Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012

1. St. Mary's Sunset-kab Sunset at St. Mary’s by the Sea in Bridgeport, CT 12-30-11

It has been more than a busy year for me this year with so many things, both good and bad, happening. But, like so many others, I end this year with a smile, grateful for all the blessings in my life and all the birds I’ve seen. I am mostly grateful for the safe return of my son from Afghanistan, and the fact that so far, my mother has survived breast cancer. While she is still undergoing her chemo treatments and she has lost all of her hair, her spirit is still positive and she is looking to the future with hope. So…Good-bye 2011 and Hello 2012! May you be bring hope, peace and birds!

2. Gus and Kathie-kab Gus and Kathie 12-30-11

I want to thank my husband Gus, who has been so supportive through all of this and has put up with me being gone so much whether to help with my mom, visiting with friends, or going birding!

Happy New Year from both of us!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bird Ornament? WBW

1. Headless-kab Feather Ball Tree Ornament?

 

2. what you looking at-kab What are YOU looking at?

 

3. red-tailed hawk-kab Red-tailed Hawk 12-11-11

I have had this Red-tailed Hawk hanging around my yard off and on for over a month. It was here on  the 4th and back again on the 11th. It just flew into the tree outside my office window on the 23rd. When it was here on Sunday, the 11th, it stayed in this tree all morning and was there when Gus and I left to go Christmas shopping around noontime. When we returned around 3 p.m. it was finally gone. I took the above pictures from off my back porch looking straight up. The top photo made me think of a feathered Christmas tree ornament, given the time of year that it is. The hawk finally twisted it’s head around to get a good look at me, then fluffed itself up and sat there, dismissing me as a non-threat, which is good, since I’m not one. The smaller feeder birds do not seem to be disturbed by its presence and continued to feed in peace and joy, but let a Cooper’s Hawk swoop in and they explode like thunder and are gone in a flash. I think it’s kind of nice to have a Red-tailed Hawk as a yard ornament (as long as it stays outside)!

World Bird Wednesday

Monday, December 26, 2011

Just Before Winter

1. WITU-kab Wild Turkeys on Norwich Ave in Colchester, CT 12-12-11

Just before winter I was on my way into Colchester when this flock of wild turkeys flew across the road in front of me and landed in the farm field on the right-hand side of the road. I quickly pulled over, rolled down my window and snapped off a few shots.

2. cows-kab The cows in the pasture were not as impressed as I was and kept right on grazing! During my week-long stay there to help my Mom with her great-grandkids and with her chemo treatments I managed to squeeze in a few hours of nature and bird watching for myself.

3. Lake Hayward-kab One afternoon I bought a subway sandwich and drove down to the Lake Hayward boat launch hoping to see some birds. This shallow and boggy end of the lake was lightly frozen over with no birds in sight.

4. Beaver work-kab In the surrounding woods I found evidence of beaver activity. It was not here when I visited earlier this summer. I wondered when they showed up and where they had gone as I did not see a new dam or a beaver lodge anywhere around.

5. Tree-kab I love the soft light coming through the trees at the top of the boat launch area.

6. Lake-kab As I drove around the lake looking for birds, I did finally spot some mallards, and hooded and common mergansers in the still open waters. With such vibrant blue waters it looks more like spring than the last days before winter.

7. Geese-kabThe next day I took my nephew to the Colchester Recreation Complex to play on the playground. It is right across the street from a golf course where some Canada Geese were happily feeding along with some muskrats in the shallow pond.

8. golfer-kabThe geese were not disturbed by the golfer and the golfer did not seem to mind the geese! He was probably just glad there was no snow on the ground!

9. sunset As the late autumn sun sunk lower in the sky I was able to snap off a few photos just before a Winter Twilight. I did find a few birds here and I want to come back and follow this trail around the park. Perhaps I will find more birds here next time!

I hope you enjoyed this little visit to…

Our World Tuesday!

…please come back again!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

1. Female cardinal-kab 

Merry Christmas from Kathie’s Birds!

2. blue jay-kab 

I wish you all the joy and beauty of the season,

and I pray for Peace On Earth.

