Category Archives: Adventures in Birdland

Coming Soon! As soon as I get home!

22 May 2014 – Update


So, it’s been a busy week since getting back home. First the Prom Proposal, then the Bon Portage weekend, and yesterday was more Prom preparation.

Of course I started it off with some birding in my area. I had to! It was such a wonderful sunny morning and they were all out there calling to me!

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After a couple of hours of getting out in the fresh air and sun and spending the time in great company (thanks Donna), I scurried back home to get ready to go pick the kids up…on the agenda was Graduation Photos and Prom preparations. It brought a tear to my eye as I watched Cameron sitting there with cap and gown on…I still see him as a little boy. It’s hard to believe that he’s all grown up now…well, relatively! LOL

We then went to Moore’s to get his Tuxedo all set up….what a chore that was! Can’t wait until the final fitting to see it all put together. I think we were able to color coordinate based on Ashley’s dress…hope it all works out.

Then off to pick out boutonniere and wrist corsage and we ended the day with ice cream together. I will miss him when he goes away for the summer. 😦

Plans for Prom night include a picture taking session at Public Gardens, dinner with the parents at the Grand Taj and then off to the ball for 8 pm. I am really looking forward to it!

So, off to get some housework done…although the birds are still calling me, the weather is not so great so it’s forcing me to stay and do some of the mundane things in life.

That’s it for today

soldiermomma signing off

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6 April 2014 – Foxy Sparrow


We had a great day yesterday…rain or not, it was wonderful to get to spend time with my family. Me, Tim, Cameron and Ashley went to spend the day with Mom and Fred to celebrate Cameron’s upcoming 18th and Ashley’s upcoming 17th birthday!

As usual, Mom stuffed us well before sending us on our way…lasagna, salad, garlic bread and for the dessert, pound cake with mixed berries and whipped cream…I was in a food coma the whole way home! I think my stomach shrank during my time away.

My bestie read my note I wrote to her. I didn’t mean to make her cry. Sorry bestie. 😦

I also found out that my cousin’s father, a veteran, is engaged in the fight of his life…literally. I am hoping to get to see him today, regardless of whether or not he is coherent or recognizes me. It’s good to lend moral support to those who are watching the battle and are not able to help. Hopefully time will be on my side and I will be able to get there before I have to leave.

A dreary day all day yesterday…some freezing rain to start didn’t bode well, but it turned to just rain and of course, as soon as it started to get dark, the sun looked like it wanted to make an appearance and the rain stopped.

It was a crazy active morning in my yard as far as birds go…I don’t remember ever seeing so many juncos in one spot…we had a great variety and then….all of a sudden, I see this bird on the ground and from a distance, I was thinking….could this be? Is my wish from the day before going to come true? I ran and got my camera and sure enough, there he was! A fox sparrow!

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So what’s the big deal? Well, the day previous, there had been a lot of people in the NSBS posting pics of these guys, most of them saying that they had never seen them before. I had jokingly made a comment about sending one my way, that I would love to see one…and dear heavens, there he was! It was really cool! I think he’s a very pretty little sparrow. Today, my goal is to see if he comes back and then try to get pics of him without the glass between the bird and the lens.

We also had a starling in one of the birdhouses checking it out. As I watched, she threw some nesting material we had put in there from last season, out on the ground. I wonder if this is the one that we rescued from the fireplace and now she likes us and is moving in?

Not long after, I also saw a chickadee checking the same house out…I hope the starling wasn’t trying to ruin the chickadees efforts at building a home there…there ARE two other houses that can be chosen from. So, it looks good for nesting birds in the yard this year…can’t wait!

All in all, a great day and time well spent with loved ones. Counting down now until I leave yet again…everyone says it will go by fast…I really hope so, but at the same time, I don’t want to wish my life away either.

That’s it for today

soldiermomma signing off

3 April 2014 – Website


Another day spent mostly at home yesterday…but it was productive in the sense that I finally got my website working and now I feel I have a really great way to hold all my great pictures in one place and showcase them in a really nice way.

We went to pick up the wood cookstove later on in the afternoon and went birding a little on the way. There was nothing exciting to see until we came back…and then whoooppeee, got my best shots of an Eagle ever and found the Rough Legged Hawk I had been searching for since I came back….it was great!

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I realize it’s already Thursday and my time at home is getting pretty short…the worst about coming home is having to leave again. I hope this next month goes by in the blink of an eye!

Getting a haircut today…can’t wait! Not sure what I will do after that…depends on what the roads are like.

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off.

 

1 April 2014 – April Fool’s


Got him!!!

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Tim saw him and he almost got away, but I snuck around the side of the house just before he disappeared and snapped off a few pics! HA! Number 49 on my list for this year!

