Little critters at Rocky Mountain Arsenal Park

These little prairie dogs were so cute. I know, they are just cuter gophers or maybe more like meerkats. We just sat in our car and watched them run around for a while. These shots are all extremely cropped up. They were pretty far out in the field and if I opened my door they would all scurry into the holes.

My first ever coyote sighting. He was also pretty far away.

A few birds along the road: pigeon, meadowlark, kestral and a sparrow of some type.

Some of the critters we saw during our drive through Rocky Mountain Arsenal Park in Denver. I think if I lived here I would always be cruising through here.  Lots of critters to see roaming around. It was near our hotel so we drove through quickly before getting dinner. We also saw bison and deer so more on those later.

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One last look at Garden of the Gods

More pictures from our walk through Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs. It was our first day in Colorado so I took a ton of pictures. What an amazing place. Even with the dark clouds it was a magical place. I think it even drizzled a little while we were there but at least it wasn’t freezing. I’m sure on the weekends and in the summer when it’s extremely crowded it’s not as much fun. There were signs for over flow parking down the road and you have to take a shuttle into the park.

A few birds.  A pigeon and a western scrub jay. The western scrub jay was a first for me. I still haven’t seen the eastern one that lives here in Florida.

SkyWatch Friday

5 days into winter and it’s still hot down here.

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A lone pelican floating in the lake.

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Pretty pigeons.

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The obnoxious geese gang.

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A limpkin getting a snack.

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I’m thinking this is a palm warbler but not sure.

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A couple of coots.

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Sexy squirrel.

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Ibis at the lake.

Random things on my recent walk around the downtown St. Pete neighborhood lake, Crescent Lake Park.

Safety Harbor lightning – Skywatch Friday

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I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home recently and was kind of bummed the weather looked so bad. This was taken with my phone. I was thinking about jumping back in the car and going home but I thought I’d walk around the area for a few minutes.

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The only bird I found there, other than a few laughing gulls flying over head.

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The exposed sand along the seawall was covered in fiddler crabs. They are very skittish and kept running back in their little sand holes. I finally was able to get a few outside.

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They are very tiny, this is extremely cropped.

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Even with the threat of rain, there were a few people on the pier. Manatees were swimming close by but the water was too dark to get any pictures.

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I realized it was raining north of the pier and lightning was popping up.

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I only had my 70mm – 200mm lens with me and these were handheld.

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There was a lady on the pier as well who was taking pictures and she had a lightning trigger on the top of her camera that automatically shot pictures when it detected lightning. I had not heard of that accessory but it might be a cool one to look into. That would mean I would have to spend more time standing around waiting for storms. On the weekends,whenever I hear thunder starting I think “I should pack up and go to the airport parking deck to try to get lightning pictures.” It’s hard to get out and do that. I’m usually getting dinner ready or doing chores. Maybe a new toy would motivate me. Anyone have any experience using one?

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Hanging around a cemetery

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When I first got to Oakland cemetery it was raining so I stood under the covered porch at the visitor’s center and was watching the house sparrows feed at the feeder.

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The rain stopped and it was only a light drizzle so I started walking around.  I saw this brown thrasher in the bushes by the center.

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My first American goldfinch. It’s either a female or juvenile.  Males have a small black cap on their forehead. They are not uncommon in central Florida but they usually only come through during migration and I kept missing them. Thanks to Cobb for the ID.

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Pigeon hanging around the cemetery.

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Yes, another robin. They were everywhere I went in Atlanta.

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These two juvenile robins were chasing each other around.

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Another brown thrasher.

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Squirrel eating his nut upside down. He makes it look so comfortable.

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Someone had been walking his dog and they sat down to rest.

Just a few things I saw on my rainy walk around the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

Funny things on a fishing pier

Pigeon peeking out at me from the railing.

Despite their bad rap, they are beautiful birds. They have a green sheen to their feathers. And the red eyes and pink feet are quite fashionable.

This must be a hybrid pigeon of some sort. He was hanging out with the other pigeons. I couldn’t find anything like him in my Stokes Birding Guide.

“Hey, who ate all the fries?” said the crow.

Cormorant on the pole.

The only fish I saw being caught that afternoon. After walking the entire span of the south Sunshine Skyway fishing pier, I finally see someone catch a fish. It seemed to be a quiet day. Most people were sitting in their chairs sleeping. I think this is a flounder.

I had a couple of hours on a recent weekend to kill and wanted to get out and walk. I wanted to go somewhere that had a good sea breeze so I headed to the south fishing pier that used to be the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge. I parked at the entrance and spent almost two hours walking the pier. I was a little disappointed because I saw zero sharks, dolphins or manatees. All of which I saw on my last walk there last September. Maybe it’s the time of the year. The birds were pretty scarce as well. At least I got a good walk in.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for