Sunday, August 25, 2019

Chronicles of the Week

Still summer here...hope for a sudden change!  

Aug 18

Another hot one...

...enjoyed this fresh looking dragon, I guess it's a Halloween Pennant dragonfly He looks perfect!  We rode over to Lake Paul Wallace, It's been a while since we visited we didn't see a lot but we enjoyed what we saw...

Duck Potato Plant

These Mallards wanted a hand out we had a few crumbs so we tossed a bit out of the window..they are completely spoiled as you can tell 

The Geese were not as friendly!  

Aug 21
Midweek I ventured up to the local is also a hotspot for my town, it's not in my radius and I helped push the county count up by 4 for the year, I know in a way I'm cutting my own throat for my radius percentage %.


This little pond is on the racetrack grounds and it's pretty popular...I uploaded some of these straight to Blogger see if you can click it and make it bigger, if you don't mind?  A little test. 

So last week Aug 14th I went over and found the immature Tri Color Heron, and this week he was still there along with the 2 immature White Ibis I shared last post... 

Tri-Color Heron

Then I found a Yellow Legs, I think lesser, so that's how I reported it..he stayed behind the reeds making it hard to pull out a decent shot of him..

and all of sudden he had company...lower left of the photo

A spotted sandpiper!  Fun to find both of these...
 So 2 more added to my county list for the year 

When I stand very still for a long period of time my spine fuses up! So I was glad to sit on one of these logs and watch the birds milling around in the pond...

Tuesday Aug 20,  I went to my 5 mile radius Hotspot early I arrived about 7:30 am and I found a new one for the radius, the Green Heron.  (#117) He was pretty far out there I got this for the record shot no mistaking this silhouette. 

And he returned again Aug 21....the Green Heron

This is hopeful thinking! Im glad to see some color coming to the landscape..

One of the Common Yellow Throats came out into the open  

Aug 21, Back at the Racetrack Pond, I found another Green Heron, he was really small so I assume a this years edition. 

The little Blue Heron continues to hang around even tho the pond is slowly drying up...I hope recent rains will help...

The Green Heron was having luck finding food I saw him come up with several wiggly things...mostly what this pond has in it is this:

Lots of small peepers! They scampered from the edge as I walked along making little bloopppp sounds as they hit the water.

So the cool thing is this...The Racetrack has been the number one Hotspot in our county. (per ebird) There are only about 10 birders, actually only 2 of us record active weekly counts, since one fellow moved away.  So I have moved my Hotspot, Goodale State Park, to within 3 birds of being tied with the Hotspot for species count for the current was 4th in past yrs.  So that's really cool.  I honestly believe I can take it to number 1. 

Red Eyed Vireo (taken with my old camera) at my hotspot Aug 23.

I decided not to keep the camera I just purchased, its on the way back...I decided I wanted better results and realized it was not coming... once I get refunded for that I will be looking again! I have my eye on a couple possibilities.

8/24 ...on the way to the post office this morning, and a Barred Owl (#118) glided across the road in front of my van...In the Radius! I stopped he had landed but he was in deep cover when I got out of the van and tried to relocate him he flew into even deeper cover, I've been finding feathers so I know one is active here. Then I stopped at my hotspot and finally; I've been waiting for these guys to arrive..

#119 the Wood Stork, 2 in total.   So this was a good day for me birdwise. 

SO that's a wrap up for my week.  Hope yours was a good one!

In honor of Judy a birding blogger who recently passed...


the south end of the red eyed vireo



Sunday, August 18, 2019

First Impressions

August has been mostly hot and quite humid.  If I go out at all it has to be early.  If you go to this particular pine tree you will get the attention of this particular female Blue Grosbeak, she has held vigil here all breeding season!

I think she ate this grasshopper cause that shot was taken first no grasshopper in this second shot. 

These images came from my new but used camera! Like I said it's exactly like the one I've been using a couple years now, but notice no black corners on the top edges.  

It is not as good as mine was when it was newly purchased....but I think it will do me until I'm ready to invest more money into a camera...

I did get a better shot of the white breasted nuthatch ...while this image below was a disappointment, not crisp, of the immature Little Blue Heron..I may not have the white balance set right. 

...this action shot was not too bad...

And for the video, I think it's okay..

Even tho there is no learning curve checking to be sure all the settings in the menu are set to my liking is the one thing I need to do by comparing it to my old settings...

So that's exactly what I did now it is set up exactly like my old one bit for bit. So first impressions over all I'm pleased. I uploaded these images right into blogger, but I think Blogger reduces the quality of images, in an attempt to condense the space we are next post I'm going back to Flickr hosting I've been slacking on uploading to Flickr, because I think it's a sinking ship.

These are shots I uploaded to Flickr.  Do you see what I mean it's brighter, it is sharper, bigger etc. 

and a zoom

and look who is hiding in the marigolds!

So just putting them in blogger seems to reduce the quality.  That's why I have always hosted my photos off site.  

So over all on a scale of 1-10 I'd give this camera a 7.5 it's not the 10 my current one when new and it's the not the 5 that my old is now.  If that makes sense.

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, August 11, 2019


This post contains a few short videos, hope you will enjoy them, and Im trying to keep the post length short I may add a mid-week post with other news of my week.

