A Couple of Warblers

A couple of warbler species that I spotted right in our campground, and one is another new lifer for me! 

Welcome to my bird lifer list, #211 the Black-throated Blue Warbler!  This is a female, and she is a beauty.

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Black-throated Blue Warbler (female)

The Black-throated Blue Warbler breeds in eastern Canada, the upper northeast United States and down through the Appalachian Mountains, then migrates to the Caribbean for the winter. 

The next warbler is the Yellow Warbler.  I’m sharing three photos of several I watched foraging the bushes.  They are either females and/or immatures.  I didn’t see any adult males. 

Yellow Warblers (females and/or immatures)

 

Yellow Warblers are long distant migrants.  They breed across central and northern North America and spend winters in Central America and northern South America.

These two species are on their way to their winter grounds!

Red-breasted Nuthatch

A common nuthatch, the Red-breasted Nuthatch is a short-distant migrant.  Their northernmost populations migrate south each year within the United States, but many populations may not migrate at all. 

Those Red-breasted Nuthatches that do migrate, leave as early as July and may reach their southernmost point by September or October. 

 

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

These were taken during the evening’s golden hour at Pea Island NWR.

 

 

It’s Been A Great (Red)Start So Far

The start of my birding in the Outer Banks has me already on cloud nine.

Not only did I see two Redstarts minutes apart, they were also both lifers for me.

I worked hard trying to stay with a female American Redstart foraging in the thicket.  I thought I’d lost her and was about to give up, when she popped out of the thicket and posed for me.

Welcome to my bird lifer list, #209 American Redstart!

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American Redstart (female)

 

Now let me back up a bit on my Redstart story. 

Since arriving to the Outer Banks, my first place to explore for birds was at Pea Island NWR on Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 

When I arrived and began walking the trail, I ran into a lady who asked if I was looking for the Redstart.  I said I didn’t know what she was talking about and quickly learned a Painted Redstart was spotted just hours earlier but had since disappeared.  She was hanging to see if it would come back.  All the ‘other birders’ had given up and left. 

What was the buzz with this bird?  A bird that breeds in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, before migrating to Mexico and Central America for the winter, the Painted Redstart would be an extremely rare sighting for North Carolina.  The sighting of this lone fella had just made his species become bird #400 for the state! 

Okay, so I quickly became game. 😊  I hung that area a bit, photographing other birds.  After no sighting, I took off alone to seek more birds.  I returned a half hour later, and the lady and three others were still looking and waiting, but no Painted Redstart. 

It was then that I saw the American Redstart above.  That in itself had me really excited with the new lifer. I had to laugh, the others didn’t seem so excited.  But that was okay.

Minutes later walking a little further around the thickets as the others were, I saw a flash of red land on a branch.  Lens on the bird to enlarge, and there he was.  I shouted (I hope not too loud lol), “There he is!  There he is!”  

And so began an awesome 30-minute photo session of the Painted Redstart as he foraged for bugs, even flying within three feet of us.  We were indeed five birders giddy over the show!

Welcome to my bird lifer list, #210 Painted Redstart!

 

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Painted Redstart (male)

 

I can’t help but share four more shots. 

 

 

Painted Redstart (male)

 

What a cool, cool couple hours at Pea Island NWR. 

And you can be sure, there are more birds to come…..  😊 

 

 

 

Peregrine Falcon (Juvenile)

We’ve hit the road again for a few weeks and are now at the beautiful Outer Banks, the Atlantic Ocean barrier islands of North Carolina.

The northern half of the islands are highly populated and touristy.  We opted to go down the lower half to stay on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore where it is more remote, with the ever-changing raw beauty to explore.

 

 

While setting up our campground site, I had the pleasure of capturing this gorgeous juvenile Peregrine Falcon fly overhead.

 

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Peregrine Falcon (juvenile)

 

My Outer Banks birding fun has begun! 

 

A Northern Parula and Chanterelles

 

My first captures of Northern Parulas were back in January in Florida’s Everglades.  I had never seen this warbler in Maryland nor Delaware, although it does breed here.  Well, lo and behold, I saw a colorful flash in flight while in Delaware a week ago.

 

Northern Parula

 

The Northern Parula’s peak migration is September to mid-October; it spends the winter months in Florida’s Everglades, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Another cool sighting were these three bright chanterelle mushrooms.  Their texture and peppery flavor (some people describe as lightly fruity) makes them desirable by gourmet chefs.  (I did not disturb their beauty.)

 

Chanterelle Mushrooms

 

Series: Take A Moment and Enjoy A Sunset

 

Let’s enjoy another sunset together! 

No recent sunset shots, so I’m retrieving one from a previous summer not shared.

This sunset ended a very hot and humid August day.  We cut our boat’s motor and drifted past this Osprey nest built on a Chesapeake Bay channel marker.  There are two Osprey on the bars.  The flying gull/tern was a bonus!

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Sunset over the Chesapeake Bay

 

“Peace is seeing the sunset and knowing who to thank.”  — Amish Proverb

Lighthouses: Old Mackinac Point and Petoskey Pierhead

For those of you who love lighthouses, here are two more I photographed while in northern Michigan. 

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Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

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Petoskey Pierhead Lighthouse

Lake Michigan’s Loch Ness Sunbathing on the Beach

Of course, the title isn’t true.  Or is it? 

I’ll let you be the judge.  😉

 

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Loch Ness sunbathing?

 

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Or maybe a fire breathing dragon?

 

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Geez, now a moose!

 

What do you think? Or have I gone a little crazy….

Who knew driftwood could be such fun!  😃

 

Lake Michigan’s Rocky Coastline

 

A peak at some of Lake Michigan’s rocky coastline, where fossil-collecting is a favorite hobby for many.  I got into the hunt and found a few interesting pieces.

 

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Two Michigan Sunrises

During our Michigan visit, our hotel sat on a bluff looking east.  Every morning I was up with my coffee in hand to enjoy the sunrise from our balcony.  These were my two favorites.

 

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Sunrise Over a Foggy Valley

 

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Sunrise over Michigan

 

“The secret to a good morning is to watch the sunrise with an open heart.”   Anthony T. Hincks

 

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