Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bona Dea Update

Last Tuesday Mr. Paul Ray made another visit to this part of the world to go on another field trip and take some photos. We again used his photo equipment. We began our rounds by going to the Russellville Disc Golf Course. That is really a small but beautiful area with water all around. And the land is on a hill and you look down on the water on 3 sides. It is just up the road from Bona Dea and has the same wildlife habit. It has woods and grassy areas making it ideal for various kinds of wildlife. Paul took these shots of a black American Crow taking off from the top of a tree and then took this really great photo of a black Double-crested Cormorant flying right over head with its large wing span. Its head looks really streamlined and serious in a closeup of this photo. In about the middle of the course there are some scrubby bushes and some small trees that are either dead or not leafed out yet. We were walking along looking at some butterflies when we heard a bird just singing away close up. I thought it was a mockingbird. It was a really big Brown Thrasher.We came upon it and Paul took this shot of the bird's rear. I was able to go around front and take a front shot. It has its mouth open in the middle of a note. Right from the start after parking and going across the small bridge to enter the Course, we were in the midst of a flock of Dark-eyed Junco birds. They are very skiddish and take off and hide really quick. Paul was able to get a front shot of one deep in the brush. The top half of the bird is a dark grey and bottom half is white. One of the descriptors of the bird is that when it flies it appears to be flashing white lights in its wings. Speaking of butterflies there were several real small ones yellow and white and then I got this shot of a Viceroy. The orange one. Then Paul got this shot of a Zebra Swallowtail. The one with the pigtails. We went down a old road and path into the deeper woods with really tall trees close to a water canal and high up in the tree canopies were flocks of noisy birds just flitting around and gleaning the new leaves and some catching insects in mid air. They were Yellow-rumped Warblers. Several of them were going through a spring molt and looked like they had a bad case of mites. This one photo here with a profile view shows one kinda like that and looks like a female and really shows the body striping and colors of this breed. The other photo shows what looks like a very pretty and mature male perched on a limp and showing its well built body and pretty colors. Solid white neck and black V chest and yellow on chest and yellow on the upper wings and under the tail. After this productive outing, we decided to go to Bona Dea. The same variety of Warblers were in the high tree canopies there too. We headed to the water pools to see about the ducks. On Goose Pond we saw these Blue-winged Teal ducks. 2 pairs of them. The males with the dark blue heads and white spots on rear end. Females plain brown all over. On Black Water Swamp from the old boy scout wildlife viewing blind, we saw several American Coots. I took this shot of a really big one standing on one leg. They rest or sleep in this position. We decided to look for wildflowers and I knew that this time last year they were starting to bloom down by the old Swinging Bridge area. We found several varieties. There were wild violets but we took no photos for some reason. I think because I had so many from last year. But we saw 2 Butterweed wildflowers in bloom. A photo here of one with many blooms in the head of the plant. While we were shooting this plant, a spider jumped up on the blooms. So we of course had to shoot it too. This was a Neon Nelli Jumping Spider. Photo here is a zoomed and cropped up version of the one we saw. Right next to this Butterweed plant was some Narrowleaf Springbeauty wildflowers. They are small white flowers with pinkish small stripes running through the petals that reminds me of peppermint candy. We got Pauls macro lens and equipment and started to shoot the photos. One of these photos shows the closeup of a bloom and the other showing the spiraling small long leaves and stems close to the ground. So we had a pretty productive outing as usual and good fellowship.

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