Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas tree of crossbills

It seems even mother nature is in a festive mood and had decorated this spruce tree with Red Crossbills, perched on branches like little red and yellow ornaments!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Preparing for a second shot at 500

Ok, here we go! Second shot at 500 species of birds and mammals in a calendar year coming up for 2013; a mere 13 days away!

As I've said before, last year didn't go so well, this year, though, things are going to be different! I can feel it.

Here's the plan right now.

January 1rst:
Grand Valley Road north of Cochrane in Alberta; Great Gray Owl, Spruce Grouse, Townsend's Solitaire, Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike,  Gray Jay, Mountain Chickadee and Golden Eagle are the hoped for targets.

Then onto the Airdrie area for some hoped for Snowy Owls, Prairie Falcons, Snow Buntings, Partridge , Ring-necked Pheasant and Gyrfalcon.

Finally back to Calgary with some Barrow's and Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Canada Goose, Mallard, Bufflehead, Trumpeter Swan, Killdeer, Rusty Blackbird, Brown Creeper, Hairy Woodpecker, Great Horned Owl, Bald Eagle, Pileated Woodpecker, American Crow and Common Redpoll are the hoped for species.

January 2nd:
Birding around my neighborhood in Calgary; hoping for Black-capped Chickadee, White and Red-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Common Raven, House Finch, Pine Siskin, Black-billed Magpie, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Common Raven, Red and White-winged Crossbill and Pine Grosbeak .

Then it's back to Houston in the afternoon.

January 3rd:
Birding in my yard in the morning in Houston.
Vultures, Pine, Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, White Ibis, American Pipits, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Common Grackles, Chipping Sparrow, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Northern Mockingbird, Red-winged Blackbirds, etc.

January 4th:
Birding around the neighborhood;
Blue Jay, Robin, Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Great and Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, American Goldfinch, Rock Pigeon, Savannah and Swamp Sparrow, Sedge and House Wren, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Bluebird, Loggerhead Shrike, Starling, House Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and many more.

January 5th:
Down to the coast for plenty of goodies and I should have eclipsed 100 by now!

Stay tuned.

Hope

Please keep the victims of the Connecticut shooting in your prayers.


Never lose hope; there is always hope.

"It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars."
-  Richard Evans

"It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart."
-  Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl



Monday, December 17, 2012

A pretty little wren

Haven't had much time for posting as I'm sure you've noticed and it's just going to be a quick post today.


Sedge Wrens from about a month back. A small group was hanging out at the local pond and posed for some shots- occasionally. Tough little buggers, always in perpetual motion. Don't know if they are still in the area.