Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FINALLY!

It was raining when we got up, but it stopped late in the morning, and we headed out to Occoquan NWR, on the Occoquan River. It was mid-day, but still mostly overcast, so the light wasn't too bad.

We went first down to the wetland area, which was pretty quiet. There were, of course, plenty of red-winged blackbirds, tree swallows, and Canada geese. We could hear lots of birds, but had a hard time seeing them. This glossy ibis was strutting down the path.

We were excited to see this least bittern hiding in the reeds.


The egret never came close enough to get a decent shot- have to do those in Florida!


I was really happy to see the little Virginia rail. It was little and very shy, but I was able to follow it along for a good while and get some shots...it never came out of the reeds, so it was a challenge to get a shot of the face.



Dogwoods are everywhere here - this is a pink one growing wild in the park.


The pair of osprey put on a good show for us. This is not usually "my thing" - I try to get the birds to sit nicely lol, but this was too good to pass up.




I hadn't seen barn swallows before at Occoquan. but there are plenty of sheds where they can nest. This one was either tired or just bored!


I had the good luck to spot the blue-gray gnatcatcher's nest, so we stayed there for some time, and got plenty of images of this cutie.




When we finally got to the river this pair of geese were walking down the path..As we approached, they rushed over to the grass, collected their brood (4 goslings), and jumped into the river.

It was fun - the whole trip was fun! There were lots more birds and photos, but this post is getting way too long.

23 comments:

pnfphotography said...

beautiful images I especially am drawn to the dogwood images... I so wish to grow a pink dogwood... just beautiful

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

WOW, WOW, WOW!!! Am I ever happy you finally got out! You really made up for all of those rainy days. I can't tell you which is my favorite today, they are all stunning. The Egret, I think, and the Osprey are just awesome!!!
That was an incredible post, Helen!
BTW...after following your advise, I now have Bluebirds!!!

The Birdlady said...

pnf...Thank you for visiting - yes the pink dogwoods are breathtaking...we are really fortunate to enjoy them.

aunt b..."wow, wow, wow" right back at you...bluebirds!!!YAY!
And thanks!

Sandpiper said...

WOW!! What a fantastic day you had! I wouldn't be able to choose a favorite picture because they are really all so good, and so interesting, too. What a nice variety of birds, and so much action that you were able to see.

kjpweb said...

Beautiful - especially the Osprey images are outstanding - and the least bittern! Wow! Still on my "I got to have an image of it!" List!
Cheers, Klaus

The Birdlady said...

Lin, thank you! Yes, it was a great outing.

Klaus, thanks. The bittern was very exciting for us...it was really trying to hide.

Stacey Huston said...

WOW! I am glad the rain stopped for you, but look at how beautiful it has made everything. and you already have goslings... what was that you said once about...thou shalt not covet....?? Beautiful Helen thanks so much for sharing

quintarantino said...

A fantastic day you had!
All photos shown here are really so good, and so interesting ... you put things in quite a high level.

Diary of a Photographer said...

Wow, you certainly captured quite a nice variety on this pleasant trip. Beautiful.

The Birdlady said...

Stacey, Quintarantino, Diary...thanks. It was a great day. I think we might head out somewhere now. It's overcast, so light should be fine.

John Theberge said...

Nice series of photos, it's great you have such a nice place to visit.

The Birdlady said...

Thank you John...

Bird Girl said...

This was the best post! The glossy ibis walking down the path was so cool! And the bittern is one of those birds WE ALL want to get a shot of!!! But the osprey is just phenomenal!!! Perfectly exposed and super detailed! Wonderful,birdlady - just wonderful!You had one heck of a bird outing and so glad you could share it!

The Birdlady said...

Barb - you are too, too kind! It was so nice to be out and about - yeah, the bittern was a wonderful surprise, as was the rail. As you know, I don't usually even try to get them flying - I leave that to your expertise, but this osprey seemed to be putting on a show just for us!

Mike said...

Really enjoyed your Osprey on the wing.

The Birdlady said...

Oh, I'm glad you did! He ws magnificent.

Jotter Jan said...

Oh what fantastic images Helen and those Osprey shots were stupendis!!!!!!
What a wonderful series!!!

The Birdlady said...

Hey, JJ. Thanks for your compliments.

jalynn01 said...

I have not seen an ibis, bittern or rail only through your lens.. Love the ibis walking away down the path! The geese and goslings are just darling, and I loved that swallow with the big yawn!!! Thanks for taking us along on your trip! We needed that! :-)

The Birdlady said...

Jalynn, I'm so glad you could share my outing! You are always so kind with your remarks!

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

Just amazing! What a day to see so many birds! I would love to be so lucky. Thanks for sharing.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Wow, these are all stunning photographs.

The Birdlady said...

Thanks, everyone.