Had lovely, although cold day, yesterday, duck hunting with Tim. He got finished work early and had to go to town and I was already there, so we hooked up and haunted Bedford, Armdale Rotary and Point Pleasant Park..it was cold, but the wind was refreshing and we saw so many cool things. In fact, it was very cool because I got the Tufted Duck!

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Although we didn’t see the Purple Sandpipers at the Park, we did see about 200 Black Scoters mixed with Eiders, surfing the waves and having a ball…what fun!

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At Armdale, we watched this guy swallow the remains of a chicken wing whole!

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Then this fellow begged us for some food…luckily we had just bought some see so we put a handful of Millet down for him and his mate…they loved it!

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And I finally got some really decent pics of the Red Breasted Merganser

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After that, I finally got to see Cameron! I was so happy to give him a hug and see his face. I missed him a lot. 🙂

We went and got him his Birthday/Graduation present…a new Iphone! Sounds expensive, but it really didn’t cost much with the Koodo plan. He’s happy and that’s what matters. Love you bud!

I managed to get home before the freezing rain started and finished the day cuddled up by the fire.

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off

 

 

29 March 2014 – Eagle


When we came out here to look at the house for the very first time looking to purchase, before we even got to it, we saw a Bald Eagle sitting in the tree near the road. Now, I wasn’t a birder at the time, but I still had an appreciation for our feathered friends and both Tim and I were in the truck saying “how cool a neighbor would that be?” The Eagle pretty much had the house sold for us sight unseen.

Once we moved in, I started putting out feeders and then we started seeing birds that we never knew existed! That hooked me and I have made several attempts over this past year at getting great pictures of the eagles in that same area, all the while, drooling with envy over other people’s pictures they have been getting.

Patience is a virtue, and yesterday, after a so-so day birding, I was almost home when I spotted my chance. A young eagle had perched in a tree branch that hangs over the road! WOW! The beauty of living on a dirt road is that you can stop right in the middle of it and not really have to worry. So I did. I started by taking pics out my window…they are not known to stick around once they see you coming towards him. Once I figured he was there to stay, I got out and he let me do a photo shoot…my heart! I got great pics!

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That’s not to say that the rest of my day was a complete wash out as far as pictures go….

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Cameron is still sick, so we had to put his Birthday celebration off until next Saturday. Not sure what today will bring, but I’m ready to get out there and find out!

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off

28 March 2014 – Addiction


Hi! My name is Lou-Anne and I’m a birding a-holic. I’ve been birding for just under a year now, and I can’t stop! LOL

And you know you’re an addict when you start to get excited about seeing GULLS! Of all things!

Tim and I went to our first NSBS meeting last night but before we went, we took a quick drive around to see if anything interesting popped up after the storm.

I found tons of Gulls and thought I found some new ones, but when I got home, the more I looked at the pictures, the more confused I got about what I was seeing..sigh, it will take years before I can look at a Gull and be able to say “Oh, there’s a first winter Herring, or an immature Kumlien’s!” Well, patience is definitely a virtue in the birding world…but having the experts to consult is a good thing, and that’s what I’ll be doing. I am going back out today to take a longer look at them and see if I can start picking out what’s what. I can tell when something looks different, I just can’t name it.

The meeting itself was interesting! I got to chat with some like minded people, and the talk was about 5 different birds in NS that are threatened or endangered….two of those species I have found out here near the house, so it was interesting.

There was also a lady there from the NS Nature Trust organization and I think I will be contacting her….they are looking for volunteers to bird on their protected parcels of land looking for birds that populate them…sounds like a good way to find new birding spots and get out there and see what’s what!

In the meantime, I added a new bird to my list yesterday…saw a pair of Long Tailed Ducks diving around near the Gulls…still a rush to see a new species!

And just so you see what I’m talking about with the gulls….

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That’s it for today.

Happy Birding!

soldiermomma signing off

26 March 2014 – It’s all about the Snowy


What a great day yesterday! I couldn’t resist! I had to go and look for that Snowy Owl again. She wasn’t there when I first went through Lawrencetown, but by the time I got back, there she was! Right by the trail and in plain view.

I noticed a couple of people there with cameras and of course I had to stop! As it turns out, one of them was a fellow who just recently joined our little birding group…it was nice to meet him in person. So there we sat with our Sigmas, snapping away, ohhhing and ahhhing and just enjoying the experience.

It’s unfortunate that mother nature kicked in and I had to leave or I would still be there I think! And let me tell you, that drive from the beach into Cole Harbour can be longest ever when you have to pee! LOL

Tim came into town and we met at McCormack’s Beach and had a donair…HEAVEN! While I prowling around the beach, here’s what I got.

