Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Finchy Phenomenom

  Fabulous Feathers Molting into Spring Plumage  
 This beautiful American Goldfinch is beginning to change as spring begins.
You can see hints of brilliant yellow splotches emerging.
His beak is beginning to turn a bright orange as well.
Such a handsome little fellow.

A Pine Siskin and sweet Spring Goldfinch perched near a shared feeder.
In my backyard, a Summer male Goldfinch in a sunflower patch.
I am really looking forward to summer, sunflowers and Goldfinch.
Seeing the Spring Goldfinch has me thinking about Spring planting.
In a few weeks it will be time to sow a few sunflower seeds.
 A Goldfinch from late last fall .... 
plucking the petals to get to the good stuff.
 Mr. Goldfinch feeds a young finch last September in my yard.
 A young fall Goldfinch ...
Such beautiful colors. A beautiful bird any season.
Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Raining It's Pouring ...

We Still Went Exploring ...
A Rainy/Cloudy Road Trip for Spring Break 2011

We decided to drive up to Trempealeau Wisconsin 
to revisit the beautiful Perrot State Park. 
Here is a (map) of the park.

Rolling meadows along the way. 
 Wisconsin is beautiful any time of year.

Especially when you take the river route along the Mississippi.

It is amazing to view Blue Heron flying
along the Mississippi River as we drove along it.
For just a moment it felt like a race, we were neck and neck.
The Heron won of course.

We stopped at the National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Areas along the way. 
So many beautiful views and wildlife to enjoy.

While watching this Blue Heron beauty ....

I neglected to see this beautiful Common Merganser until it was to late.
I think this is their favorite way to be photographed.

We saw many ducks along the Mississippi. They all had a 
tendency to play 'Exit Stage Left' when they noticed us.

Above a pair of Ring Necked Ducks. I think.

A Hooded Merganser male and hen strut their stuff.

Me ... taking road shots along the way ...
... like a puppy hanging out the window, 
enjoying the view and ride.

An American Bald Eagle with what's left of it's catch. 

We saw quite the 'Eagle dance' around it's kill.

Not so pretty in pink.
I believe it was a very chewed up fish head.

Then finally we recognize an old building from our visit five years ago.
I don't know what it was or is, but it got our attention both visits.
We didn't see a sign near it and forgot to ask when we got to the park.
It sits along the river not too far from Perrot State Park.

 Then finally ... our destination!

We spent HOURS hiking. It was wonderful!
Five years ago we saw and heard Pileated Woodpecker here.
We were told that two nesting pair reside here. We unfortunely didn't
see or hear them this visit. We did see lots of old evidence of their presence though.

There were many Chickadee dee dee melodies to enjoy on our hike.

Along with the dainty drumming of Downy Woodpeckers .

A proud looking White Breased Nuthatch  appears
to be claiming king of the hill at the top of this trail.
We could also hear the call of visiting Tundra Swan 
and saw a flock of them fly by through the trees while hiking.

Then on the road again for more gray sky and rainy day views.

A Wood Duck and a Robin in the rain to end our bird watching.
Then blankets and McDonald Mocha Frappes in our toasty warm car ...
Because wee wee wee ... it rained all the way home.