The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Birds’

Mourning Dove

It seems as though each year a pair of mourning doves builds a nest in our pavilion.

This mourning dove sat patiently on a shepherd’s hook in our backyard, as I took multiple photographs.

Is this my better side?

A Mourning Dove’s throat puffs up without opening its bill, when it coos.

Bob captured the following video on a wildlife cam.

The building of a nest in our pavilion appears it will happen again this year.

Three Birds of Dunkirk

We went for a drive yesterday, to Dunkirk NY and back home. We noticed some road changes en route Dunkirk since the last time we made this drive. A second lane (passing lane?) had been added for a short distance on NY Route 60 north of Sinclairville.  That second lane had been added to both sides of the road. A roundabout had been added in Fredonia at Routes 60 and 20.

We stopped at Dunkirk Pier to check out photo opportunities. I captured a couple pictures of cormorants.

Cormorant in Lake Erie at Dunkirk Pier

Cormorants in Lake Erie at Dunkirk Pier

Since our last visit, enhancements had been made to the pier.  Next time we visit, I will try to remember to take pictures of the pier.  Until then, please click on the word “enhancements” and see the pier by watching the video in the article I shared.

There is a Tim Hortons not far from the Dunkirk Pier.  We picked up lunch at the drive-through window and ate in an unpaved parking lot between Clarion Hotel and Tim Hortons.  The parking lot overlooked Lake Erie. After lunch I took a couple pictures.

Seagull in Lake Erie at Dunkirk

Nine Canada Geese Flying High Above Lake Erie in Dunkirk

From Dunkirk we drove to the Barcelona Harbor Pier in Westfield NY.  We drove around the pier but saw no opportunities for bird photography.

From Westfield we drove back to our home in Warren PA.

It was a chilly and windy, overcast day. Even so, it was good to get out of the house for a few hours.

Back Yard Photos

This week, on nice days, I began walking around our back yard and three of our neighbor’s back yards (with permission).  I carry my camera with me.

Sue’s Primose

Chipmunk on Greg and Mary’s Bird Feeder

This is the first Baltimore Oriole that I have seen this year.
I haven’t seen any hummingbirds … yet.
These bird feeders are in our back yard.

I plan to share more back yard photos, from time to time, with you.

 

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 5

On the morning of Day 5 of our vacation (Wednesday, April 10th) we rode our bicycles from Tranquil Shores (our vacation home) to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, VA. It is approximately 2 miles from Tranquil Shores to the entrance booths. 

We followed the bicycle trail to Woodland Trail.  We rode the Woodland Trail, where we saw several wild horses in the marshland. 

Woodland Trail – Wild Ponies

Leaving Woodland Trail we took the Black Duck Trail to the Wildlife Loop.  We rode the Wildlife Loop. We saw egrets, birds and wild ponies. 

Wildlife Loop – Snowy Egret

Wildlife Loop – Red-Winged Blackbird

For the first time since 2011, when we first visited the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, we saw wild horses in the marsh, while on the Wildlife Loop. 

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

 

From the Wildlife Loop we returned to Tranquil Shores. 

Crossing bridge from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island (Beach Access Road)

We rode 11.69 bicycle miles in the morning.

We ate lunch at Metompkin Seafood Market in Bloxom VA, which was a 13-mile drive from Chincoteague. 

Metopkin Seafood Market

Metopkin Seafood Market
Food ordered here.

Metopkin Seafood Market
Fresh Seafood

Bob ordered a fish and scallop platter.  I ordered a fish platter.  We both had two generous pieces of fish with French fries, coleslaw and hush puppies.  Bob had scallops in addition to the fish.  There were three cats that were looking for handouts.  

A bold cat at Metopkin Seafood Market

 

On our way to Metompkin Seafood and on our way back to Chincoteague, U.S. Navy airplanes kept circling us.

U.S. Navy airplane

U.S. Navy airplane

I took these photographs from inside our car, through the windshield. We were traveling at about 55 MPH at the time. The airplanes were flying from NASA Wallops Flight Facility. It was awesome having the airplanes fly so close to us!

Before returning to our vacation home, we stopped for homemade ice cream at the Island Creamery.  

