Category: Nature, Birding


Macaque Monkeys

I have not posted on this blog for sometime. I thought I would give it another try.

Hubby and I have been enjoying the Florida weather since the middle of October and we are now getting ready to head back home to Maryland. I have enjoyed birding in Florida, the birds here seem to be used to people and stay close. I try not to harass any wildlife for a photo and keep my distance. My Canon SX 40 has great zoom and I do not have to be too close to birds or any wildlife.

I am sharing some photos of the Macaque Monkeys we saw while visiting the Silver Spring State Park in Ocala Florida. They are wild monkeys and are not tame. We read warning signs to keep our distance. These monkey can bite and scratch, it is best to keep your distance.

 

These Macaque Monkeys were brought to Silver Spring Park in the 1930’s by Colonel Tooey a boat captain in the park. He thought the monkeys would be a neat attraction on the island in the park. Eight decades later the monkey population has increased. It seems the monkeys numbers are increasing in the park and in other areas around Ocala. The park offers a glass bottom boat ride and rentals of kayaks and canoes. The monkeys are part of the tourist attraction to this state park. My hubby and I walked the boardwalk taking some photos of the monkeys, that is until a few looked like they wanted to get too close to us. We preferred staying safe and decided to leave the boardwalk.

I have lots more stories on our walks and daytrips during our stay in Florida. I hope to post again soon. Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your day!

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Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis seen at the Edwin Forsythe NWR

I have a few shots of the flowers and plants around my yard. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. The flowers are so colorful and pretty.

Bleeding hearts

Unknown flowering bush

Swallowtail butterfly

Creeping Phlox

Redbud tree

Blooming Azaleas

It is a little too soon for planting annuals in my zone. We must make sure the last chance of frost is really over. I am looking forward to seeing some more plants and flowers around my yard and in pots on my deck.

I would love to see your gardens, maybe see new ideas for planting and flowers.

I hope you enjoyed my post. To see more beautiful flowers please visit

http://flowersfromtoday.blogspot.com/

Thanks to the wonderful host of Today’s flowers, have a great weekend.

These are some shots from our visit to Wilkes Barre, Pa and our hike at the Ricketts Glen State Park.

The hike at Ricketts Glen is a strenuous hike, very steep with awkward uneven steps. But, seeing 20 or more waterfalls during one hike was well worth the pain.

The next couple of shots were from the city of Wilkes Barre, Pa. We spent the night since it was over a three hour drive from home. We were both tired from the morning drive and then the hike. Happy to do a nice dinner and then back to the room for some shut eye.

There was a hike-bike trail next to the canal or river in Wilkes Barre. It was a nice getaway for our long Easter holiday weekend.

We took a little walk in one of the city parks.

The park had some beautiful blossoming trees. They look like crap apple blossoms to me.

I hope you enjoyed the trip photos, I am sorry to see the weekend come to end.

Visit to the NJ shore

A couple of weekends ago hubby and I visited the Jersey shore. We spent the night at the Showboat Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Also when we are in this area we visit the Edwin Forsythe NWR.  I included a few shots of our trip.

Here we are on our way to the Jersey shore  going over the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  I thought this bridge shot would be perfect for linking to Louis meme Sunday Bridges  at http://bayphoto.blogspot.com/.

A view of the Showboat and Trump Casino in Atlantic City

Sunrise on the beach at Atlantic City, NJ

A Northern Shoveler seen at the Edwin Forsythe NWR

A few of the Snow geese seen at the refuge

We also saw a few of these Mute Swans.

We enjoyed staying at the Showboat and mixing in some nature fun during our short visit to the shore. New Jersey has great beaches and wonderful places to do some birding. I hope you enjoyed this post. And I want to thank Louis for hosting Sunday Bridges. Thanks for visiting my post.  Have a great week ahead.

I am linking up with Camera CrittersI know there are a lot of bloggers friends that love cats and I hope my post does not make my readers upset with me.  Recently, I read an article about birds killed by turbines in one of our environmental magazines. I honestly think that the wind turbines are horrible for birds, especially sitting in the path of migrating birds. What really surprised me was they listed domestic cats and pesticides kill tens of MILLIONS of birds annually.Above is a sweet Hermit Thrush!!

I would think logically the wind farms can be put in areas away from migrating birds. I read that engineers are looking into various ideas to protect the birds and actually try to keep birds away from the turbines. Suggestions were solid towers rather than lattice style which the birds like to perch on, radar that would slow the turbines down when it detected approaching migrating birds, flashing strobe lights at the top and even changing the color of the tower.

EDIT: As I was playing on the computer this morning and listening to the news I heard the Electric Co or State of Maryland wants to add a monthly fee onto our bills to help pay for a wind farm they want to put out in the ocean. I believe this would be near Ocean City, Md.  Now, this wind farm would be on the Atlantic Flyway for migrating birds and they want me to help pay for it. Are they are out their minds?????

