Janine's Blog

Desert Botanical Gardens and Sedona

May 23, 2015 by Janine |
More from the gardens...

Another cooperative Costa's hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbirds

House Finches

Lesser Goldfinch

It was a stormy day at Red Rocks State Park in Sedona

Mule Deer

More stormy Sedona vistas

More to come, next stop Flagstaff

Desert Botanical Gardens

May 16, 2015 by Janine |
First round of AZ pictures. The Desert Botanical Garden in Scottsdale was a great place to see the birds of the southwest. The gardens were nice too! :)

Gambel's quail were everywhere

Newly hatched babies

Cactus wren

New bird for me, the phainopepla

Abundant baby mammals as well

Thanks to some heavy rains, the saguaro cactus were in bloom

White-wing dove

Gilded flicker

Mourning dove

Verdin, another new bird for me

Curve-billed thrasher

Costa's hummingbird

More to come...

Riverbend Owls

May 10, 2015 by Janine |
Barred owl family at Riverbend seen last month

Parents kept watch nearby

Hairy Woodpecker

Racer in the garden

Giant swallowtail

Just got back from Arizona, will be posting photos soon!

Feels like Summer

Apr 26, 2015 by Janine |
Spring has quickly given way to summer. We have had temps in the mid- 90's and are now in the afternoon thunderstorm cycle.

We still have a couple of painted buntings hanging around.

Still getting to know my new lens. The least bitterns have been a challenge!

American Bittern, hiding


Palm Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Nesting shots from early March


Flyby Harrier


Pied billed grebe

Green heron swallows frog

DeLeon Springs

Apr 18, 2015 by Janine |
Went to DeLeon Springs State Park this past week for some field training.

Hangman's Oak

Devil's walking stick


5-lined skink. They lose their stripes with age.

At home, I still have a flock of female painted buntings. The males left last week, but I did see one straggler this morning. I took this picture on Sunday last week. I had a feeling that they were planning to leave soon because the males were singing and behaving very aggressively.

Still lots of other bird action in the yard. Had a Northern Parula stop by, and there are plenty of cardinals and blue jays. Have not seen any hummingbirds for about a week so I guess they are gone until the fall.

Catbird Fight

A pair of brown thrashers has been hanging around

Carolina Wren

Baby Raccoons

Apr 04, 2015 by Janine |
Raccoon family

A cluster of zebra longwings

Irises in bloom

The hummingbirds might be gone. Have not seen any today. Got some shots earlier this week.

The painted buntings are still here, feeding up.

I noticed one of the males has a yellow patch on his chest. He is not one of the ones that overwintered here. I think a lot of the buntings I am seeing now are stopping off on their way north.

Pelican Island

Mar 22, 2015 by Janine |
We took a sunset cruise around Pelican Island NWR yesterday and saw lots of birds.

Ospreys everywhere

Pelican Island

Other islands nearby

Mother dolphin and calf hunting in the shallow water

Couple of days in Colorado this week.

At home, things are wonderful, and terrible. Wonderful because there are more hummingbirds and painted buntings than ever! But terrible because they are leaving soon. So I will enjoy them while they are here!

I was wondering if this might be a female broad-billed. Will have to try and get some better photos.

Lots of ruby-throats.

Spring has arrived

Mar 15, 2015 by Janine |
While I have been up north, spring is here in South Florida. In my garden, coral bean plant is covered with blooms, the trees are flushed with bright green growth, and the hummingbirds and painted buntings are feeding up for their migration. Yesterday we saw our first Swallow-tailed kite, a sure sign that summer is on the way.

Screech owl waiting for the sun to go down (not in my garden unfortunately!)

I just got back from a work trip to Texas. While out there I was able to visit the Bracken Bat cave, which is the largest gathering of mammals on the planet. Up to 20 million bats roost in the cave and emerge at night to feed.

Bats only beyond this point

Predators also gather to prey on the bats as they emerge.

I recently bought a digiscoping adapter for the spotting scope and it has worked amazingly well. The Snapzoom attaches a cellphone camera to the scope for photo or video capture. I have the scope set up on a favored hummingbird perch in the garden, and here's the result:

Pretty good, considering it's a phone camera!

Baby Owls

Mar 08, 2015 by Janine |
Great horned owl nest in the visitor center parking lot at Everglades National Park

Another parking lot nest, this time Barred Owls

One parent kept a close eye on the nest

The other one stayed nearby

It has been a bit of a crazy week. From flood, to freeze, to fire.

Last Saturday we got over 10 inches of rain.

Then I headed up to Canada, with temps of -10 and an ice storm

Got great looks at snow bunting and horned lark. Also had a drive-by short-eared owl!

Got home, thawed out, and enjoyed my butterflies. Lots of monarchs this week. Painted buntings and hummingbirds still here.

Then it got up to 92 in the Everglades on Friday. Kind of a shock to the system!

Barred Owls and more lens practice

Feb 22, 2015 by Janine |
Paid a visit to the barred owls at Riverbend park:

Love in the air

Lots of ospreys

Been practicing with the fixed 300mm lens. It takes some getting used to, but I think I am getting the hang of it.

Green Cay wetlands is a great place to practice because there is a good variety of birds and distances to play around with.

Gonna need a bit more practice before I have mastered this lens though. I still find myself struggling to get close subjects within the frame. Lots of stepping backwards!