Sunday, October 27, 2019

Pileated Woodpecker

Finally I saw a couple of Song Sparrows show up in the clear my fall buddies are back...not all but most also saw some Yellow Rump Warblers..

But I've seen nothing new so far in my radius for October.  I have about 5 days to go and right now I've got lots of chores I need to complete and am not getting out there everyday like i'd prefer.

So today my blog is going to highlight one species!  The Pileated Woodpecker.  It is the largest woodpecker species in North America it is the size of an average crow.  It is loud and raucous when it flies over and it sounds like a Jungle Bird straight out of an old Tarzan TV show!

As you can see this bird is striking with the big read tuft on the head...and it is the closest cousin to the believed now extinct Ivory Billed Woodpecker. 

This particular day I was birding my hotspot, Goodale Lake, and this bird was very close to the path,,,and when he saw me he froze...normally they don't pay me much mind, but this one decided to not move so as to be stealthy...But the blinking of the eye he couldn't stop..

When they are drumming on a tree it echoes and reverberates all over the forest...and can be heard for quite a distance. 

One fact I recall learning about woodpeckers is this the various length of the beak determines the bugs they eat in the trees..some bugs only go so deep and others go way down inside the tree...these guys will push their beak pretty far so they dig out the deepest of wood borers and other tree dwelling insects. This way there is enough food for ever beak size! And I've seen them push under the bark and get insects hiding on the trunk exposed! 

Hope you have a great week.. 

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

3rd day is a charm...

I know you're wondering what the heck Im talking about it was Friday morning I got up and that was the 3rd day of a rare bird being reported in the exact same spot...I had slept in and having coffee when I read it on the ebird rare sightings for SC.  Only 2hrs and 15 mins drive..hmmmm by the time I arrived it was 1 PM! BUT sunny breezy the prefect day to go on a Twitch.  

In the Eastern corner of Charleston County is where the Santee River empties into the Atlantic Ocean...there's several places here I've been hoping to go check out but just never have gotten around to doing so this summer was SO HOT.  As  you can see it is chock full of mature old growth trees, since it was once part of 2 plantations! Eldorado, and Ormond Hall.  The Nature Conservancy acquired the land in 1974, its 24,000 acres of Coastal plain, flood plain, and contains Carolina Bays, odd small depressions filled with water!

I arrived so late in the day I only explored one area and not very thoroughly either! There's a boardwalk I really wanted to explore, but I was dead tired when I finished walking around about 5 pm sat down to eat my sandwich and began my drive home...if the weather was not going to turn sour I would have stayed over they have a Fabulous campground FREE!

each site is huge and nestled under the moss covered live oaks! All primitive so you're on your own if you stay here..beware of generators in hot weather.  MY Interest was in the 3 large impounds East of the visitors center and museum.  

Right away there was heron to greet me Little, Tri Color,  and Great Blue...all busy hunting for a meal some having success.  

And there's reptiles...
check out those golden eyes...

The Golden Rod and other plants still in full bloom was a treat 

Monarch butterfly

Double Crested Coromorant

Pied Billed Grebe 

The Big Well Trail was where the rare bird had been showing up so I took the trail.  It circles around the 3 impoundments.  

Parking is close to the trail so I drove over and parked by the boat launch area..right away small birds were darting in and out of the sedge and rushes.

If you're familiar with the Sharp Tailed Sparrow "Nelson's" you will recognize this guy...he didn't come out fully in the open I got 3 shots and each one filled in a piece of the puzzle.  It's been so long since I am seeing sparrows that it's like starting over!  We also had the Swamp, and Field come out for photo opts.

One of my fellow birders felt this could be a clay colored sparrow but no black outlines of the check patch so I called it Field Sparrow but then ebird reviewer saw it and said it's an Immature White Crowned...a state bird for me so yeah! 

                                                                     Gr Yellow Legs

We had Gr and Lesser Yellow Legs, Dunlins, Stilt Sandpiper, Least and Western Sandpiper, Short Billed Dowitchers,

Maybe some long thrown in too...couldn't tell you the difference!

Egrets, Night Herons, Semi-P Plovers,

Black Bellied Plovers,

Had Prairie and Palm Warblers peeking in and out of the tall flora along the trail edges...

Prairie Warbler 

Palm Warbler 

Wilson's Snipe

Fly Over Wood Storks 

I hoped for a Sedge Wren...couldn't nail one down but found my favorite the Marsh Wren 

And although we found our target right away I saved it for last wish my photos could have been better but he stayed just out of good range,

Hudsonian Godwit!  
That link takes you to the range map so you can see how far out of his normal range he was!

I had the place to my self for a while but then these other nice people joined in the search, everyone went home happy! 

The 2 people with their back to us in this photo run an Adventure Guide Service.  They will soon be taking a group to Costa Rica.  That's Paul on the left and his lovely wife Amanda on the right.  We spent a couple hours birding together and what a pleasant meeting it was.  If you want to check them out look for them here..

Epic Nature Tours 

... these young people give me HOPE.


Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

October is Hard

...for me, the moon in my house must be falling...

I have been birding a little... my radius continues to draw the regulars nothing new so far this month...I hope it will improve as the migration goes forward. So I've been on warbler watch and I'll share some of what I've found along the way not all were photographed...none of these came out of my 5 mile...because I didn't want to miss all the good stuff that is out beyond the 5 mile. 

                                                           Olive Clouded Skipper

Eastern Phoebe 

American Redstart female
And a male

White eyed Vireo

And the first Ovenbird I've seen a long time!

                                             Palm Warbler

Eastern Wood Peewee

Scarlet Tanager Non breeding male, a county bird for me..

Summer Tanager Immature Male

Young Eastern Bluebird

A Northern Parula 

A Spice Bush Swallowtail Caterpillar

One of the deer went into the old barn...I think they like it in there...

Sadly my Mom fell again and she got some really awful cuts as she hit the door frame on her way down.  With old fragile skin it just ripped it to pieces...She went to the ER and was back home a few hrs later, but she will be house bound for a while till she gets able to use her walker again...

That morning we had taken her with us to the Congaree National Park..she didn't really want to go but we made her go anyway...

She had her 95th Last week...

...this reminds me of meringue on Mom's Banana Pudding.

She actually did not enjoy the outing and demanded we take her home so we did...home is not always a safe place to be...she has forgotten how much she loves a day out and about in nature... I hope I never forget all the great times I've enjoyed sharing nature with my Mom the tree hugger...taken Dec 19, 2010 on the same boardwalk!

I know you all have read many blogs featuring my Mom...I've been sharing our Adventures for many years so I will keep you posted on her recovery.  She has a strong will and spunk and  I know she will try hard to get over this set back...if love alone could mend her she would be healed instantly. 

Every day is a new Adventure.