3. Merry Christmas-kab

Thank you to all of you who follow, visit, and comment on my blog. This past month has been a very busy one for me, but I realize have so much to be thankful for. Though I have not been able to write, post, visit, or comment on many blogs, I want you to know that I appreciate you all!

And if you haven’t already done it, click on the link below to read about…

The Birds of Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Twilight (SWF)

1. Colchester Rec-kab Sunset at Colchester Recreation Complex 12-13-11

In the streams of light like spun gold…

2. child-kab a child spins on a swing…

3. sunset-kab as a winter twilight falls like a softly whispered Christmas wish…

4. evening filigree-kab and the filigree of branches is revealed against the vibrant sky…

5. fire n the sky-kab a skirt of tangerine is overlaid with black lace…

6. black lace-kab and winter’s fire flames the frosty air…

7. twigs-kab with color, warmth, and magic.

~Kathie Adams Brown

Merry Christmas Eve

on this magical

Skywatch Friday!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Connecticut Backyard Wildlife OWT

1. Cardinal-kab Cardinal, Song Sparrow and Junco 12-12-11

Since I have been spending so much time in Ct recently, I have also been watching and counting birds in my Mom’s backyard. Last week I was able to photograph some of her backyard wildlife. Here is some of what I have been seeing.

2. squirrel-kab Gray Squirrel 12-12-11

 

3. nuthatch-kab White-breasted Nuthatch 12-12-11

 

4. cooper's-kab Cooper’s Hawk 12-13-11 in tree above barn and feeders.

 

5. COHA-kab Flying away

 

6. in flight-kab Cooper’s Hawk flies through amber light.

It would rather be the watcher than the watched!

7. TUTI-kab Tufted Titmouse in bush by barn 12-13-11

 

8. December groundhog-kab December Groundhog in Colchester, CT 12-16-11

I could not believe it when I saw this groundhog scurry across Mom’s backyard in the middle of December! Our temperatures have mostly been in the 50’s with only a day or two dipping into the 30’s. However, it has been cold at night and this weekend it finally dropped to the teen’s. More warm weather is expected later on this week.

Our World Tuesday!

 

Note: Life is still busy for me with taking care of my Mom and helping her with my niece and 2 nephews but soon that will end. Their Grandpa (my brother) will be back to care for them later this week, then they will transfer to living with their other grandmother after Christmas. As for Mom, she had her second chemo last week and so far is doing well all things considered. Thank you all for your well wishes, kind comments and prayers. I hope to be back to blogging on a regular basis soon and then I will come and visit all of you!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lion’s Pond and Beyond

