Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sandy, the spotted sandpiper

sandpiper 

We do a variety of things to attract birds to our property with special feeders for goldfinches, orioles, woodpeckers, and a general seed feeder. We also like to make sure birds have places to live or at least perch.

Our latest creation is an Islandscapes floating island planter.  It is a small planter about 2x3 feet with a few aquatic plants. We were surprised to see a spotted sandpiper on it the first day.  Here's a photo of Sandy, the spotted sandpiper.  We actually don't know if it's a male or female, so Sandy works for both.  At times there have been two sandpipers on the island at one time, and one evening it looked like they were settling down to spend the night. 

We love going to small, private islands ourselves, so we're glad we enticed these little sandpipers to enjoy the little private island we created.  We never guessed they would be our first visitors.  We'll be keeping our eyes on this to see if turtles, cormorants, ducks or kingfishers are also attracted to it.

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Anonymous Tammy said...

I always love seeing some birds in my garden. They will attracted in trees and various plants with fruits on it. It seems paradise. :D

November 23, 2011 at 7:55 PM  

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Black Crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron
On a walk this morning, we saw two night herons at the the dam. We also spotted a few Baltimore orioles and saw a territory dispute between an oriole and a robin. A flash of yellow flew by Chris and she found a common yellowthroat. We went back home for the binoculars and camera and got a few night heron photos. We like the little "pony tail" plumage of the black-crowned night heron in breeding season.
Black Crowned Night Heron
The bottom photo shows a night heron on the flood gate. They are clever, but I don't think he's planning to raise it and let the water out of the lake to make it easier to fish.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Northern Flicker from Garret Mountain

The Northern Flicker is one of our favorite types of woodpeckers found in New Jersey. We get plenty of red-bellied woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers in our yard. We get an occasional hairy woodpecker and other members of the woodpecker family including yellow-bellied sapsuckers and white-breasted nuthatches. The suet feeders and seed keep most of these woodpeckers coming back. A downy woodpecker has even made a home in a hollowed out tree limb. However, the northern flicker doesn't come to our feeders but stops by occasionally to eat insects off the ground or trees. Here are two photos of this bird that we took at Garret Mountain this weekend.
Northern Flicker from Garret Mountain
Flicker

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Anonymous jon said...

hi!

my name is jon, I'm a wedding/portrait photographer in need of your knowledgeable assistance. I'm trying to identify a woodpecker via a photo I took a few weeks back, but am not confident with the images provided on wikipedia's "list of new jersey birds".

would you be able to assist me? please let me know!

please email me at: jon AT dreamlitephotography DOT com

thank you =]

May 2, 2010 at 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Chris and Mike said...

Jon,

You can email us a photo by clicking on the link on the right labeled "Click here to e-mail photo."

The most common woodpeckers in New Jersey are the Downy Woodpecker and the Red-bellied Woodpecker. The Hairy Woodpecker looks similar to the downy but is larger and has a much longer bill. At certain times of the year, we encounter the Yellow-bellied sapsucker. There's also a much smaller White-breasted Nuthatch. Much less common in new jersey is the Red Headed Woodpecker. I'm told there are Pileated Woodpeckers but we've only seen them in Florida.

As long as we are listing woodpeckers, I'll add a link to some Woodpeckers in Arizona and the Jamaican Woodpecker which are not found in NJ.

May 3, 2010 at 5:37 AM  

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Palm Warbler from Garret Mountain

Palm Warbler>

We were pleased to see this palm warbler fly to a tree right next to us. What a beautiful bird.

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Spring Warblers and More at Garret Mountain

Garret Mountain in West Patterson is a good place to see many migrating warblers in the Spring. We went on Saturday and saw several of these darling birds.

Black-throated blue warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler

Wood Thrush
Wood Thrush

Another Wood Thrush (previously unidentified)
Black and White Warbler
Black and White Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler


Veery
Ovenbird
Ovenbird


American Redstart
This bird stayed fairly high in the trees and was difficult to photograph. He wasn't nearly as cooperative as the palm warbler.

Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

Chris was glad to see her first oriole of the year. We've been hearing some at home but they have not come to the jelly, oranges, or nectar we have left out. We finally did see one in our neighborhood last evening but not in our yard yet.

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Anonymous Fly or Die Dan said...

Based on the reddish color of the back, white eye ring, and the amount of streaking on the SIDE of the face, I'd say your unIDed bird is a Wood Thrush.

May 2, 2010 at 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Chris and Mike said...

Thanks for identifying the wood thrush.

May 3, 2010 at 5:18 AM  

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Robin Nest at Garret Mountain

 
Robins were the most common bird we saw as Garret Mountain. Here's a photo of a robin's nest we came upon. (At least we think it is a robin. Mike saw a female robin fly to this nest.) Last year, we were lucky to have a robin's nest in our yard. No such luck this year yet.

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American Goldfinch

Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is a stunning bird this time of year. No wonder he is the state bird of New Jersey. They are always at the nyjer feeder.

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He's back: The Black-crowned night heron

Black-crowned night heron 

The black-crowned night heron has returned to Lake Nelson from his winter vacation. He's a full month later than last year. If he sticks to his schedule, he'll be sleeping all day for a while, coming out at dusk to feed and returning at dawn. When some chicks hatch, he'll start fishing in the day time. We are hopeful for offspring this year since we've seen another night heron flying with him at dusk. Last year, we did see a juvenile night heron.

We've also seen the green heron return, but he's much harder to find, keeps a less predictable schedule and is very shy so he's even harder to photograph.

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