Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Sparrow in bath
A cool but sunny morning and a pool of water enticed this sparrow to take a dip. After a pretty good soaking it shook off in a nearby bush of honeysuckle, sounding like a kid softly thumbing a deck of cards.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Egg Duty

Osprey on Eggs Currituck Sound
Our Osprey is incubating the eggs. She is tucked down into the nest, especially in this cool, blustery weather. We will be looking for hatchlings around the first week of May.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Snow Fountain

Snow Fountain Cherry Blossoms
My ornamental weeping cherry is near peak flowering. Hope this latest storm doesn't strip it of the blooms.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

White-throated Sparrow Trois

White-throated Sparrow
Still here and probably here for another couple weeks, the winter sparrows fill the spring air with song. An article in the morning paper quotes a bird watcher stating that neo-tropical birds have been seen in a south eastern NC swamp.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hawk, another look

Sharp=shinned Hawk
Here's a look at the Sharp-shinned hawk just before he flew off. This is a good look at the skinny legs that helped to identify the hawk.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Green onions

Green onions
Green onions that I let go to seed provide some architectural interest in the garden. It's also a great idea to mix an onion in with your flowers. The leaves are puffy, give 'em a gentle squeeze and they feel like a clown's animal balloons.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Arugula flowering

The pretty little cross shaped flower of Arugula. We have a bunch flowering now; soon little seed pods that are similar to radish will form and give us plenty to plant in the future. Meanwhile a fresh patch of new seedlings will supply us with the peppery leaves we love in our salad. This is a pretty hardy herb, it overwintered well here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Pair at the Nest

Osprey Pair Currituck Sound
The Osprey pair together at the nest. A third Osprey has been hanging around the last few days, showing off a fish and perched on nearby piers. The pair does not seem overly concerned. Lots of squawks and one chase. Perhaps this is a youngster back for the first time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Osprey on his perch

Osprey with Fish Currituck Sound
The Osprey is routinely using this perch to eat his fish.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Hawk visits

Sharp-shinned Hawk Currituck
Probably looking for a little bird, the Sharp-shinned Hawk stopped in the yard for a few minutes. It hopped around a bit and settled atop my concrete frog before taking off.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Working the nest

Osprey with stick Currituck Sound
A stick is brought back to the nest. It was knocked out during some arranging and floated on the water.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Banded Osprey

Banded Osprey with fish Currituck Sound
Close up of leg band

Never noticed this before my latest photos: one of the pair is banded on the left leg. My older photos don't show that leg, there is usually a twig in the way. I'm trying to find out what group is banding ospreys in this area.

Friday, March 19, 2010


The sunshine and warmer temps have pushed the daffodils to start opening.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow Currituck
I usually hear this sparrow during the migration times.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Snowflakes

The tiny blooms of this dainty flower are just starting to open. The fine detail of the green dot on each petal is worthy of closer look.

Monday, March 15, 2010

White-throated Sparrow Deux

White-throated Sparrow Currituck
Another pretty sparrow in the brush.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A favorite perch

Osprey Currituck Sound
During the nesting season one bird is typically off the nest, eating or resting. These favored perches are nearby making quick access should an alarm call come from the nest. This is one of the favorite perches of our Osprey pair.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Green headed Daffodils

Daffodils Currituck
What a wind last night! Looks like we are drying out this morning. My green headed daffodils are just starting to open. They are sturdy enough to take the wind.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Little bird at Dusk

A finch in silhouette in the late day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

House Finch Pair

House Finch Currituck
Year round birds, the House Finches have a long pretty song. They like to nest in my ivy covered trees and are a favorite target for the snakes. My bird books report the birds made the jump from the west coast to the east via illegal pet traders. I love the way the female appears to be gazing at the male.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ospreys are here

Osprey Currituck Sound
The ospreys have returned to the island. Here's one of 'our' pair with part of a fish in it's claw. The branch he sits on was attached to the boat house with the Kingfisher in mind. The Kingfisher prefers the higher post and branch constructed for the Osprey.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow Currituck
Another migrant from the north, his song brightens a winter day.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow Currituck
This sparrow will be heading back to Canada or nearabouts shortly. Meanwhile it enjoys the seeds we spread for our winter visitors.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird Currituck
The Red-wings will soon be nesting in the nearby marshes. This is the male with his flashy shoulder patches. The female is patterned in marsh colored browns and looks more like a giant sparrow than a blackbird.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Currituck Sound Outer Banks
One February morning a thick haze lays over the Outer Banks and disappears the land.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A County Goose

Canada Goose Currituck Sound
Our County awhile ago elected the Canada Goose as graphic representation of the native Indian name for our area: Caritoke. The given translation of "Land of the Wild Goose" may imply more than a single type of goose (Snows and Blues) and perhaps even the Swans.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Bluebills

Bluebills Currituck Sound
The flocks have thinned considerably: we're down to a few ducks, a few swans. Of course the weather has turned rough and they may have moved to the bays. But this time of year I suspect they are moving north. The few that are here are feeding heavy. We walked the shoreline (the water was out due to the storm) and the fowl were not too anxious about us, just busy feeding. We haven't had our usual number of swans this year due to the consistent high water.

Sunrise on Currituck Sound

Currituck Sound sunrise
From last week, another beautiful sunrise on the Sound.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another Beautiful Bluebill

Bluebill Currituck Sound
Male Bluebill feeding on the sound. The green color on the head is seen in sunlight and is one way to distinguish the male Greater Scaup.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Otter Nap

Otter Currituck Sound
Out on the pier one morning last week I noticed 3 otters way out in the sound swimming and fishing. They came toward shore and up on a distant neighbor's dock and enjoyed their catch. I walked down to get a closer look and found one napping and the other two headed back out in the water.