Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Safari

The Yellow Shafted Flicker
is part of our backyard bird family.
                                                  It has taken a couple of years
                                           for him to become comfortable with us.
                                                           He comes every morning
                                                                for suet and acorns.
                                                         The Juncos are still with us.
                                               They are winter birds in my backyard.

Soon they will leave for their summer homes.
Spring migration is underway.

The Brown-Headed Cowbirds have arrived.
They do over winter in southern Missouri.
 I see them in my backyard in the Spring.

They are parasitic birds,
 laying their eggs in  host bird's nests.

A brisk North-westerly breeze
and mostly cloudy skies sent me inside.
I have packing to do.

We are studying wetlands this year.

We live between the Central flyway
and the Mississippi flyway.

I have been reading about the wetlands
in my area.

I have been planning a few
short road trips.

When a pair of Sandhill Cranes flew over the house this week
I knew it was time to begin our
 Wetlands Adventure, 2010.

I made a few phone calls and found where the
 Sandhill Cranes were roosting.

I have a wetlands journal
 and reservations for two spots in a viewing blind.
We leave in the morning.
400,000 Sandhill Cranes are roosting on the sandbars
on the Platte River in Nebraska.
This has all the makings of an awesome experience.
Happy Sunday safari.


Carol said...

That Flicker is georgous...the spots look like buttons...I've never seen one before.

Mel said...

Dear Sherry,
That Yellow Shafted Flicker is beautiful!
We don't have a yard here in our new home, but hopefully life will turn around and bring more blessings our way so we could have one in the future.

Barb said...

I have never seen a Flicker so up close! It's beautiful - how lucky to have it visiting you for a season. Have fun with the cranes and take lots of photos.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh be still my heart. I just love this handsome brute. They are very shy birds. We have a couple that comes to our garden but not as often as they used to. Sigh~~

Your trip to view the Sandhills will make your heart beat fast. They are just amazing animals but in great numbers they are awesome. I love to hear their call.

Have fun. I can't wait to read the account of your trip and see the pictures.

Jennifer AKA keewee said...

Sherry we have Northern flickers here on Whidbey Island.The yellow Shafted Flicker you have in your garden, sure is a handsome bird.

kml said...

I envy you and your trip! Sounds like it will be awesome.

We have a flicker too, and man is he mouthy - loves to yak at the cat if he's around. And he remembers him each year too. Makes me suspicious that he might have angered him somehow.

Glad he still comes - enjoy your trip!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful shot of the flicker. I also have not seen one so close, and am glad to have now done so.

Deb said...

What a fabulous looking bird the Flicker is! You captured him beautifully ♥

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I know you will enjoy your trip to bird watch! The flicker is such a sharp photo! WOW! Love them all! We watched a live web cam of an eagle on her nest today. That sure has been fun! ♥

Aimee said...

that flicker is an amazingly beautiful bird! Here, the killdeer are nesting.

marmee said...

making that flicker your friend is such a great honour and you are being rewarded. he is beautiful.
when i lived in fl. we had sandhill cranes wandering around our neighbourhood...we always got a big pleasure from seeing them...i hope you have a wonderful experience with the hundreds of thousands you will see. i can't wait for the photos.
have a great trip. happy springtime.

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry......sadly I could not see any of your lovely photographs....I have tried several times but no....

I do hope you have a wonderful journey and have fun.

Best wishes always.....

Roses and Lilacs said...

Such wonderful photos of the flicker. I see them in my pasture sometimes but they are very shy and never come near the feeders or the house.

Last fall when the sandhill cranes went south, there were several whooping cranes with them. I'm hoping to see them this spring when they return. They sometimes stay in a wetland project a few miles north of my farm.

Jules and Ken said...

The sandhill cranes are beautiful, we went to see them a few years ago, it was cold so be prepared to bundle up.

Rose said...

How lucky you are, Sherry, to have this beautiful Flicker as a resident in your backyard! I've never seen one of these before. Enjoy your safari this week--sounds like an exciting experience.

Christine B. said...

We (at the top end of the Pacific flyway) haven't gotten our Sandhill cranes back yet. Nor any other of our migrating birds. Can't blame 'em. Who'd want to fly back to snow?

Christine in Alaska

Chrissie said...

Have a wonderful time, Sherry. I look forward to more beautiful pics :-)

Elisa said...

Sherry, Wow, I love the photos, how did you get them to pose for you? Such fine eye, you have.


Merisi said...

Such beautiful birds!

However, I am so excited about the Sandhill Cranes!
Can't wait to read about your excursion.

I am sure you know Peter Matthiessen's "Birds of Heaven" - one of my favorites of the books he has written.

Kimberly said...

Q, your flicker is breathtaking! How fortunate for you to have won his trust!