Mar 30, 2010

The Great Blue Heron Rookery

Close to Red House a rookery of herons has existed for several years. Great blue herons form a colony or a rookery to raise their young. I counted twenty-four nests last week. The road is some distance from the rookery, so that number may be inaccurate. The birds have been claiming nests for weeks now. I've been graced with them flying over the house singly or in groups. I watched a group of fifteen a week ago leaving the rookery, doing a u-turn, and heading back towards the rookery. I used the car as a blind and tried to get some pictures without disturbing them a great deal. Here are the results.

Mar 25, 2010

Turkey and Black Vultures

The vultures have been back in the area for about three weeks. While most of our vultures are turkey vultures, a number of black vultures have shown up this spring. I watched a mixed group of black and turkey vultures fill up on a deer carcass for several days in early March. They would be there through mid-morning then disappear by 11am. Recently Charly and I have watched the turkey vultures and a few black vultures roost behind the house in a large pine tree. I've seen up to forty birds, but tonight I could only pick out twenty or so.

Black vultures have a shorter wingspan than turkey vultures. They tend to be found further south of here, but they do make an appearance now and then. The two pictures show the difference in wing patterns between the two species. The turkey vultures trailing wing edge is gray to white while the black vulture has shorter wings and has gray-white wing tips with a black trailing edge.

Mar 23, 2010

Frogs N' Such

The wood frogs have been in the little cement pond for over a week now. I can still hear them clucking, sometimes during the day, but also at night. The spring peepers have been slow to start, but last night a fairly large chorus was heard. I even heard a toad trilling. It's a bit early for them, but I guess the early toad gets the girl, or something like that.