This is one of the wild cats I have seen recently in my yard. I must find a way to keep these cats out of my yard. Should I call the animal shelter? These cats are wild, they have had no shots from a vet and raise babies in an old car that one of my neighbors keeps in their yard. If anyone has any ideas, I am open to suggestions.

Above my Wingscape Birdcam has captured some cute squirrel shots.

Another shot of my sweet Hermit Thrush

 My Goldie Girl looks a little upset I will not play ball with her. Goldie Girl recently had her long hair cut      and now looks more like a lab than a Golden Retriever. But, she is still my cutie.

I do have to admit I am a dog lover and a responsible dog owner. We keep our dog in a fenced-in yard and on a leash while out walking. Now, it would be nice if cat owners were responsible too and either keep their cats inside the house or watch them when they are outside or do they have leashes for cats?  I was horrified when I heard how many birds are killed annually by cats. When I see the  feral cats in my neighborhood, that keep coming into my yard all I can think of is trying to protect my birds and the cute chipmunks that must go into hiding to be safe from the cat. If engineers are willing to work on the problems of the birds & turbines I would think pet owners could find a way to protect the birds from their cats. As far as pesticides go, we are not able to use pesticides around our well water so pesticides are a NO-NO for us.. Also, aren’t there a lot of safe organic products that can be used on lawns and plants?

Sorry my critter post included a rant. I just care about the birds and wildlife. To see more cute and wonderful critters please visit Misty Dawn’s Camera Critters..  Thanks to Misty for hosting and thanks for stopping by my post. I hope everyone has a HAPPY weekend and Happy Birding to my birder friends.

These daylilies are from my archives, they remind me of summer. And I am so looking forward to spring and summer right now.

Thanks to the hosting team of Today’s Flowers.

Harlequin Ducks

This weekend I was able to get in some birding at Barnegat State Park in New Jersey. We walked along the jetty and beach watching the ducks and other shorebirds. I was surprised at the high count of Harlequin Ducks and Long Tailed Ducks were along the jetty. There were also Brants, Surf Scoters and Common Eider. We also saw Ruddy Turnstones and Purple Sandpipers. The Common Eider was a lifer for me.

Here are a few of the ducks we saw at Barnegat.

Brant, Common Eider and a Harlequin

Harlequins

Owls

Owls are one of my favorite birds. They can be hard to see, due to the leaves on the trees and they seem to blend in well. Over the years I have been lucky with Owl sightings. Some of the Owls I have seen are the Barred Owl adult and owlets near my house, Long Eared Owl, Screech Owl and the beautiful Snowy Owl. I would have to say the Snowy owl is my favorite, it is just a beautiful owl.

I hope you enjoy my owls and hopefully someday I will have more Owl sightings.

The wildlife refuge system is the world’s premier system of conserving land, wildlife and plants.

Personally I have enjoyed every NWR I have visited and now if I travel to a state that has a NWR I will try to make a point of touring the new refuge. I have to say my favorites so far are Bombay Hook in Delaware and Blackwater in Maryland. Chincoteague NWR is just an awesome place and I try to visit twice a year. Seeing the wild ponies and the birding there is just excellent. Two NWR closer to home I have visited are the Patuxent NWR and Eastern Neck.  Another NWR in Maryland I have passed by on a boat to Smith Island was the Martin NWR in the Chesapeake Bay. The Patuxent NWR I have been to often and their visitors center is one of the best I have ever visited. Patuxent NWR offers free field trips and I have been on one of their Owl walks. Which was a lot of fun.

More favorite NWR’s of mine  are  further away were the Bear Lake NWR in Idaho and the National Elk refuge in Wyoming this one also has a fantastic visitor center. Others I have visited are Ottawa NWR in Ohio  and Montezuma NWR in New York .

White Face Ibis from Idaho’s Bear lake NWR

Each one has walking trails and wildlife drives and in each one I have seen a different bird or animal. I have a nice memory from each one I have visited too.  While in Idaho’s Bear Lake NWR I saw my first White Faced Ibis and Yellow Headed blackbirds both lifers for me and while visiting Montezuma I had my first LIVE Skunk sighting. My favorite Blackwater memories are of the Eagles and my first sighting of the Brown Headed Nuthatch. Chincoteague NWR and Bombay Hook hold the most wonderful memories for me. I have a long list of lifers from Bombay Hook. I would have to say seeing the Black Stilts, flocks of American Avocets and seeing my first Blue Grosbeaks are some of my favorite experiences.

American Avocets seen at Bombay Hook NWR

Seeing the Chincoteague ponies is a cool experience and one I will always remember. Also, in Chincoteague to see such large counts of  different Egrets, Herons, Ibis and various kinds shorebirds is just amazing.

Chincoteague Ponies

Birding is something I really enjoy, I do not consider myself  a true birder more of a backyard birder. I do keep a life list and thanks to the NWR I have visited I have added to my birding list. Even though I call myself a backyard birder during my travels I will look for new birds. The national wildlife refuges are great places to see birds.

This is That’s my World post and to see more go and visit