Friday, March 27, 2020

On the Move?

I guess you all noticed that I changed my publish days to Friday Night instead of Sunday Morning,,,,mainly because email subscribers don't get their email notice till Sunday night meaning they read on Monday morning, so I think Monday morning is not the right time for my blog...a blog about my simple uneventful life is not Monday morning material.  Busy people are up and about on writing is more for slow down weekend reading.  So I will see how it goes as I work on the post a little each day.  

Saturday I jumped out of bed wide awake...made my coffee the dogs eventually came in for their breakfast, then I fired up my laptop and saw a rare bird I decided why not...I'm not even thinking I will actually see the bird but it's a beautiful I packed up my cooler with lunch fixins' and down the dreaded I-95 I shot.  Felt so sorry for these folks heading North...this looks pretty serious it was an 8 mile backup.  

Amazing the campground at the Santee Coastal Reserve was is a FCFS campground.  What happened to the no more than 3 in a group thing?  I would not want to be in a full campground right now.  There is a visitor's center in this shot somewhere...behind these moss covered live oaks...

Anyway I headed to the Big Well Trail where I was around no one! 

The water level was low I figured it would be the opposite with all the rain we had in Feb.  The lower levels was perfect for the waders..

Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron 

White form Little Blue Heron 

Tricolored Heron

Just off the trail a Downy Woodpecker stops to look at me..

                Good example of a Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs

I found all sorts of critters I could  give my solo attention to...def more than 6 ft personal space given here.

                                                           Love the patterns on his body...

          SAW many gators of various sizes from babies to over 7 ft...

this one is about 2 ft in length

I ran into 3 people in total on the trails, and no one stopped, all said hello and kept walking as did I. 

After lunch I moved the van  to the Cape Trail parking area, and walked around the impounds I ended up hiking 5 miles in total, my feet were pretty tired...

Many Glossy Ibis stayed distant but I zoomed for this shot..their colors are so deep and rich.

Today it rained but I decided to go out and get some supplies in a neighboring town that has only 2 cases of the CV-19 not the 54 my town now has...I used alcohol to clean my hands when I removed my gloves upon exiting the store.  Then I went to my favorite spot the Beaver Pond!


The pond is in good shape the water plants are vigorous and the birds were out.  The young Eagle looked pretty lonely as the parents have left him alone now.  He will hang around the nest as long as he needs to.  I felt really sorry for him so I name him Solo. Could be a her...have no way of telling.  

Here he is in his Aerie.  He has those big wings and when he feels like he just can't stand to be alone anymore he will soar away....I will miss him when he goes. When I come to the nest and he is not there I will feel that pain deep inside the one you feel when someone really special is not there. 

King Fishers were out in numbers on this rainy day...a dull sky didn't bring out those awesome blues of this bird...

And a combo of the Kingfisher and a Great Blue Heron. 

This Tufted Titmouse may be feeding young already, while the White Eyed Vireo just got back in town!

A little farther down the road is Ashwood Lake, recently refilled after the dam there broke free in 2015.  It's not officially open but I go and park roadside and see what birds are there...some Ring Neck Duck about 15 today, Pied Billed Grebe, and at least 3 American Coots, and some Canada Geese on the water, an Osprey overhead, and at least one Double Crested Cormorant diving below.  

Up in the tree by the lake a Savannah Sparrow my FOY. 

Had Tree Swallow, Northern Rough Winged Swallow, and Purple Martin flying over the lake catching bugs...lots of competition. I may go back there tomorrow I think I heard a LeConte's Sparrow! There is only one call that has that sound...If it's not raining.

Purple Martin

Tuesday: buckets of rain, thunder and the whole 9...
Wednesday: Went to a couple spots...saw this cool Osprey...

It's fun staying away from people...a good week. 

Every day is a new Adventure.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Preppers Part II

I am certainly not making light of this pandemic.  I hope all the measures taken by our officials will help stop the spread! So this was our last day as sis called it the Big Push to see how many birds we could see while she is here.  New flight is leaving Wednesday at 2 pm so we have the rest of Monday and Tuesday to spend together...

inside the Visitors Center

I left us at Congaree National Park.  We had a great day.  Went home tired! We reviewed our photos and spruced up our ebird list, and stayed up late to see all the news on closings due to the Virus.  Now our town has issued a curfew!  Tuesday on the way out we saw a Goose in the vernal pool in the clear cut!


That was fun!  It is one of my goals to have birded every county in my State of SC.  There's 46 counties, and I need to bird 19 of those counties...and one of them is a neighboring county! I have seen many birds in Lexington county but never kept a list or turned it we chose to go to Saluda Shoals Park.  It's a family styled park with lots of picnic areas, and walk/bike paths and the River is good for paddlers.  

We had our picnic first since it was lunchtime when we arrived...

It's hard to know if you have a virus or not with all this Pollen around! Notice it on the surface of the little turtle pond.  Even the turtle's back is covered.  

The Red Shouldered Hawk...landed near us to see what we were up to...

Then he followed us to  the river..

Sis spotted this Osprey across the river snacking on a fish he caught...

And a State Bird for both of us kept us scratching our heads at first, the Orange Crowned Warbler...

I've never seen the orange that it's named for...I guess it's like a Kinglet and raises it whenever he feels threatened...

And this Black and White Warbler was so obliging...I feel instantly under his spell.  

We had an eastern Bluebird waiting on us to return...We had one more stop for the day...we had seen on the Rare bird list a Pacific Loon had been seen and the photos proved it.  Since I needed it for my life list we headed to the Rusty Anchor Marina on Lake Murray, a huge lake in Lexington and Richland County.   


Where we scanned loon after loon.  All were Common Loons.  I tried like heck to make this one into a Pacific...but it's so obviously not one...

no chin strap!

But it was close! These are however beautiful birds so we enjoyed looking at each one they were FAR away except a few came close...

We had a long string of Red Breasted Mergansers on the opposite side...

So we gave up and headed home.

I looked at every shot I took not once but twice, just didn't see it...and Wednesday after taking Sis to the airport I went for a second look since I was withing 9 miles of the spot..

More gorgeous Common Loons, and no new reports of a Pacific...I drove back a few miles to the Dam area of Lake Murray, where a Horned Grebe was seen yesterday and he was still there and what a beauty...he is coming into breeding plumage or molting...

White tip on end of beak...ruby red eyes...

I wish Sis had been there to see it with me!  I'm keeping an eye out on the rare report to see if that Pacific Loon pops up again.  So I finally created a bird list for Lexington County and now I need only 18 more counties!  I had such a wonderful time with my Sis...we did exactly what we wanted to do nothing more and nothing less.  While the world went bonkers around us, we BIRDED!  I hope we can all just go out and do what we love to do until this thing blows over.  I am semi-sequestered at home now.  I will however visit my favorite birding spots when the mood strikes me.  

Tomorrow it is going to be 85 degrees...and it's Spring!
I know 3 dogs that need baths!

Every day is a new Adventure.