Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fountain Creek Nature Center

I didn't see a barn - but I did see this Barn Swallow while walking at Fountain Creek Nature Center. They are so pretty!

Usually they are flying around so quickly, I can't get a shot!

This was a very pleasant surprise - A Western Grebe.

I'm pretty sure this is a Bank Swallow. Please let me know if you think otherwise.

...another view

Look at those long wing tips!

Teal, Blue-winged.

I certainly didn't expect to see this in Colorado - an Eastern Kingbird. Apparently, they overlap into the territory of the Western Kingbird - but it's a first for me.

Red-winged Blackbirds are plentiful anytime we are near water.

Another view of the Barn Swallow.

We often see Wild Turkeys - but I don't think I've ever seen so many Tom's looking for attention from the ladies. Too bad they were so far away!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Back to Palmer Park

Bill and I went for a short hike in Palmer Park. I'm still working to increase my stamina after hip surgery and the altitude here in Colorado Springs has slowed the process a bit; but, it was great to get out in the park again. 

We were amazed at the number of Black-headed Grosbeaks we saw and heard. I don't think I realized before what wonderful song birds they are.

This happy, happy male was singing his heart out.

The view of Pikes Peak from high up in the park is awesome. Note the amount of snow still on the top. I'm sure more will melt as the day progresses as it is already in the 80's.

 Scrub Jays were out in numbers. They usually sit on top of a pine tree.

I always love the Spotted Towhees with their bright red eyes and signature song.

We occasionally have towhees in the yard - but sightings are guaranteed in Palmer Park just around the corner.

For those faithful followers who never tire of bird pictures, I created a Picasa album with the birds from our recent Texas trip here: https://picasaweb.google.com/114212275063587599345/SouthTexasBirds?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLbczLW0-szTmAE&feat=directlink . Since this is my first try with a Picasa album, let me know if the link does not work, please.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Rest of the Trip HOME

 Driving from Ocala to Colorado Springs is usually a 1700 mile trip. We added an additional 1000 miles with our birding excursions - but it was worth every mile - one of our best vacations.

We knew we were getting closer to Colorado when we starting seeing antelope and mule deer. 

There were lots of Meadowlarks on the wires - and in the fields.

 One of my favorite Texas birds is the Scissor-tail Flycatcher and we saw a lot of them along the way.

I wish I knew my hawks better. I think this is a Swainson's Hawk - but can never be sure.

We finally arrived home to find that Spring in Colorado had waited for us. The trees and bushes were bare and there was cold white stuff coming out of the sky. But after a couple of days, things started looking up.

Our faithful House Finches returned as soon as we filled the feeders and we had a new visitor - a cute little gray Bushtit.

They have long tails for their small bodies and are about the size of a Chickadee.

We had about a half dozen flitting around in the bushes - but I think they've left for higher ground now.

I always enjoy the Western Scrub Jays.

I heard there were orioles passing through so I put orange slices in the trees - but you can see the result.

We had a couple of Western Tanagers but I failed to get any decent pictures. One of our first chores was to get the pond up and running. We couldn't believe it when we discovered we still had fish! AND, five or six baby fish!

Bill rebuilt the falls and I think they look great. The jug was even on sale. Check out our nifty new pond plant. It really looks cool - and it was under $30! The trees and bushes are finally starting to leaf, I've planted some colorful flowers and the weather is once again beautiful. Life is good.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Just a Few More Pics from Texas

American Redstart 

Baltimore Oriole 

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks 

Dickcissels and Lark Sparrow 

Green Jay 

Green Kingfisher 

Texas Toad - unfortunately, my camera was on the wrong setting so the picture is terrible. This guy was HUGE! 

Northern Parula 

Pretty Flowers! 


 Indigo Bunting and Prothonotary Warbler

Long-billed Thrasher 

Magnolia Warbler 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 

Summer Tanager (F) 

Yellow-breasted Chat

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More Birds! ...continued

American Redstart 

 Baltimore Oriole

Golden-fronted Woodpecker 

Hooded Oriole 

Northern Parula with the itches 

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Least Grebe - another shot from the duck blind into the sun.

Long-billed Thrasher

Olive Sparrow

Plain Chachalaca - this one went from Life Bird to Trash Bird in about 10 minutes!