I visited Fort De Soto Park last weekend, and saw an American Oystercatcher.
What stunning birds!
This reminded me that I had painted an Oystercatcher nest and never got around to photographing it, so I finally did it today.
This was a piece I worked on while camping near the beach back a couple years ago. I collected the shells and things on the beach and glued them to the painting to make the nest. This is similar to an actual Oystercatcher nest, as they commonly nest in sandy spots with shells.
And here, I present… a random assortment of photos from birding last month.
This warbler above, not sure on the ID- juvenile Palm Warbler, maybe? Very beautiful with that little bit of color!
And this one above, pardon the bad photo, but I was thrilled to get a look at a RAIL! Pretty rare find for me. Question is, what Rail? Clapper Rail? That one was taken at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
I’ve finished my latest guide, Shorebirds of North America. Sandpipers, plovers, oystercatchers, dowitchers, etc. (Males in breeding plumage.)
It includes aaaaall these birds:
It was a lot of work!! But I do feel slightly closer to IDing these fellas!
Prints available on Etsy.
Taken at Blue Springs. That fern floating on top of the water was just so beautiful. Remember to look for the little things.
I don’t like to get political, due to my general wariness about politics (even though I always try my best to research & vote), but I am “feeling the Bern” as it were. When that bird landed on Bernie’s podium and “Birdie Sanders” happened it was too perfect, and at the suggestion of a friend, I did a Birdie painting.
I’ve made some magnets and cards. Maybe I can raise a little money for the Bernie campaign.
Magnets & cards on Etsy.
February/March is Sandhill Crane nesting season in Central Florida, and every year I enjoy watching them.
Here is a Crane on a nest at a local park, February 18th:
This year I noticed a nest in some wetlands in walking distance of my home, and was able to keep a closer eye on it and catch the chicks when they were still in the nest (March 7th). At one point a chick was tucking under the parents wing with only it’s little face out. They were way out there so photos aren’t great, but I watched them through my binoculars for a while and could hardly handle the cute!
I didn’t get back to the nest from the first photo for a while, and when I did on March 16th I found the parents with one chick- already getting big:
This is a park where they are probably too used to people, and I fear used to being fed, because even with trying to keep distance they work their way towards you. It does makes for easy photos and wonderful observations. You can hear them making quiet little clicking sounds.
A couple new cards up in the shop.
Buffalo, as we tend to call them, that are actually “Bison”:
The bison were inspired by some sweet families I saw in Colorado a couple years ago.
And here we have an encouraging Beaver:
You can do it!!
I haven’t seen any beavers, but I have seen their steady progress on trees along the river near my parents home in North Carolina. I’m rather fascinated by it.
I also posted a number of new magnets, including Sloth, Otter, Chipmunk, Squirrel, and more Owls. (See here!)
A couple weeks ago I spent a lovely weekend at a cabin at Gold Head Branch State Park in Keystone Heights, FL. It was the perfect weekend- in the 60s during the day, 30s at night, and sunny. My favorite part about staying in a cabin or camping is waking up at dawn when the birds are just starting to sing and going for a walk. Absolute peace, quiet, and beauty.
Do you see the silhouette of the deer in the foggy distance?
I have finished painting my Corvids guide and Woodpeckers guide, and both are now up on Etsy:
Corvids of North America
Woodpeckers of North America
And speaking of woodpeckers, the other day I was walking a boardwalk and noticed the boardwalk was covered in wood chips. I looked up for a woodpecker, and the sky happened to be raining wood chips just that moment! A Pileated Woodpecker was hard at work on a hole.
Last month, going up to North Carolina, we stopped at the Angel Oak in a Charleston, South Carolina- a 400-500 year old Southern live oak tree.
What has this tree been through? No other trees around it seem old at all. How did it survive?