Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Birding Along ... Roads Less Traveled

I started my day at the computer and was having a hard time pulling myself away. Luckily a warm breeze carried the smell of sunshine through my front door and swirled around my computer chair. The result was this Twitter tweet: "HooootOwl Fresh air calling ... gonna go get some Happy Sunday :)" The only decision left now was where and how to fit some birdwatching in to my plans for the day. My husband and I really enjoy a good Sunday drive .... so we decided to take our time driving to a new shop location for my Nature-ally Beautiful Cards. Our Destination? : The Oregon Soap Shoppe ... The Route? : Rural. You know these roads ... dirt, gravel and partial paved back roads that eventually get you to your destination. The View? : Mostly farm land cloaked with prairie fields that give you the feel of the antiquated countryside charm of long ago. Very peaceful ride. Quiet. No music needed.The first bird ... well duck, that caught my attention and caused that double take rubber neck reaction was a Muscovy Duck. I was more than surprised to see one in Illinois. I didn't realize that they were or could be a domesticated farm duck. So I Googled it and found this, a blog by a fellow Twitter with username tylamac on a squidoo post . An enjoyable read.

The Muscovy we saw today were on a farm we passed along a quiet rural
road. They were eating with a pig of all things. There were three Muscovy
on this farm. They seemed very tolerant of each other while sharing the ... ?
whatever they were eating under the clumps of dried grass and mud.
The Muscovy I saw in Texas this past January seemed much larger.
It was more of a loner, among but not associating with any other birds, fowl
or pigs for that matter. This odd pairing was a pleasant surprise
type of a sighting for me today ... so we watched them munch .. they watched us
photograph them ... then we were back on the road again.

The next farm along our peaceful route had a rolling meadow feel with
a beautiful winding stream that appeared to have no end.
It was a breath taking view where we saw a Great Blue Heron and
a Mallard Duck family sharing the cool fresh water with many cows.

Then all of a sudden a flock of European Starling swarmed
the fields covering both the fields and the cows.

They swarmed ...

and swarmed ...

and swarmed!

I'm not sure if there were more flies or Starlings
bothering the cows here today.

There were miles and miles of telephone wire along the way.
It seemed to be another area that attracted many birds
along these countryside and rural roads.

Clear blue skies made a beautiful backdrop for these Swallows
chatting it up on the telephone wires along a gravel road.

The perfect spot to scan the entire area looking for the next tasty treat.

A beautiful View

Then finally by foot : We stopped here on way back home
Wilkinson-Renwick Marsh Nature Preserve

A female American Gold Finch

A little camera envy

A gorgeous grape vine waiting for a customer.

A female American Redstart bouncing from branch to branch.

In addition to the beautiful birds we saw here today,
the many blossoms basking in the sunshine made our walk enjoyable.
I was hoping to see a hummingbird today. The path was
loaded with flowers to attract them along with many songbirds.

There were so many things to photograph here
including other photographers enjoying their day too.

By car or foot ... so much to see and always something new.

1 comment:

  1. All Beautiful shots! Thanks..i really enjoy your photos and blog!