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Earthling

Birding / nature / photography ~ Older Asexuals for light walking and hiking nature adventures ~

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daveb

Was the kookaburra sitting on an old gum tree? (learned that song in elementary school back in the early 60s; although I have forgotten much of it) :)

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kelico

Thanks, Autumn!! : )

Went birding with dad today, and I got a bunch of species. I don't have the pictures up yet, but the array of species I saw/photographed: scarlet tanager, orchard oriole, baltimore oriole, catbird, blue jay, eastern towhee, great crested flycatcher...hmmm and some more. They were all going back and forth to a big cherry tree!

Edit: I forgot to mention the indigo bunting!! That isn't very common where I am. They're gorgeous. : )

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butterflydreams

Wow, what a great thread to find ^_^

I'm not into birding myself, but I loved seeing all the ones here. Seems all I ever see are redwing blackbirds, who are the jerks of the bird world so I'm told.

I think I can share my funny nature story here. There have been these loud creatures every night outside my house. Not crickets, something else. Some kind of water creatures in the mini swamp area my neighbors created on their farmstead. Too late for tadpoles, so it wasn't them. I recorded the noise, and sent it to my brother who majored in environmental science. I said, "what are these mysterious creatures?" His response? "What the hell is wrong with you? Have you never heard a frog before?!" *facepalm* I didn't think an entire ecosystem of frogs had formed in that mini swamp, since it only just formed this spring.

Glad my brother could straighten me out though :)

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daveb

LOL, Hadley!

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kelico

I forgot to bring my camera down, darn! Ah well, hopefully I'll upload some pics soon. : )

Seems all I ever see are redwing blackbirds, who are the jerks of the bird world so I'm told.

They can be jerks, but I think the biggest jerks are European starlings and cowbirds! Ugh. Such pests.

Also lol about the frog! We have toads around here, but I'm not sure if I ever heard a frog. O: So I might've been confused, too. :P Haha. Well, so glad you've found this thread!!

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Autumn Sunrise

Was the kookaburra sitting on an old gum tree? (learned that song in elementary school back in the early 60s; although I have forgotten much of it) :)

I also learned that song in primary school, Dave:

"Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree . . .

merry, merry king of the bush is he.

Laugh, kookaburra, laugh, kookaburra -

gay your life must be."

Last line possibly not very pc any more :o

Oddly enough, there is an old gum tree down near our creek with a long, lowish branch where I've often seen a kookaburra sitting, and periodically diving to the ground after some small creature, then returning to the same branch to swallow it.

Welcome to the thread, Hadley :) I don't think you need to be embarrassed by not recognising that noise as a frog: there are lots of different kinds of frogs, and they make all sorts of noises, some very bizarre and "un-froglike" :D That mini-swamp sounds like an interesting place - I wonder what else lives there?

Kelico, those birds sound very exotic to me, although I don't suppose they are to you. i'm looking forward to the pictures!

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butterflydreams

They can be jerks, but I think the biggest jerks are European starlings and cowbirds! Ugh. Such pests.

Also lol about the frog! We have toads around here, but I'm not sure if I ever heard a frog. O: So I might've been confused, too. :P Haha. Well, so glad you've found this thread!!

Hmm, I don't think I've heard of those birds. I think my brother also told me that male blue jays are like the super annoying frat boys of the bird world. Don't quote me on that though :lol:

Was the kookaburra sitting on an old gum tree? (learned that song in elementary school back in the early 60s; although I have forgotten much of it) :)

I also learned that song in primary school, Dave:

"Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree . . .

merry, merry king of the bush is he.

Laugh, kookaburra, laugh, kookaburra -

gay your life must be."

Last line possibly not very pc any more :o

Oddly enough, there is an old gum tree down near our creek with a long, lowish branch where I've often seen a kookaburra sitting, and periodically diving to the ground after some small creature, then returning to the same branch to swallow it.

Welcome to the thread, Hadley :) I don't think you need to be embarrassed by not recognising that noise as a frog: there are lots of different kinds of frogs, and they make all sorts of noises, some very bizarre and "un-froglike" :D That mini-swamp sounds like an interesting place - I wonder what else lives there?

