Photos: Bald Knob WMA Revisited

Black Tern

The Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge never disappoints. I never know what I am going to find, and the latest visit didn’t disappoint. This visit included four Black Terns (including one molting adult) flying above and sitting in the fields neighboring Coal Chute Road. Black Terns migrate through most of the United States, with some of their breeding range including the very northern part of the nation. Its non breeding range is along the coast of Central America and the top part of South America.

This was my first time to see Black Terns. While they were the only firsts for me today, there were plenty of other birds who were very cooperative in being photographed:

New Finds: Northern Bobwhite, more

Northern Bobwhite1 071017 Greenbrier.JPG
Northern Bobwhite

During a recent drive back from Greenbrier, I stumbled across a Northern Bobwhite just hanging out on a fence. It was a pleasant surprise, especially since I had just spotted my first Black Vulture as well! Below are photos of the Black Vulture and other birds I found. 🙂

black vulture 071017 Greenbrier.JPG
Black Vulture

Indigo Bunting 071017 Greenbrier.JPG
Indigo Bunting

Least Sandpiper 071017 Greenbrier.JPG
Least Sandpiper

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 071017 Greenbrier.JPG
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (male)

Wapanocca NWR II

Painted Bunting
Painted Bunting

My trek to Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge was a complete success in bird-terms. I have always wanted to see a Painted Bunting to see if they were as gorgeous as the Indigo Buntings. They are.

We started at the visitor’s center where an Indigo Bunting and a Prothonotary Warbler greeted us separately and walked down the gravel road for about a mile before half of us went back to get our cars. We ended up driving the rest of the way with plenty of stops to see the Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, Palm Warblers, and a Pied-billed Grebe as we heard/saw the birds.

We ended up in an open field with a lot of tall grass and shrubbery where we saw the Painted Buntings and eventually at the observatory outlook to look at a Western Grebe through a scope. Not bad for a morning tour.

I ended up leaving at lunch to race back for a family function. Here’s another picture of the Indigo Bunting as well as pictures of other birds we saw:

Painted Bunting
Painted Bunting

Solitary Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper

Pied-billed grebe
Pied-billed grebe

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Western Grebe
Western Grebe (a crappy picture, I know)

Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler

 

Bayou Meto springtime

Barn Swallows
Barn Swallows

I typically visit the Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area in the fall and winter — never spring and summer. I broke tradition this year by taking a late afternoon drive through the area with Izzie. Boy, was I glad I did. There were Barn Swallows, Dickcissels and Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds at the Halowell Reservoir while Indigo Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks lined the roads leading to and from the reservoir. Overall, it was a pretty drive with a gorgeous sunset (see the last pictures).

Barn Swallow2
Barn Swallow

Blue Grosbeak, Female1
female Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak, male
male Blue Grosbeak

Dickcissel, pair
A pair of Dickcissel

flowers1

Goose, Snow and Greater White-fronted
Geese — a snow and a greater white-fronted — that each had a drooping wing.

flowers2

Indigo Bunting
Indigo Bunting

RT Hummingbird1
female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

RT Hummingbird2
male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Sandpiper, Spotted1
Spotted Sandpiper

sunset

sunset2

The bandit

I’m not sure who was more surprised — this raccoon or I. We came across each other as I hiked to Cook’s Lake from the Potlatch Conservation Education Center in Casscoe. My first thought was “Is he alive? … IS HE STAPLED TO THE TREE?” The last thought is in response to how I first saw him (hint, it’s not the above picture but the below one).

For some reason, I never thought about raccoons climbing. Honestly, I never really gave them much thought period. Still, I liked my little bandit. I visited the center to attend its last hummingbird program of the year. I was determined to get a few better pictures of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. I think I met my goal. 🙂

In addition to the hummingbirds, I even got a few more surprises: An immature male Indigo Bunting (first picture below) and a Red Spotted Purple butterfly.