Thursday, January 19, 2012

Moving to Wordpress

Please check out my new blog at Dina's City Wildlife Adventures. After 2 1/2 years on blogger, I am moving my blog to Wordpress. Thanks for stopping by here and I hope you will visit my new home. I will still be following all of my favorite bloggers on Goggle reader (thanks, Pam, for the quick lesson).

PS. If you want to know why I moved, head over to my new blog and check out my first post "Done with Blogger".

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Eve in a cemetery - Skywatch Friday

Our pre-Christmas drive into Atlanta. Hubby was driving. It's weird, even though I've lived in Tampa for 10 years now and didn't grow up in Atlanta (from Alabama originally), I feel like I'm coming home when we drive into Atlanta.

A dark dreary day in Oakland Cemetery.

You can just barely see Grady Hospital from the cemetery. I guess it's good that the cemetery is so close by.

View of downtown.

Grant's tomb. This is not the grave of Lemont Grant, who Grant Park is named after. He is buried at Westview Cemetery. I couldn't find any history on this one but it was a big one.

Statue saluting the 3,000 unnamed confederate soldiers buried here.

This is a really cool place, if you think cemeteries are cool. It has a lot of history here and great birds. I think it's now one of my favorite places to hit when visiting. My first trip was in July when it was about a million degrees outside. This trip it was much cooler at 40 degrees. For this Floridian, that was pretty cold. I was bundled up so the only thing that felt cold was my fingers (note to self  "bring gloves next Christmas"). The only morning I had time to run over there was Christmas eve. It started out sunny but got cloudy and grey pretty quick. I saw some birds there I haven't seen in central Florida. More on those later.

For more skyscape photography from around the world, visit Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bad shots of my first horned grebe.

He's got what looks like a shrimp.

He struggles with it for a minute.

Floating around.

Going back down for some more food.

Red eyes!

I did not expect to see this. My first horned grebe. I had heard there were a few floating off the Courtney Campbell Causeway but it would be hard to find them on the 10 mile causeway looking on both sides. I was on my way to Kapok Park when I decided to stop at the small beach before you get into Clearwater to see if there were any unusual shorebirds there. There was only one other car there so the beach was full of shorebirds. Just the usuals though. Lots of skimmers, plovers and gulls. I noticed something floating out past the swimming buoy. Looking through my camera I realized it was a horned grebe. There were 3 of them floating together. They stayed far out into the water. The above were taken with my 500mm lens and heavily cropped.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Osprey with a fish in the backyard.

Osprey on my neighbor's dock with a fish.

A blue heron lands on the same dock as the osprey.

Then I notice the blue heron is on the top of the boat lift with the osprey. The osprey doesn't seem to mind. He keeps eating his fish.

Eventually the osprey gives the blue heron his evil eye look and the blue heron flies off.

Right before dark, I see a great blue heron on my dock. Looking at something interesting. Maybe a fish?

Scenes from my bedroom window.

Also, check out more birds at CLICK THIS PICTURE!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Tiny birds in the grapefruit tree

Yellow rumped warbler in my dead grapefruit tree. He was showing off his yellow bottom.

Front view of the yellow rumped warbler.

This little bird was also in the tree. It looks a little bit bigger than the warbler. I'm not sure what this is and couldn't exact match it up to anything in the Stokes Birding Guide. Any Id?

Right before dark I saw a few little birds in the grapefruit tree in the backyard. I figured it was just some house finches but I decided to go outside and investigate. I first noticed the yellow rumped warbler. I also saw another bird but couldn't tell what it was. As I was walking back into the house I saw a mullet jumping. I pulled my camera up and was watching right where it had jumped and the fish jumped again in the same spot. They jump all of the time but it's hard to catch them in the act. Occasionally, they jump again but it's still hard to determine where they will come up again. After 7 years of living here this is the first time I've gotten a shot of one. Not a great one though. The sun was going down behind the trees so it was a little dark.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hoodies down the street

On my way home, I pass a small pond that leads into an office complex. Mallards are usually the only ducks I see swimming in it. Recently, I was riding in the car with hubby and looked over at the pond as we drove by it and saw hooded mergansers swimming in it. Of course, I yell out "There are hoodies in the pond." A couple of minutes later we were home and I grabbed my camera and drove back to pond. Since it was a Sunday afternoon there was no one around so I parked in the office lot along the side of the road against the pond. I rolled down the window and took all of the above from the car. Even though I stayed in the car, they still kept their eyes on me and stayed on the other side of the pond. At one point the male started diving underneath and came up with a berry of some sort. As I was leaving, I noticed the below tricolored heron was over on the side of the pond in the reeds. He must have been thinking "What is that crazy lady doing in her car?"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Osprey and a parakeet - Skywatch Friday

"What's that in the sky? It's a bird, a plane? An annoying parrokeet trying to steal my nest?"

"I'm going to steal that osprey's nest all by myself since I don't know where all my friends went."

"I'm here now. Isn't that the Florida law? Once you establish residence, no one can kick you out?"

"That silly parakeet better not come around our nest. We'll serve him up to the eagle since we only eat fish."

I had read on a Florida bird forum post that there was a large flock of monk parakeets trying to take over an osprey nest at the Derby Lane parking lot in St. Petersburg. I stopped by there on a Saturday afternoon and only found one lone parakeet. All of the others might have been out feeding or just flown the coupe. There are at least 8 osprey nests in the parking lot light towers there. Only two had osprey sitting on them. It's a little early for osprey nesting but in another month or two that lot will be filled with osprey starting to couple up. The lone parakeet was sitting on a wire at first but then kept flying over to the nest and landing on the bottom of the branches. I could hear the osprey yelling but I don't know if that was because of the parakeet or another osprey flying overhead. There are large flocks of monk parakeets all over the St. Petersburg area. They are pretty when they fly by and you see a big flash of green but they are so loud. Since this lot is close by work, I'm going to keep tabs on it during the winter and spring to see if any baby osprey arrive.

For more skyscape photography from around the world, visit Skywatch Friday.