Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winter Birding!

Things have gotten back to normal around here in 2018 since the unexpected snowfall of several inches on Jan. 3. Maybe we'll get lucky and have another white stuff visit this winter!

Yellow-throated Warbler 
Bird activity continues to bustle at the backyard feeders. And we had a nice time returning to a former golf course property in the area that still hasn't been redeveloped after 10 years or so since the last golf shots were struck.

Last weekend I was thrilled to capture an image of this Yellow-throated Warbler.

Cropped photograph

It's not a frequent visitor to our feeders. I did find a backyard photo I took a few years ago of this bright and vibrant bird.

It took some research to positively identify. I knew with all that yellow and black and white pattern that it was not the more regular Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Yesterday I spotted both a Baltimore Oriole and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker using the feeders at the same time.  Wish I had gotten a photo of that too!

Female Brown-headed Cowbird 
 Brown-headed Cowbirds have been coming around of late.  They are semi-regulars, I would say.

I like the facial expression of this female cowbird.  It's staring at me I think!

Female Brown-headed Cowbird

Here's a more benign shot of the female Brown-headed Cowbird.  I've been seeing the males too of this species.

I've been spotting a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on a few occasions this winter. I took this photo today. I love its red head and throat and black streaks along its head and eyes.

You can see its yellow belly in this shot too.

Closeup of the Sapscucker. Not perfectly clear but I really wanted to capture its eyes or in this case one eye.

I like this image with the head turned the way it is. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, for years, have come to a small dead tree in my backyard. But the easy food at the feeders has got to be a nice draw. Certainly a lot less work for this lovely and colorful bird.

Last weekend we had another visit from Baltimore Oriole. This is a rare visit indeed. I only got this one shot, taken from inside the house, through a window.

The Sapsucker was at the feeder the same time. Now that would have been a great photo capture!

Belted Kingfisher and a Juvy Little Blue Heron
Alesia and I had a nice outing to the former Kings Grant Golf Course in Summerville.

A few found golf balls are the only sign left of what used to be there.  Not sure what's going on with the expansive property but there is no new development or works in progress on it.

Meantime, it is a neat place to visit on occasion.  The birding and other animal sightings can be good.  In this picture, a Belted Kingfisher is on the top branch and below it is a juvenile Little Blue Heron.

Belted Kingfisher 

Belted Kingfishers remain one of my favorite birds due to their size, colors, poofed up crown feathers and boisterous behavior.

Little Blue Heron (juvenile) 

Little Blue Heron- Juvenile. Interesting bird in that it starts out white and turns black and gray as it gets older.

Green Heron 

Green Heron- another favorite bird of mine!

Yellow-rumped Warbler 

YRB- Yellow-rumped Warbler

Savannah Sparrow 

I'm pretty sure I've seen this little one before.  Need to research it some to correctly identify.

Savannah Sparrow! Thanks to Jay who just helped me via Facebook's Carolina Birders Photo Sharing Group. This is a great site and widely used and followed in North and South Carolina.

Chipping Sparrow

There were a number of smaller birds in the weeds, in the shrubs, bushes and trees.

This one, I'm pretty sure is a Chipping Sparrow.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Another Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Here you get the idea where "butter butt" gets its name- the yellow coloring on the backside of the Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

This YRW shows flexibility in how its claws and legs can go sideways to better perch on vertical branches and limps.

Eastern Bluebird

In Photoshop I had to do a lot of brightening to reveal this bird as an Eastern Bluebird.

Eastern Bluebird
Here is the original shot.

Eastern Bluebird

Another processed shot from that sequence.

One final bird shot as we finished our visit: a Northern Mockingbird with an expression that says glad you are finally leaving!

This is the large pond at the front of the former Kings Grant Golf Course.

It's a rich habitat for birds and other wildlife. It was when it was a golf course and is even more so now that it has been devoid of much human activity for years now.

Several creeks and other small waterways attract lots of critters.

The Ashley River is nearby too adding to the natural setting. A rope hangs from a strong branch, providing some fun for adventuresome kids, young or young at heart.

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