Kelico, those birds sound very exotic to me, although I don't suppose they are to you. i'm looking forward to the pictures!

Oh wow, I remember that song now too! That takes me back!

Hehe, I'm not too embarrassed about it :) It was funny, and my brother took the chance to give me a good ribbing over it. In the spring, the tadpoles make all the noise, but they come from the river which is about a quarter mile in the opposite direction. I remember when I was little all those marsh/swamp sounds were my favorite. They either meant spring was coming or I was in one of my favorite places.

I actually get a lot of nature exposure where I live now. There's a strip of 8 miles of complete wilderness just north of me where I ride my bike (in developed-since-forever New England, that's a lot of wilderness). In the 5 years I've lived here, and only ever while riding my bike, I've seen:

An adult moose on the side of the road only 20 feet or so away

The biggest black bear I've ever seen in my life, about the size of a washing machine, crossing the road in front of me (I thought I was going to go over the handlebars I braked so hard!)

A mother moose with her baby crossing the road in front of me. That was really scary. Moose are so big, and a mama with a baby like that could've gotten ugly on me real fast. I was going over a crest in the road, so she was slowly revealed. I thought it was a dump truck stopped in the middle of the road.

Just a few days ago I saw a little baby black bear teeter off the side of the road and tumble down the embankment ^_^

You'd think bears would be more scary, but my brother told me a moose can run really fast, like upwards of 35mph. On a flat road I can sprint my bike at around 30mph for maybe 10-15 seconds. Don't mess with moose!

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Autumn Sunrise

Oh wow, Hadley - I never imagined bike-riding could expose you to such excitements! Here we have to avoid kangaroos on the road near our place, especially at night - and a kangaroo hit at speed makes a mess of one's car (so I'm told . . and I guess it doesn't do the kangaroo much good either :o ), but black bears and moose . . . just, wow! It sounds like you live in a huge nature park - amazing :D

By the way, I had NO idea that tadpoles made noises - what do they sound like?

Edit: I just spotted one of our resident kookaburras sitting on the edge of the garden bed I cleared a couple of days ago - I'm glad I hadn't put any new plants in it yet :D . I guess I'm going to have to net that bed when I do.)

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butterflydreams

Oh wow, Hadley - I never imagined bike-riding could expose you to such excitements! Here we have to avoid kangaroos on the road near our place, especially at night - and a kangaroo hit at speed makes a mess of one's car (so I'm told . . and I guess it doesn't do the kangaroo much good either :o ), but black bears and moose . . . just, wow! It sounds like you live in a huge nature park - amazing :D

By the way, I had NO idea that tadpoles made noises - what do they sound like?

Edit: I just spotted one of our resident kookaburras sitting on the edge of the garden bed I cleared a couple of days ago - I'm glad I hadn't put any new plants in it yet :D . I guess I'm going to have to net that bed when I do.)

I've never seen a kangaroo in real life, but I know they're pretty big and pretty fast. I wouldn't want to hit one either :O

Hitting a deer isn't generally a problem. Might hurt your car, might not. They may let you take the carcass for meat if you ask them. But hitting a moose? Bad bad bad. When you hit one, you basically cut its legs out from underneath, and that 1500-2000 pound body tips right over perfectly on your windshield and you. I think the signs warning about it are funny though, they say "Brake for moose! It could save your life!" And I always think, braking as opposed to what? Flooring it?

I guess it's not the tadpoles themselves, but like, whatever they turn into before they're completely frogs? This is exactly what they sound like:

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Autumn Sunrise

It's nice to know that other countries have funny road signs too :lol: I didn't realise moose were quite that heavy!

Thanks for the tadpole/frog recording. I've heard that noise at night, but I didn't know what it was - just thought it was some kind of night insect, I guess.

