Monday, June 27, 2011

Disc Golf Course Update

On Tuesday 06-21-11 Mr. Paul Ray came down for us to go on another wildlife Safari. These photos on this post were taken at the Disc Golf Course not far from the world famous Bona Dea Sanctuary. He took most of these photos with his camera equipment. We'll save the best for first. I had been trying to locate and photo the Baltimore Oriole birds that were at this place and Bona Dea. And so far this year no such fortune. But we stayed with it and patience paid off as we were able to see one. They stay in the very high canopy of the tall trees which this time of year have heavy foliage. So it is hard to spot them. But we followed this one bird and she suddenly disappeared. I thought that strange and started looked at the spot where she disappeared and then I spied her nest. They build their nest in hanging baskets that look like are put together with a spider web with leaves and small limps in it. There are 2 photos here of that nest. One showing a brighter clear representation of the makeup and the other showing the female in the nest. It was unusual to me to note that this nest was right above the main parking lot where a lot of people come and go every day. I also saw some more nests in trees closer to the water a few days later. There is a photo showing the female on a limb with the nest at the lower right. Then another showing her peering into the nest fixing to get it and further lay and or incubate her eggs as they had not hatched by this time. The other 2 Oriole photos are of the male of this pair. It is a poor photo as I had my camera a few days later and had to hurry to catch it in the open. I did see another male and a different location at this park and it was a much bigger and prettier specimen. It could be that when these eggs hatch both parents will be feeding the young and will be closer in photo range. Other Oriole photos. While in the parking lot we saw this real pretty Common Buckeye butterfly-Junonia coenia. It landed right next to our vehicle wheels. There have been some plants growing in the water and were grouped close together and I had never seen these before in this area. So I wanted to ID them. They were over on a small island and you could not get a close up without swimming over or taking a boat. These are Cattail plants-Typha latifolia. This photo here shows a close up of the cat tails starting to form at the top of the plant. They are called mature male & female flower spikes. Also real close to this area is a big Crossvine plant that had a lot of blooms this year. It also had a lot of Bumble Bees and other bees and wasps all over it in early spring. But now the blooms had disappeared leaving these seed pods that look like green beans. I was holding this string of seed pods but did not want my gorgeous Elvis Presley body to distract from this post. So I cropped myself out and here is some info on the Crossvine. This Fox Squirrel-Sciurus niger, was begging Mr. Ray to take its photo. So he said ok and look at this pose. In this same area was a Northern Mockingbird-Mimus polyglottos. Like the Oriole it was staying pretty close to the same tree and after further review we noticed it also had a nest. This nest was pretty close to the ground but was also in the parking area where people go right by it. One photo shows it in the tree close to the nest with a insect in its mouth. The other photo shows it on the nest after it had fed the little ones. Last but not least was this Scissor-tailed Flycatcher-Tyrannus forficatus-that was flying around the park and it landed in this tree right beside the parking lot also. Seems like everything today was right in the same area where we parked our vehicles. You can really see its scissor tail in this photo of it chasing a flying insect. They actually have 2 double tails. They are beautiful in flight and this year there are more of them here and at Bona Dea and also in town than I have ever seen.

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