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Joined: January 1st, 1970

North America » United States » Tennessee » Nashville March 21st 2024

This is our last full day of vacation. ( I don’t count driving eight hours home as vacation really.) It was a lovely day in the high 60s and sunny. We went for breakfast to a nearby restaurant called the Frothy Monkey. And then we walked to the country music Hall of Fame. I believe we were there for the 11:15 entrance and stayed 4 hours. It was really very interesting, with lots of displays and videos. We rented the audio things. It was interesting to see who was in this Hall of Fame as well as the rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame. We then walked to a coffee shop and had really tasty coffee called Dancing goats. It was very smooth. Then we did a little bit of walking across the Cumberland river where ... read more
Garth Brooks dispkay
wish the grandkids were here
Nashville skyline

North America » United States » Tennessee » Nashville March 20th 2024

A long day of driving for David, but he does such an amazing job, even in the anxiety-raising 3-dimensional spaghetti junctions. We headed out from the hotel by 8 and crossed the crazy long bridge across Lake Pontchartrain (which averages 14’ in depth) – the longest bridge continuously over water (unlike the Florida Keys which are water and island mixes). And guess where we went? Back to try to find the XXX red cockaded woodpeckers. Still struck out on them. But at the boardwalk over the marsh the King Rail was making his loud sounds, like bull frogs really, and we used the Merlin app to call back to him. He actually managed to cross from one side of the boardwalk to the other TWICE without our seeing him. Then I caught a glimpse but David ... read more

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans March 19th 2024

Some people keep saying this is the first day of spring ? Well, it was a lovely day! Cool enough for Jean to wear a jacket to begin with, but then down to just a top. Of course we got an early start – like 8:15, and drove south of the Mississippi River to “Village de l’est,” area and the Jean Lafitte bayou national preserve. Yes, the pirate. The first boardwalk was quiet but lovely with many bald cypress and irises just starting. Water was every where. We met a nice couple Mallory and James before moving on – gave them some of “His Coins” as a memento. Then drove maybe 5 mins on to a different path of the same preserve, and that was much more full of birdsounds and sightings. AND alligators!! Bayou coquilles. ... read more

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans March 18th 2024

After a very comfy night's sleep, we had a pretty early start driving to some birding places north of Lake Pontchartrain. Sadly, the target bird (the red cockaded WP) wasnt cooperating. We chatted to a very nice local couple, where he is a pastor from Honduras and she from Indiana, and they said they see the woodpecker there frequently, but not today. Today they heard a king rail, but we did not. 6 ospreys at a big nest though and a lovely sunny but cool day. We then drove about a half hour to another place, a very nice state park with a beach onto the lake. Another very nice walk, but few birds. However, when we walked to get closer to some really big turtles around a little fishing lake, we stopped in our tracks ... read more
2 Blue winged teal
3 Giant thistle and butterfly
4 Many osprey

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans March 17th 2024

Saturday was a beautiful day. We packed up early and took the back road back to Lake Coleman to look once again for the elusive Red Cockaded woodpecker and Red Crossbill. Using the Merlin app on our phone we could tell that these birds were nearby and David swears he saw the both birds fly. No photographs, so we face the deep philosophical question of do we count birds in this second of our “Big Year of birding” by hearing only, which evidently is a very recognized and respected way of counting your species. The other very exciting thing that’s happening is that every time we stop at a Circle K we get $.25 off a gallon and free goodies like a soda every time. This only works on the club member Circle K’s, but they ... read more
Great blue heron
Great Horned owls

North America » United States March 15th 2024

Dear friends and family, For this blog, I’m going to try something new. I’m trying to dictate the news on my phone. Why? Because when we are in Ecuador – our next big adventure – I don’t want to have to take 2 laptops (one for me to write the blog and the other for David to be culling his photos) – or to wait forever and fall asleep. We made it to Banner Elk North Carolina with no difficulty, and had plenty of time to share a nice dinner at the red Onion with Cinda Williamson, just like we did three Christmases ago. In fact, we had enough time to stop at a birding area on the amazing but hilly campus of Appalachian State University, which is right in the center of Boone, North Carolina. ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona » Amado January 27th 2024

Today was a variety – the sunniest day ever by the afternoon (it got to about 73 degrees F) but in the late morning we tried to find certain special birds in Box Canyon, and it must have been blowing cold wind thru that canyon at about 40 MPH! Crazy. Actually, the first thing on the agenda was – you guessed it Chris and Jeanette – the local water treatment plant. Great for a variety of ducks and teals and even 3 SNOW GEESE. One cinnamon teal. It was chilly but worth it – and then we went for brunch at a place we had discovered last year. The best sweet potato fries ever. Fortified, that’s when we drove into Box Canyon and tried to hike a little in the very cold wind. We didn’t see ... read more
Water Treatment ducks
Water Treatment pond
Cinnamon Teal

North America » United States » Arizona » Sierra Vista January 26th 2024

Another busy and fresh-air day. It is almost 9 pm and we are finally in for the night, having left just after 8! This vacationing is quite challenging! Our first stop was Ramsey Canyon, 2 hours away. It is a Natural Conservancy – used to be a privately held area. There are still a few houses here and there in the lower areas. We walked about ½ mile along the canyon, and then climbed all the way up the Hamburg Trail to the Overlook – at least 500’ elevation change – to get into the pine forests and try to find the red crossbill (some people coming down had seen it that day). It was quite a challenging climb – glad I took my hiking poles. We were rewarded by the lovely smell of the pine ... read more
Amazing sycamores
Narcissistic redstart
View from near top

North America » United States » Arizona » Tombstone January 25th 2024

Today was sunny at last, but still chilly. We aimed for Whitewater Draw, an area where thousands of sandhill cranes have been gathering since the late 60s in their migration to Nebraska and parts north. They leave the wetlands for the fields at day break and return around noon, so we knew we didn’t need to rush there. Still, it was going to be a two hour drive…. So we stopped in famous Tombstone for a looksee. My oh my it was so commercial, but would indeed have needed an hour to do it all. Our aim was the 25 min historical overview at 10, but we are out of season and it wouldn’t start till noon. So we bought a ticket to see the OK corral anyway – where metal cut out figures of Wyatt ... read more
OK Coral
Cranes coming in for landing
Cranes flying for a rest

North America » United States » Arizona » Green Valley January 24th 2024

Today was dry. Yeah. We said good morning to a passel of 10 Gambrel Quail in our garden, and then we were off to Patagonia, a community very near the border with Mexico, along the Sonoita Creek. Paton’s Hummingbird Center is there, and that was our first stop. BTW, Tucson is about 2300’ elevation, Patagonia is 4000 (and Madera Canyon about 5000 the other day). Elevation really affects the varieties. Actually there are only 2 types of hummers here now, the tiny broadbill and the violet-crowned Hummingbiards. Staff had taken down all the seed feeders (!) because of increasing avian flu, but there were still birds in the pecan trees and shrubs. We learned about the symbiotic relationship between the Gila woodpeckers and Ladder-backed woodpeckers with the pine siskins. The woodpeckers broke open the pecan pods, ... read more
Looking for the Red-naped Sapsucker!

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