Phriday Pheathers – Over-wintering

White Egret in Salt Marsh – Fortescue, New Jersey

I read a post today written by Be Creative Mary that spoke of the salty smell of East Coast seashores. My state’s coast, including the Delaware Bay, also has a distinctive fragrance of salt marsh. Even though we are in the throes of cold wintry weather, the first day of the year was filled with amazing birds over-wintering in the salt marshes of the Bay near Fortescue.

The swans were busy grooming, but one lifted its head long enough for me to capture their graceful beauty.

The sparrows, sheltering in bushes near the beach houses, were a cheerful sight to begin the year of 2019. The scrubby brush provided wintry hospitality for the small birds. I felt a sense of gratitude to see and hear the sweet chirping of this small flock.

I am hoping, that although most of the birds seem to be common house sparrows, perhaps there are a few that are a member of the endangered Salt Marsh Sparrow and the species will experience a recovery of numbers in the coming years.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday and Friday Foto Friends.

Pheathers – Delaware Bay Eagle

It’s been a week of beautiful raptors.

We spotted him in the salt marsh as we drove down Fortescue Road toward the Delaware Bay.

The morning was still breaking, the clouds were tinged with pink. We stopped and admired his beauty against the sky.

His wingspan was breathtaking as he flew above the marsh. It was only when he had disappeared from view that we noticed the amazing nest.

This is a perfect spot for raptors, whether they be eagle, osprey or hawk.  There are many species of birds thriving in the salt marshes along the Delaware Bay in New Jersey.


Phriday Pheathers – Woody Woodpecker

I loved the cartoon Woody Woodpecker when I was a child. I haven’t seen Woody on television for years; he’s been replaced by cartoons full of gadgets and superheroes. I miss his ornery laugh and pecking. Here are a few woodpeckers and what I think might be a Northern Flicker. I have found a camera with a powerful zoom helps me get an up-close glimpse of the birds I see on bare branches.

These photographs are part of Skywatch Friday.
The post is also linked to: Dear Kitty, Some Blog – Great Spotted Woodpecker

Phriday Pheathers – Ransacked Zinnias

Adorable August Bandits have been ransacking my zinnias. Do I care…only a little, and why is that? Even without every petal the nectar-producing disk florets are alive and will be visited by hummingbirds and butterflies.

Goldfinches are the bandits. The male is bold and brash, watching me carefully, but staying in plain sight.

The female likes to forage amid the cover of the zinnia leaves.

They aren’t the only ransackers in the garden. I’m a guilty party too, stripping off petals to press between the pages of a book. They will retain their bright colors and be useful in crafts later in the year.

Each petal has a seed attached. I break these away before pressing. Aha! I’ve had a great idea.

I gather the seeds and take them to the garden. The ring of florets on the zinnia makes a perfect miniature bird feeder for the goldfinches. This post is part of August Photo A Day Challenge/Start With A – August 3rd.

Phriday Pheathers – Epic Photograph

I often see hummingbirds in my yard, usually sipping nectar from flowers, but by the time I get my camera they disappear. Yesterday, I was lucky and had camera in hand when I spotted a hummingbird land on a bare branch in the pine tree.

Being able to photograph this beautiful and very fast little bird, was, for me, epic. That brings me in a roundabout way to a new blog challenge I’m taking part in on the Pix to Words blog. Why is it the perfect day to take part? Well, the photo I took might be ordinary to you, but it is EPIC for me, and that is the challenge word for the week. A big thank you to everyone who takes time to offer challenges for bloggers to take part in. Maybe something epic is happening in your week too.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday.

Phriday Pheathers

A few weeks ago a mother robin built a nest in the boughs of our crape myrtle tree. It’s a beauty, compact and perfectly fit into the crook of the branches. Eventually, we heard peeping, and once, from my vantage point at ground level, I saw a little beak and head rise above the edge of the nest.

Time passed by, and when the nest became crowded, we could see two additional heads; the nest held three babies.

The mother robin was so diligent feeding them.

Soon they fledged and became bold, standing on the edge of the nest, one at a time, contemplating their first flight.

One by one they flew away. Now I hear them in the pines surrounding our backyard, peeping to their mother. She calls back with the distinctive chirping of a protective mother robin.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday and is cross-posted in Birdy, Birdy. Thanks for birdwatching with me.




Phriday Pheathers – Blue Grosbeak

I spotted this beautiful bird on my feeder this week. He is finch-sized and a little raggedy in appearance; he is probably molting. I think he might be a Blue Grosbeak, a bird we don’t see much in southern New Jersey. Can anyone positively identify him for me? Thanks!

One of my ‘Places in the World‘ is walking with eyes up, camera in hand, searching out birds in interesting poses to photograph.