Earthling

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

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teatree

Did a nice new-to-me hike today, up to some ledges with a great view of the surrounding lakes and mountains/hills. The only wildlife I saw were the little orange efts (juvenile newts) that are prevalent in the forest after it rains. I herded a couple off the trail so that they wouldn't get stepped on!

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Blackthorn

The other day I took a walk up to Castle Hill (a local old hillfort). Saw plenty of rabbit holes, but no actual rabbits. Did see a robin pair though, and heard a woodpecker in the woods on my way up there. The bluebells have finished now, but we still have buttercups and forget-me-nots.

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Blackthorn

Saw a heron today while on a visit to a local art gallery. There is a river right by the gallery - we have had a lot of rain these past few days and the water was running pretty fast. The heron was standing firmly in the water waiting for dinner to swim by. Herons are a lot more common around here these past few years - the river water quality must be better than it used to be.

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Autumn Sunrise

We've had a couple of visits from a flock of starlings over the past few days; interesting, because we don't often see them around here. I've also seen a flock of grey butcher birds, half a dozen or so eastern rosellas, a pair of crimson rosellas and a pair of galahs (I can't help wondering if this is the same couple I see from time to time - always just the two, and usually on or beside the drive).

There've also been a lot of kangaroos lately, mainly early morning and late afternoon. No really young ones at the moment, but a few small but independent ones. They come fairly close to the house, and it's clear from the traces they leave that they come very close when we're in bed. (We also occasionally hear them grunting late at night.)

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Mz Tricky

I had a lovely walk over the marshes yesterday evening, where there is a heronry in the woods. We saw so many birds, herons, egrets, woodpeckers, a beautifully marked male linnet, close views of a marsh harrier, a buzzard carrying prey in its talons, a couple of male cuckoos having a voice off. Being surrounded by cuckoo calls was amazing. The dog roses were in bloom and scenting the air. A fox walked over the marsh carrying a large rabbit in its mouth, so some cubs were in for a good feed. There is no feeling of peace deeper for me than a walk in the wilds.

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Blackthorn

It must be amazing having Kangaroos coming close to your house Autumn Sunrise!

That walk sounds brilliant Mz Ginny.

A sparrow brought its fledgling to the back garden yesterday afternoon. The fledging perched in the rose bush while the parent brought it mini suet pellets :)

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Skycaptain

No piccies, sadly, but walking near Winchester we saw a red deer lurking at the edge of some woodland, and two swans with four cygnets swimming in the river

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Frankenkuddly

So this is what happens when I max out the ISO setting on my phone to take a shot of tonight's full moon:

20160620_222457_zpsrk8vp4ii.jpg

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Muledeer

Yesterday I saw two large black and yellow butterflies dancing together for about five minutes. Also heard at least three different bird songs. How wonderful it was to wake up to the sound of a rushing river and birds singing at first light.

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Blackthorn

Bluetits and sparrows are still bringing their fledglings to the back garden. The comfrey is in full flower which attracts a lot of bees :)

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Mz Tricky

That's nice, Blackthorn. The bees have been on the French lavender in my garden for a few weeks. That is going over now, but the English lavender will be out soon.

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Blackthorn

My French lavender died over the winter - due to all the rain I think. The English pulled through though and is now in full flower.

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Muledeer

I just installed a hummingbird feeder outside my bedroom window. For the next two months, I can look forward to the hum of their wings and chirping sounds during the early morning hours, against the backdrop sounds of a rushing river at a room temperature of 10-15 degrees C. . This is Summer heaven in the mountains!

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Mz Tricky

Hummingbirds. :o I am so jealous.

Went out to isten to nightjars last night. Wonderful sound. For those that haven't heard it, here's a Youtube link.https://youtu.be/TIzjatZaHhE

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Autumn Sunrise

Last Friday "cats" and I went on a whale watching tour with my other daughter and my two grandsons (aged 14 and 11). The weather wasn't great - overcast, showery and windy, with a 5 metre swell - so it was a bit of a roller coaster ride, and we were glad of the sea sickness remedies that came out of "Mother's magic bag".

