Since moving to N.C. from Florida, I’ve gone through a few painful adjustments and bouts of homesickness. I’m accustomed to “winter” lasting only six to eight weeks (usually mid-Dec to mid-February), and I’m used to very strong sun. I miss both these things, plus the big water birds I used to see so easily. I love Florida’s rare natural spaces with a passion. Before meeting my significant other, I would often throw my kayak on my car, pick a river and print off a map using my father’s chart software, and spend all day exploring the crooks and crannies of dark tannin-landed rivers hemmed by swamp cypress or crystal clear waterways bordered by bottomland forests. I’d bring my binoculars and watch snowy egrets, juvenile little blue herons, belted kingfishers — and once, even a reddish egret and a glossy ibis. Something about watching these big birds stalk prey or groom near the water while I floated silently by in my yak made me feel that “complete” natural Florida feeling. Sun on my face, nature doing its thing, and water and trees all around. Here are some of the pictures I’ve taken from my kayak:
Posts Tagged ‘bird watching’
Yesterday I visited Reedy Creek Nature Preserve just outside of Charlotte, N.C. Within three minutes of stepping on to the nature trails, I saw a red-bellied woodpecker, a white-breasted nuthatch and a beautful tiny little golden-crowned kinglet. The kinglet looked like an oversized fluffy cotton ball flitting between branches with a head topped by a fierce burnt-umber streak. It pecked at the tree bark with a tiny beak, picking up small insects and fluffed itself repeatedly against the cold.
I often watch the birds at my seed feeder at home. A pair of field binoculars are often within arms’ reach of my workspace, so I can sneak a peak at birds in between tasks while I am writing. I’ve noticed in the past week that house finch visits are more frequent and numerous; the goldfinches are beginning to molt from their drab winter olive-gray to vibrant golds and yellows — (more…)
Yesterday morning, I slipped away from work with a friend and took a stroll in an urban wooded area. My friend is a much savvier birder than am I. While I enjoy watching the birds that come to a seed feeder outside my home, my friend actually knows where to go and at what time of year to see specific birds and migration events. I was at the Univ. of Florida for work, and so we went to Lake Alice, (more…)
My backyard wildlife encounters have increased since we installed a Yankee Whipper bird seed feeder on our back deck. In addition to spying on the numerous winged creatures it attracts, I’ve had to deal with the messy aftermath of several fatal and non-fatal bird strikes on our house windows. But last night, we had a different type of wildlife encounter.
A house guest was watching the evening jubilee at the feeder, and she noticed one bird was slightly different. It didn’t seem as aware of its neighbors on the curved perches. It moved tentatively, carefully. She watched it closer. It’s eyes looked odd. She came and got me inside saying, “Did you know you have a blind sparrow out there?” We slid the slider door open and all the birds scattered, as they always do. Except for this one. (more…)