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Skycaptain

Hadley167, hitting deer is often fatal, because they come through the windscreen after impact. Here in the UK deer are the most frequent causes of serious injury to humans after collision with animals

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Anthracite_Impreza

Speaking of animals you don't want to hit, birds can be pretty darn dangerous if they go through the windscreen! My dad hit a seagull many, many moons ago that luckily missed him, but it made a right mess of the interior (no idea what car it was, probably the Moggy or Escort). He also hit a pheasant while on a motorbike before and how he didn't come off I'll never know. All wildlife is dangerous on a motorbike (we almost squished a rabbit yesterday, luckily at the last moment it legged it)!

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Skycaptain

I once hit a pheasant at 130, and it literally exploded on my bumper. A badger at 90 resulted in a new bumper on a different car.

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LeftyGreenMario

^Yikes! It must've been a nightmare cleaning those up! I feel sick even imagining it. :wacko:

I'm only 20 around here, but I love birding as much as the stereotypical old lady. ^_^ I see western scrub jays, northern mockingbirds, mourning doves, black phoebes, Anna's hummingbirds, Allen's hummingbirds, American crows, house finches, house sparrows, and rock pigeons. Western scrub jays are my favorites. They really love my shelled peanuts.

I wish I can have more equipment or more locations to visit, but my own SoCal suburban backyard is interesting enough to watch birds daily.

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Mz Terry

I was admiring all the birds visiting the feeders in the garden - greenfinches, and a willow warbler was flitting about the shrubs - when a female sparrow hawk flew in and visited the bird bath for a quick splash and a drink.

Result - all the small birds vanished quickly. The hawk was a beautiful creature though and it was great to have such a fantastic view of her.

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Autumn Sunrise

That sounds exciting, Miss Terry :)

We had another visit from the straw-necked ibis yesterday, shortly before sunset - but about thirty-six of them this time! it was an amazing sight, especially when they all took off again :o :D

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LeftyGreenMario

So nice! I actually got a hawk one time in my yard. I couldn't identify it since I'm not familiar with hawk field marks. I know the hawks in my area make, like, a peep peep peep noise. I remember hearing that when I was going out to hand out peanuts to my western scrub jay, and that scrub jay looked really tense. Once the hawk was gone, the scrub jay took my peanuts like always. ^_^

I don't get straw-necked ibises in my area (just long-billed curlews sometimes, I guess), but I saw a picture of one. They look so pretty! That sunset scene, looks like a perfect time for a photograph!

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Mz Terry

Was delighted to have three swifts fly high over the garden screaming this evening. I don't see them here very often.

WP_20150712_20_37_27_Pro_zpsonpp3uso.jpg

And I found another jay feather in the garden. The jays visit quite often. The blue is along the wing.

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Veghead

I'd love to go birding if your ever up in the Portland Oregon area. There are TON's of places to go watch birds. I often go hiking (albeit, I tend to go for more strenuous hikes, but I'm cool with easy too.) and always bring my camera. Though, usually, when I spot an interesting bird, I forget to photo because I'm always so fascinated with them. In my adventures, I have (literally) had a run in with a groce, which was quite amazing, I have been able to take pictures of blue herring, bald eagles, osprey, an owl--not sure what kind, but it was big--I have hummingbirds who visit regularly in my front yard, and stellar jays and blue birds too. Also, I have a wood pecker who has returned two years in a row to the tree in my front yard. Today, I saw an unusual looking bird that I thought was a robin, but it had a black hood and its tail feathers were white tipped. Ok, happy birding to all. Have to run some errands.

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Mz Terry

Was very pleased to see that the great crested grebes on the local park lake had a brood of three chicks. The chicks were being very vocal pestering the parents for food. They will often travel on the parent's back, but these, although small, were paddling along independently.

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vervain

Oups, I've been away from this thread too long :redface:

Hadley > I did exactly the same with the frogs in the garden, aged about 20 :lol: ;)

Miss Terry > well done grebes ! :wub: hope they all grow up good fishers and dancers. I'm really lucky where I live at the moment, my flat looks across over some houses to a church tower (at least I think that's what it is) with swifts nesting at the top, in the summer there are handfuls swirling around and calling. I don't get swallows or house martins (or any of the Five Signs of Spring featured on Springwatch), so spring and summer for me is embodied by swifts, and I love them to bits.