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A Killdeer which I didn’t expect!

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Some lovely ice formations

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A house sparrow

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And a lovely pic of a starling

All in all a good day…crossed another couple of birds off my list for this year. I will leave you with my snowy owl pics.

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Good luck in the storm!

That’s it for today

soldiermomma signing off

25 March 2014 – ROAD TRIP!


Featured image courtesy of Mr. Andy De Champlain!

What a great day we had…missing from this picture is Val Smith who I finally had the pleasure of meeting outside of the FB forum. 🙂 What great friends I have made since I took up birding!

One of the reasons I started blogging is because that when I go birding, there is so much more that happens in the day that I wanted to share, but couldn’t because there was no forum to do it in. So here goes one of many blogs under the Adventure’s in Birdland tab in the menu. I will also be updating my Birds of NS page each time I get a picture of a different bird from my list and occasionally changing them as I get better ones. 🙂

To start the day off, we went on the hunt for a snowy owl. That didn’t work out so well…we didn’t find it in the location we were hoping, nor did we see the Rough Legged Hawk we were looking for. I found out when we got home that two separate people were in the same place as us a couple of hours later, and it was there! Grrrr…I may have to head out today and see if I can see it. 🙂

The girls I was with are big horse lovers and like to get pics of them. The time driving around wasn’t wasted. I got this picture on the way.

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Beauty!

I was also able to see a lifer bird! The Common Goldeneye, although quite far away and not a good shot…goal for while I’m home!

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On the way, we stopped to snap some pics of Mother Nature’s raw beauty….

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And a surfer dude!

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We also saw some Canada Geese….yes, I DID check for odd geese you can be sure!

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And a lovely Black Backed Gull.

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During the drive around this area, we also took advantage of getting some pics of these Fjord Horses (hope I spelled that correctly).

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Now this brought a smile to my face! And to Susan’s and the Horse’s! LOL

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A Billy Idol wannabe! LOL

We stopped at Conrad Rd and saw some Golden Crowned Kinglets! So cute!

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And bonus! A brown Creeper!

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After haunting that area for awhile, we headed to Hartlen Point where a Snowy Owl has been seen in the past. We weren’t disappointed!

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It was so exciting to finally see one , after having sat so far away and watched people post such beautiful pictures of them. 🙂

Our final destination was Sullivan’s Pond where I was able to get some lovely snaps of the Eurasian and American Wigeons

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The highlight of the day was finding this beautiful Glaucous Gull!

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Tim met me at the pond and we split off…we did a couple of errands, then decided to go back to the same areas quickly to check if I could see the Hawk or the Owl better. No luck! But I did get some better pics of a Male Common Eider and a Lesser Scaup we had seen earlier on.

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This little guy was on our route as well.

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All in all, a fabulous day! But to round it off, the chicken guy up the road was out dumping, so this pair was hanging around waiting for a feast…the lighting was off, but still, a pretty picture I think.

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Can’t wait to see what adventures I will have in Birdland today!

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off.

 

 

 

 

24 March 2014 – Brrrrr


Yup, it’s cold. From one extreme to the other! And now from the Rains of Africa into the Snows of Canada! Brrrrrr

Yesterday was a nice day! Went for a drive…oh how I missed going for a drive! And got a new bird for my NS list! That made my day.

I started a page of pictures of all the birds I see this year…enjoy.

Cameron and Ashley didn’t make it out yesterday…he was sick. Poor thing. 😦 Hopefully he will feel better soon…we are planning a birthday celebration for him next weekend. 🙂

I bought a new feeder yesterday…it’s a cool one and uses a Mason jar with a metal base…it should last longer than some of those cheapo ones I have made the mistake of purchasing in the past…looks like it will clean up well too.

Big day today…watch for pics! Hoping to get a few more lifers out there wandering around…but better pics are just as good!

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off

22 March 2014 – Homecoming


Well, I’m home! It was quite the trip and a couple of times I wondered if I would make it out of Juba! That place and the people that work there are just nuts! That’s all I’m going to say on that for now. 

I cried when we touched down on Canadian soil..if I could have kissed the tarmac I would have! 

And even better, I get home, the house is clean, the dogs and cats were happy to see me, and my critters were around to greet me! In the first hour, we even did a bird rescue…there was a starling stuck in the fireplace. Ahhh, home…be it ever so humble, there’s no place like it. 

Of course, my camera came out pretty quickly..I’ve already started my list for this birding year…in my yard alone, this is what greeted me.

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So, for those that doubted I would keep up my blog at home, doubt no more! LOL

That’s it for today

soldiermomma signing off