1. Lion's Pond-kab Lion’s Pond Colchester, CT 12-9-11
I have been in Connecticut for a week now helping my mother as she undergoes chemo for her breast cancer. Along with the cancer she is also caring for three of her great-grandchildren until Christmastime when they will go to live with their maternal grandmother for the time being. Needless to say, it has been busy at Mom’s house and I will be back to help her again next week. But this morning I am on my way home after a week of cooking and cleaning, reading stories and decorating Christmas trees. There have been a few tears, but also lots of love, and hugs from little arms clinging to hope.
2. flooded-kabThe week started with abnormally warm temperatures with highs in the 60’s. It stayed that way until Wednesday night when winter rolled in like a freight train with high winds, pouring rain, and even a bit of thunder and lightening. By Thursday morning the rivers and streams were flooding and when I took my youngest nephew to pre-school I saw that Lion’s Pond was flooded also.
3. Mallard's-kab It was still that way this morning, though now the sun shone brightly and pair of mallards floated lazily in the pond. They are the only ones who could possibly eat anywhere near the brightly colored picnic tables!
4. pond edge-kabAt the far end of the pond the bare trees in the woodland filter the rising sunlight.
5. frosty edge-kab Frost gathered on the grass and along the icy edge of the pond.
6. sunlight thru trees-kab Sunlight slanting through the forest is not yet strong enough to melt the frost covered moss and grass. I am drawn back to this corner by the sound of bird calls in the woodland. I find a few titmice and juncos and hear a nuthatch “yank, yanking” in the trees.
7. frosted grasses-kab The frost encrusted grasses glimmer like sequins on an emerald and gold evening gown tossed carelessly on the floor...
8. tree reflection-kab …while a tall maple stands sentinel over the pond.
9. moss and lichen-kab The subtle beauty of the woodland draws me in and I feel myself relaxing as each moment passes. After 20 minutes I get in my car and drive farther east on Norwich Avenue where I find a Red-shouldered hawk perched in a tree alongside the road. It is just after the intersection with Scott Hill Road and as I pull off to get a better look at the bird I also spot a few turkey vultures lazily rocking in the sky. A bright red cardinal flits into the nearby tangle of vines and across the street a gray and white Northern Mockingbird blends with the gray bark of more bare trees. But I see it and I smile. Yes…this is the way to relieve stress…
10. Geese landing-kab I continue on my way up Norwich Avenue to Exit 23 off Route 2 where the Yantic River forms a big pond. Usually I see so many geese here, but today only a small flock is floating on the water. But then I hear a noise! The “honk, honking of several geese fills the air. I turn to see another large flock descending to join the others on the lazy river.
11. Peaceful Mallards-kab A pair of mallards scuttles out of the way .
12. 2nd flock While I am waiting, yet another flock descends!
13. landing-kab I watch as they come in for a landing…
14. putting on the brakes-kab …dropping like black and white rose petals on the water…
15. settling down-kab …like a final benediction to Autumn.
With one last look, I feel I am finally ready to go home. I cross the street back to my car, open the door and climb in. As I close the car door I call my husband on my cell phone. He has the day off and has been patiently awaiting my return. “Okay Honey. I’m done bird watching, and I’m coming home.”

In Case you missed it, I posted…
on the
Come on over and visit!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Back to Baker’s Meadow WBW

1. MUSW-kab Mute Swan 12-4-11

With such warm weather on Sunday it was too nice to stay inside, so Gus and I headed over to Baker’s Meadow, an AVIS property in Andover, MA. I had just recently discovered this place and I wanted to show it to Gus. We parked in the cul de sac on Meadow Lane and headed down through the fenced trail between the houses to the pond.

2. forest reflection-kabOnce in the forest the pond opens up before us. I am mesmerized by the black glassy water and the reflections of trees and sky. It is so calm and quiet here today. This time Gus and I hike north along the west side of the pond.

3. tree in cove-kab We hike past a cove with a tree down in it. The trail leads us through a bit of black mud and we cross a wooden bridge to the peninsula beyond. So far I have only heard the distant call of an American Crow, but now I am hearing the sharp “pik!’ of a Hairy Woodpecker.

4. ring-necked ducks-kab In the dark corner of the next cove over the ring-necked ducks try to hide.

 

5. bench-kab On the forested peninsula I find a bench for bird watching.

 

6. moss-kab Nearby the sun speckles the forest floor with glorious light.

 

7. CANG-kab Across the pond in the sunlight the Canada Geese are napping.

 

8. juvenile swan-kab While in the dark cove a juvenile Mute Swan floats by serenely.

Though we have been here almost an hour, I have not seen or heard any small birds. As we head back up the hill towards the fenced trail between the houses I suddenly hear small zeets and cheeps and wonder if there are juncos nearby. I think of juncos as flying shadows with their dark gray bodies which blend so well with the shade. Gus continues up ahead of me, but I pause and wait and search the trees, straining my eyes for any color or motion. Suddenly I see something move and I focus in with my bins. OH my! It is not a junco after all!

9. golden-crowned kinglet-kab It is a Golden-crowned Kinglet moving through the forest with 3 chickadees!

 

10. golden crown-kab As I watch from the shadows below, the tiny bird tips its head, revealing its gold crown. The birds are moving from east to west through pines and oaks at the edge of the forest and yards. Soon they are gone and as I start up the path to the waiting car, which Gus has kindly warmed up for us, I can’t help but wonder if…

11. forest dreams-kab …it was all a forest dream.

I’m sure you can find more birds if you click on the link for…

World Bird Wednesday!