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Mz Terry

Bat walk last night in the local park. There is a large lake, lots of large old trees, and underground caves. Bat utopia. :)

The sun set as we stood on a path between trees and the lake. The fish came to the surface feeding on the mosquitoes, ducks and geese flew over, silhouetted against the reddening sky. Then bats started to flit about. First the large noctules flying high overhead, then long-eared bats, soprano pipistrelles and over the water Daubenton's skimming the surface for prey. Common pipistrelles were flying under the trees further on.

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Skycaptain

Hooray, yesterday I got to have a nice four mile walk along the old railway between Ball's Green and Groombridge. I only saw four butterfly species as the wind had got up so many of the larger species were grounded. There were plenty of birds, including a song thrush, sparrow, a heard but not seen woodpecker, Jay, wood pigeons and others which I can't identify as I left my bird book at home

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vervain

(meanwhile I went walking through a beautiful Finnish forest and saw absolutely nothing except midges, which bit me thoroughly all along my hairline leaving an interesting pattern)

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Djangolili

I'm over 50 - my hobbies are birding and photography. If you want to go for a light early morning nature adventure in the Sacramento area drop me an e :0)

Yesterday I saw 2 Bald Eagles and a Great-tailed Grackle which is most unusual because we don't have those here ! :)

Oh, that's SO up my alley. Wish I could join you, but I live in Europe. A bit far I'd say. Still, I love the subject you posted.

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Djangolili

Was delighted to have three swifts fly high over the garden screaming this evening. I don't see them here very often.

WP_20150712_20_37_27_Pro_zpsonpp3uso.jpg

And I found another jay feather in the garden. The jays visit quite often. The blue is along the wing.

Oh my, I may be wrong, but I think the blue jays are the reason you don't see many swifts anymore. I was delighted to see magpies in my trees until I realized that they terrorized the doves, killed their babies, ate all their food and just took over the place. Luckily, my doves are back this year and so far all I've seen are black birds .. but they're not as aggressive. I love all animals .. I just wish they didn't need to kill others in order to survive themselves. Ugh.

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Skycaptain

Looking out of a train window I saw a yellowhammer flying past. The first I've seen in years

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Mz Terry

Was delighted to have three swifts fly high over the garden screaming this evening. I don't see them here very often.

WP_20150712_20_37_27_Pro_zpsonpp3uso.jpg

And I found another jay feather in the garden. The jays visit quite often. The blue is along the wing.

Oh my, I may be wrong, but I think the blue jays are the reason you don't see many swifts anymore. I was delighted to see magpies in my trees until I realized that they terrorized the doves, killed their babies, ate all their food and just took over the place. Luckily, my doves are back this year and so far all I've seen are black birds .. but they're not as aggressive. I love all animals .. I just wish they didn't need to kill others in order to survive themselves. Ugh.

The jay the feathers are from is the European Jay. It is not a predator of swifts, although it will eat other birds' nestlings. I doubt it would eat baby swifts much as the habitats of the two birds are so different.

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Tja

Not a "birder", per se, but I like taking their picture:

100_1435_zpskx4kamw6.jpg

100_1439_zps48heb6zm.jpg

100_1449_zpslbcier74.jpg

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LeftyGreenMario

Was delighted to have three swifts fly high over the garden screaming this evening. I don't see them here very often.

WP_20150712_20_37_27_Pro_zpsonpp3uso.jpg

And I found another jay feather in the garden. The jays visit quite often. The blue is along the wing.

Oh my, I may be wrong, but I think the blue jays are the reason you don't see many swifts anymore. I was delighted to see magpies in my trees until I realized that they terrorized the doves, killed their babies, ate all their food and just took over the place. Luckily, my doves are back this year and so far all I've seen are black birds .. but they're not as aggressive. I love all animals .. I just wish they didn't need to kill others in order to survive themselves. Ugh.

Nah, I don't think magpie populations pose any risk to dove populations (which dove are you talking about?). I'd point the fingers at us and those damn cats (also by us).

It looks mean, but magpies are hungry themselves, and they have growing families as well.

I love corvids though, so my bias might be showing.

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