy and Red-belled Woodpeckers are the most common visitors.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mississippi Kite and Heron In My Hood!

It's pretty neat (and convenient!) as a birder and nature photographer to have a regular "supply" of birds- large and small- frequent my neighborhood in North Charleston, S.C. We have lots of trees and several ponds so that's a plus, and it's generally pretty quite around here.
Just the other day, I first heard, then spotted, then went inside and grabbed my camera and monopod to try to photograph this bird, perching high atop a pine tree in a neighbor's backyard.

I figured it was a hawk, but have now learned, through a trusted social media site, that it is a juvenile Mississippi Kite.
Whatbird.com has a wonderful forum for bird identification.

The forum is free to join and use. You just have to sign up (username, password, etc.) and then you can post photos of birds you need help identifying, or help those in such need with your expertise.

This post today took much longer than normal for positive IDs to come in, but it was certainly worth the wait!



A few days after taking the above images, I had another opportunity to photograph a young Mississippi kite.








This one may be the same bird I photographed earlier. The location was different, but also a pine tree in my neighborhood.
I have no question as to this type of big bird.
This, of course, is the magnificent Great Blue Heron, which stood for a long time near the pond that is close to my backyard.
Great Blue was ready for a closeup.  This is a great bird to photograph because it will often be statue-still for great lengths of time.















I continue to see and hear Kites in my neighborhood, so will be alert to more photo ops with this magnificent creature!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Painted Bunting a Donnelley Delight!

On Sunday, July 23 we braved the Lowcountry heat and humidity and ventured south to the ACE Basin's Donnelley Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

For us, the drive is about 50 miles. Donnelley is located off Highway 17 in the metropolis (ha!) of Green Pond, S.C.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Paris Finale Post: Luxembourg Palace, Roland Garros and More Eiffel Tower

Spending a week and a half in Paris was such a great (and perhaps once in a lifetime) opportunity to soak up the history, architecture and atmosphere of the "City of Light."

Toward the end of the trip I made a list of the key attractions I had visited, some by myself but most with Alesia and our two boys and Joseph's girlfriend.
My list came to 16, many of which I have documented in the posts preceding this one.
This final Paris post will cover some sites not previously covered and also will include street scenes such as this one. The domed building is part of the College of Sorbonne, which was founded way back in 1253 as a theological institution. The chapel, built in the baroque style, dates to 1635.