Island Creamery

Island Creamery
Ice Cream Selections

Bob ordered two scoops of coffee ice cream in a cup.  I ordered one scoop of Peanut Butter Cup and one scoop of Peanut Butter Chocolate, also in a cup.  Delicious!

We went for a drive around the Wildlife Loop in the evening.  The wild horses that we saw in the morning were still there.  The horses were even a little closer to the road than they were in the morning. 

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Pony

For dinner we ate salad.  Bob had a Cobb salad; I had a chef salad.  Neither of us were very hungry after eating a big lunch and ice cream.

Later in the evening we watched a few episodes of NYPD Blue and then went to bed.

I hope that you are not getting tired of seeing photographs of wild ponies.  I will be sharing more wild pony photographs in my next blog post.  Those ponies were closer to us than all of our other encounters!

TO BE CONTINUED

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 4

Late in the morning we rode our bicycles in the neighborhood to Veteran’s Memorial Park. 

Veteran’s Memorial Park sits along the Assateague Channel

Our round trip ride was 5 miles.

We ate lunch at McDonald’s and then drove onto the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, stopping for photo opportunities along Beach Access Road.  We saw wild ponies in the marsh, closer than we have seen them in past years.  There were wild ponies in the pony corral, too, near the Woodland Trail.

According to a delmava now news story, published on April 1st, “Chincoteague pony stallion Riptide and his band were penned in the south corral on Assateague Island after visitors to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge disregarded warnings not to approach the wild ponies…The ponies will remain in the corral until the spring roundup April 12 and 13”.

We saw great blue herons, egrets and wood ducks.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

Pair of Hooded Mergansers (Thanks EileeninMD for ID)

We spent a couple hours at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, before returning to our vacation home.  We relaxed for a couple hours.

We returned to the Wildlife Refuge around 4:30 pm.  We went for a drive around the Wildlife Loop.  We saw birds, a fox, Sika deer, egrets, turtles, snapping turtles and a muskrat.

Red-Wing Blackbird

Mama Fox

Mama Fox – What a face!

Mama Fox

Two Egrets

I love the reflections!

Two Egrets, a Great Egret taking flight

Three Egrets, a Snowy Egret in flight

Snowy Egret

 

Muskrat

Snapping Turtle

Painted Turtle

Two Snapping Turtles Mating

Leaving the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, after an approximately 45-minute visit, we drove to Food Lion and picked up dinners for three nights (through Thursday).  Our purchases included three ready-made salads and three Culinevo ready-made dinner entrees–lasagna, beef stew and beef and noodles.  All dinner entrees are microwaveable. We shared a Chef Salad and the beef stew for dinner.  For dessert we had cheesecake.

We watched a few more episodes of NYPD Blue and went to bed.

Mourning Dove Mating Ritual

This is a series of 11 images, out of 32, that I took with my new camera–the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.  I used a new feature called Pro Capture mode.  The 32 images were captured with lightning speed.  This was the first time that I have used the Pro Capture Mode.

The mourning doves look like they are kissing, but I think they are preening each other.

Look at that puffed-out chest.

Performing “the deed”

Performing “the deed”

Performing “the deed”

Performing “the deed”

Look at the flared tail feathers on the male mourning dove. I would say he is pretty proud of himself.

The mourning dove is monogamous and forms strong pair bonds. Pairs typically reconvene in the same area the following breeding season, and sometimes may remain together throughout the winter.

Ducks, Geese and Seagull

On Sunday, March 10, Bob and I went for a drive along NYS Route 5, between the Daniel Reed Pier in Westfield to the Dunkirk City Pier in Dunkirk, and NYS Route 60 to McCrea Point Park in Jamestown.  We saw a waterfall, seagulls and waterfowl.

I published two prior blog posts about our drive.  The blog post was about Barcelona Falls at the Daniel Reed Pier.  The second blog post was about seagulls and geese that we saw, while at Lake Erie.  This third, and final, blog post is about the ducks, geese and seagull that we saw at McCrea Point Park.

McCrea Point Park was my favorite stop.  We saw ducks, seagulls, and geese.  I took a few pictures of geese flying away from me.  The lighting was getting dim, so the ISO was higher than I desired.  The bird-in-flight pictures did come out OK.  A big HIGH-5 for my new camera!

Two ducks

Canadian Goose

Seagull

Two more ducks

Flying Goose

Flying Goose

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