In late May I spent a Saturday morning sitting on the back deck behind the Chinsegut Conservation Center. I wasn’t expecting to see many different birds but was hoping a few might still be migrating through. House finches are common here during migration.
I got a quick glimpse of an Eastern towhee.
All the usual birds that I could have seen in my backyard were there. Bluebirds, chickadees and downy woodpeckers were plentiful.
Here’s something I don’t see anywhere near where I live but I always see them here, a red headed woodpecker.
I was packing up to leave and I saw these out of the corner of my eye. A pair of Northern bobwhites came cruising through the back deck area. They stopped by the tiny pond for a few seconds and then headed into the bushes.
They were really skittish and disappeared quickly.
The view heading out on the trails. I didn’t walk too far this particular morning since my foot was still bothering me. It was nice to come and sit out on the deck for a while and watch all of the wildlife come through.
The blooms in my hanging Christmas cactus started to disappear and I finally realized why. They are also eating my marigolds. Ugh. I know I created this problem myself with the haven for squirrels in the backyard. We have tons of them. We don’t have dogs and they love the bird bath and hang around for fallen bird seed so they also eat the flowers.
Usual visitors to the backyard in early February include palm warblers, pine warblers, chickadees, titmouse, woodpeckers and a yellow throated warbler.
This lone robin has been in the backyard for weeks now. Then one day we got some rain and he had friends show up. They were picking out bugs in the water soaked grass. The next day his friends were gone and he was still there.
I was sitting in the backyard with my camera when this short tailed hawk made a quick fly over. I only got this blurry shot before he flew over the trees but it was cool to see him while I was in the backyard.
More of the usual visitors in early January. House finches, goldfinch and lots of pine warblers. Red bellied woodpeckers show up every day.
Also the same birds at the bird bath but now we have a lot of yellow rumped warblers visiting as well.
A downy woodpecker was giving me a “Why haven’t you taken down your Christmas lights yet” look. I had some green lights wrapped around our two short trees in the backyard that finally got taken down.
The lone hermit thrush showed up again.
I’ve been sticking close to home for a while now. In a cruel twist of fate, just as I was started to head out on hikes with my longer heavy lens and camera after my shoulder surgery, I developed a nasty case of plantar fasciitis in my left foot with severe heel pain. It’s been going on forever, almost 6 weeks and is taking forever to heal. I’m doing all of the standard stuff to help it heal but it’s being stubborn. Any one ever had to deal with this? Any words of wisdom? I’m icing it, rolling the ball on my foot, sleeping with a plantar boot, stretching, etc. I’ve always worn orthopedic shoes and slippers. On a fun note, I’ve been seeing lots of interesting things in the backyard.
The downy woodpeckers and the chickadees keep coming to the feeder together.
Another set of Carolina wren babies were hopping around our backyard. I think they had been born in my neighbor’s pot because I kept seeing an adult flying over there with bugs. Mom was close by. You can still see the fuzz in their head and necks.
A beautiful cooper’s hawk in our tree. I was walking back from getting the mail and he landed on my husband’s car in the driveway. I ran back in and grabbed my camera thinking he would be gone when I got back outside but he flew up to the tree when I came out.
I have seen hummingbirds coming through the backyard but this is the first time I was able to catch one. They were buzzing around my gardenia bush but they don’t stay long. I was looking out the back window watching a squirrel and saw her fly in and feed on my hanging purslane flowers. I grabbed my camera and waited, half hiding behind the curtains. She came back again and I was able to snap the above but then she took off and I didn’t see her again that afternoon.
A smiling gator drying out behind the pond near my house. I was riding my bike around the neighborhood with my camera and stopped to catch it.
Juvenile osprey are everywhere in the neighborhood. There’s a nest in every utility tower across the neighborhood and they are all filled with osprey.
As I was biking home I stopped at the pond down the street and noticed something moving around with an adult limpkin. I was glad I had brought my camera in my backpack. At first I thought there was just one baby but when they started swimming across the pond I could see all 5 of them. The pond turns into a river that runs through the neighborhood and once they crossed they started heading behind some houses so I lost track of them.
The rain was starting to move in. I love the summer skies after the rain. The lake across from my house is going to be a good spot to catch some orange sunsets.
I keep seeing downy woodpeckers and chickadees on the feeder at the same time.
I think this chickadee was going to tell me to get better seed.
I’ve been seeing baby bluebirds bouncing around in the backyard. I’ve seen 4 at one time but it’s hard to get more than one through the window. They are very skittish and take off if I go out in the back.
The doves were napping under the bird bath.
I think this is the first time I’ve seen a lizard shedding his skin.
Sunset in the lake across the street.
I usually stop at the lake as I’m getting the mail and one night I saw a lone skimmer cruising around right before dark. This was taken with my phone, which I usually have in my pocket. I went out there the next 2 nights with my camera but didn’t see him again.
Tricolored herons and anhingas are usual in the lake, getting that last meal before dark.
I caught this tern flying overhead right at dark. I think it’s a Caspien tern.
I stopped at nearby Folly Farms to see if I could find some hummingbirds in the butterfly garden. I only found butterflies but there were lots of yellow ones which I don’t see often.
I caught this downy woodpecker with something in his beak. It looks like a cocoon. He pulled it out of a hole in the fence.
I stopped at Possum Branch Preserve on the way home. As I headed out on the trail I caught a limpkin flying by and an osprey overhead looking for fish.
The bunnies were still around long after Easter. This one was snacking in the mimosa groundcover which blankets the preserve in the spring.
This goes under “the one that got away”. This was the only shot I got of the boblonk. It was a female. I saw the pair several times from far away as they were flying off. I had seen them here several years ago but was bummed I couldn’t get a decent shot. Hopefully they will stop by next year.
The cedar waxwings were still there, hanging out on the far end of the preserve.
The one that got away. I was walking down the back trail at Chinsegut Wildlife area and I hear a noise in the woods. Several deer were cutting across the trail way ahead of me and I just caught this buck peeking back at me before he took off into the woods.
I love coming here and seeing all of the red headed woodpeckers. They are everywhere here. And, this spring I AM going to get back up here to look for some woodpecker nests.
Another amazing thing about this place is that I was standing in one spot on the trail near the nature center and saw 4 different species of woodpeckers. Without moving I was able to get pictures of red heads and then I saw a downy, a red bellied and then a pileated. They were all hanging around the same area at the same time.
Of course I saw tons of pine warblers.
I did see an indigo bunting (either a female or immature male) at the feeder at the nature center.
My first common garter snake sighting. They are harmless and he was warming up in the sunny spot in the grass. I quickly shot this and kept going.
It was starting to look like fall in late December.
I’ve had so many birds stopping by in the backyard for a quick bath or drink in early December. Titmouse are regulars. Mockingbirds, cardinals, catbirds and pine warblers have all stopped by. I’ve only had one chickadee stop by (that I’ve seen),
There’s always a lot of pine warblers coming through.
The Carolina wrens stay on the ground most of the time, digging around under the leaves.
I’ve seen a few downy woodpeckers in the big oak tree outside the window.
This is a dangerous place for a squirrel to take a break. I’ve seen a hawk sitting here twice.