We found a pod of humpback whales quite quickly, so we followed them. We saw two travelling together and we were able to watch them for an hour or so. At first they appeared to be sleeping, but apparently only one half of their brain sleeps at a time, so they don't drown - it's called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep (what a mouthful :lol:) Later on they became more lively and came quite close to the boat. We also saw a little penguin bobbing about in the water, and a sea lion, as well as lots of different sea birds including albatross, shearwaters and gannets. Altogether it was a pretty good day :)

We're hoping to go back again later in the year, when the whales will be travelling back from their calving grounds, and maybe see some mothers with their babies. Apparently when they're on their way back to the Antarctic the whales are more relaxed and playful :D

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teatree

Autumn, what a lovely time that sounds like! I went on a whale watch many moons ago (from the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts) and our boat became surrounded by feeding humpbacks--it was so incredible seeing them breach the surface with their mouths open, gathering all the plankton (I think that's what they were feeding on). It was breathtaking! It's incredible how large they are.

May I ask what the seasickness remedies are? I'm intrigued!...

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Autumn Sunrise

teatree, I had Kwells tablets (Hyoscine Hydrobromide), Travel Calm Ginger and ginger lozenges. The Kwells reputedly cause drowsiness, so we went for half doses, but the other things are just natural remedies. I don't know which actually did the trick because I used all three (remembering an earlier uncomfortable incident), but I got through the cruise with no problems. A propos of natural remedies, It also seems to help if you keep you eyes on the horizon instead of looking up and down. Interestingly, the only one of us who actually threw up was the eleven year old who cracked hardy and refused all the remedies (I did feel sorry for him, though!)

Most of south eastern Australia is experiencing pretty wild weather today, so I'm guessing the whale watching tours are NOT running :lol:

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Frankenkuddly

That sounds amazing, Autumn! I wish our recent whale watching tour went so well. All we got to see of any whales is the brief glance of the backs of a couple minke whales as they quickly breached and disappeared.

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Frankenkuddly

Random photo from my last vacation:

(Yes, I'm still sorting through them. I take a lot of photos, okay?)

IMG_7898%20mod%20copy_zpsj8guneal.jpg

This is Mavis. She is a moose.

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Muledeer

IMG_20160709_090450.jpgThis is A-1 Peak. Can you guess where its name came from?

Nice Mavis the Moose you captured there, Q

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Frankenkuddly

Thank you!

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daveb

Steak sauce, Muledeer?

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Muledeer

Steak sauce, Muledeer?

I'm not sure if that qualifies for a "bad pun"... ;)

A-1 Peak was named because during a few weeks of the year, as the snow melts off of it, it looks like the letter A with the number 1 beneath it, just like in the photo I posted.

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brenda_an

I'd say, I'm not much of a birder.

However, I do have a cardinal, that regularly enters my Gazebo,

and perches on one of the chair backs, and looks into house at me.

Would you consider that as being birded. Ahah ha.

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Mz Tricky

Lovely walk round the lake in the park today. It was cool after two very hot days, there were butterflies around including a beautiful red admiral, and the great crested grebe had a noisy chick swimming next to it calling for food non-stop.

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Mz Tricky

Seeing more species of birds in the garden - nuthatch and blackcap.

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Muledeer

I just saw the most spectacular fireball in the southern sky. 10:40 PM Mountain time. It started as flashes of color above the trees in the western sky. I thought "nobody lives over there, who is shooting fireworks in the forest?" It rose higher into the sky shedding balls of red and blue light from an orange "head" Then it began to break apart and created this incredible long trail of brilliant orange lights, all the time rising higher and higher into the southern sky. It took perhaps 90 seconds to go from the western horizon to the southeastern horizon. The trail of fire was as long as one third of the night sky from west to east. By the time it "set" in the east, there was very little left of it. Wow. I just witnessed a space object break apart and burn up in the atmosphere!

Update 7/28: I just read about it in the local morning paper. It was actually space junk - a Chinese rocket booster launched a month ago. It was seen throughout Northern Utah. And while it seemed to me that it lasted well over a minute, the newspaper said it was only visible for 15-20 seconds. Nevertheless, it was my first viewing of a fireball in the sky and it was a spectacular sight.

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Skycaptain

Wowsers. Very jealous, not many people are lucky enough to see anything like that

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Mz Tricky

Saw juvenile blackcap visiting the birdbath. They have a brown cap, like the female, but have that fluffy look of baby birds.

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daveb

As I left my house this morning on the way to work I saw a raccoon (and it saw me) on the sidewalk in front of my house. It's not exactly "in the wilds". :)

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