ON Sunday last we were finally able to line everything up just right to rent a kayak and paddle around at my hotspot on Goodale Lake, or better known as Adams Mill Pond.  We rented...the price is right! $7 for half a day basically you rent at 11 am and come back when you want because the office is only open from 11-12 noon.  When you come in you lock up your boat and leave your paddles and vest by the door. 

We've been talking about doing this all summer! My son did Nanny sitting duties so we (my sis and I) could both take off.  

We pushed off and headed for the paddling trail.  It's been several years since either of us paddled, but it's kind of like riding a bike?

sis leads the way...

We had planned to paddle the canoe trail, which is the lake is marked & located to the rear of the lake...  

this ARROW on the tree marks the entrance, the trail is one mile in length and it's a one way total of 2 miles. 

        the trail is lovely and quiet except for some distant thunder :(

So we did not paddle far and decided it's better to be close to the kayak landing area jic and that ended up being the best idea...we paddled around a couple turns in the channel and turned around...and back towards the lily pad area where we had seen Killdeer and the Little Blue Heron had flushed

...we found 2 (# 115 in my 5 mile radius) Least Sandpipers...the calls in the background of the video are the killdeer while the Least are not bothered by our presence...

The Anhinga dries... up in the flat top Cyprus that is a favorite spot of many of the birds...

 I got a new camera!!  I'm glad I decided to take the old one on this paddle, in case it got wet this is how the old camera can continue to earn it's place in my can do the dirty so that's why this shot is blurred, is what I'm leading up to...the bird below makes #116 in my 5 mile radius...the White Ibis

             thanks sis for spotting this one...

Then we had to paddle to shore in double time cause the bottom fell out!!

We def got wet running for shelter! But what a fun time we had in spite of the weather and we are already planning another paddle...I do think I would enjoy having my own kayak...there's lots of places to paddle at the parks we have visited, and at the Sandhills NW Refuge.  

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

AUGUST--> then fall

I am trying to bid on a couple cameras on ebay, I got outbid right away so we'll see.  Tonight I was in a last minute literally bidding war.  It was seriously tense..I lost! I'm actually bidding on the exact camera I have!  I love this camera, hate that I damaged it, but each ding, drop, and bang was earned enjoying my life and living it with zest!  Still it takes good photos, but it does not want to focus on digital zoom. So birds are hard to capture if they are far away. 

I wanted to catch the tail end of the cool weather spell we were having so up at 6 am last Sunday... I was off to the hotspot and had some of the expected birds up and this Anhinga already drying his feathers from his morning swim.

There was a lifting fog still clinging to the lake 

This immature Chipping Sparrow along with his brother was on the ground exploring this big new world.

This Great Blue Heron flushed up to the top of this flat topped Cyprus...

While the wily Red Shouldered Hawk lay in wait...hopefully not for the young birds I see frolicking all around. 

The good news for this day was a (#114) White Breasted Nuthatch I spotted harassing some red bellied woodpecker by another addition for the 5 mile radius.  This is my only July addition.  Got this one really awful for the record shot...then he zoomed off to deeper cover when the red bellied mama got after him. 

You can just barely tell what it is. At first I thought I caught his backside but nope its his face, beak turned to the left.  I'm busy turning those grey bars to green in my hotspot ebird bar graph.  I changed July to green, and now onto August.  Today is the 209th day of this yr.  Even if not one bird is around there is always something lovely to see.  


On Wednesday we took our picnic to Poinsett State Park, named for the Statesman Joel Roberts Poinsett who is buried a few miles away.  I got a stamp for my book and we enjoyed some exploring, it was hot so we didn't wander too far from the car's AC.

And as is the case in most of our parks, the Civilian Conservation Corp was working here in 1934-1942.  

We chose to sit in the shade and keep Mom on the cement covered areas...and that worked out great for us.  We were able to admire the beautiful work of the CCC. 

the Sluice of an old Grist Mill 

I was a bit remiss on getting photos of our day! We didn't see many birds around only a few..we had a list of about 12 including this Eastern Wood Peewee who I wanted to be something more but with long wings Im sticking on Peewee There has to be an easier way to distinguish these empids..this one never made a sound otherwise it would be an easy call...

there was some young with her/him.  

We checked out the campground, no one there only a host!  And the 4 rental cabins, looked nice and rustic, and there is a lot of hiking trails for later on when summer is over.  It is not very friendly to handicapped we had to wrestle mom's chair over rough paths and roots, the restrooms had no handicapped stalls so that makes life a challenge.  We really love taking Mom along on our outings, and although she does enjoy it, it's also sometimes hard for her to enjoy it when access is so hard.  

We stopped at Gen Thomas Sumter's memorial park, he is buried there along with his wife, and son and other family members...


On the way home we stopped at Boykin Mill Pond and saw hundreds of Egrets! The entire far bank was lined with them in the trees.  We also saw lots of Little Blue Herons, Double Crested Cormorants, Anhinga, some unknown ducks and lots of White Ibis, and I saw at least one really dark Ibis, possibly an immature or even a Glossy, but flying overhead into a dull sky impossible to tell... this is possibly a rookery?  It is a privately owned pond, and there is a tiny town called Boykin built along it's bank but everything was locked up tight..

We had a busy week and it was a great one too...hope your's was the same. 

Every day is a new Adventure.