A ring-billed gull, from Gravelly Point, Virginia. We stopped there to look for the Snowy Owls that have been in the area, but did not see an owl. Will likely return.
Again, this Sunday contest was without edits, crops or any kind of photoshopping . Just pics out of the camera
I like to get out to Theodore Roosevelt Island every once in a while. Most people are familiar with the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, but the Theodore Roosevelt Island? Yes, he gets a whole island as a memorial (and those are the four faces on Mt. Rushmore if you recall).
As a fairly large island (88 acres), in the Potomac River, it is a fitting site for a conservationist president. In 1931 the island was bought for the memorial project, and the following year Congress approved it. But Congress didn't fund it until 1960 and it was dedicated in 1967. By contrast, the whole of the Mt. Rushmore sculpture, a huge undertaking, started in 1927 and was finished in 1941.
But possibly more famously, the island is known as a good spot to see birds. On today's walk I think I saw more giant zoom lenses than there were people at the actual Memorial with the statue and fountains and such. Again very fitting for a conservationist president.
So yes, I was mostly there to go for a walk and see some birds, but did visit the memorial and read some of Teddy's notable quotes etched in marble. And, while I tend to write this blog in the first person, my most beautiful wife and budding-photographer kid were with me. Very enjoyable family day out.
So, crossing the walking bridge to the island I took a rather standard shot looking up-river toward Georgetown University. Just a tourist snap, but I missed something.
There was a most bodacious inflatable Santa in the picture. I didn't see this until we got further around the island and I then took this photo.
So, those aren't birds. I didn't get so many great bird pics, but here are the reasonable shots I did get.
And note the smaller size of the beak, a downy woodpecker.
A big show of skaters. Here I just post some pics of Marilena Kitromilis. She was the highlight of the program.
No discredit to the other skaters, but I found Marilenas skate to be just awesome
The pileated woodpecker is the most spectacular woodpecker in the east. I have photographed many of them, but have never got "the shot" of one of them. This drives me a bit nuts, and I keep trying.
So I saw one at Lake Accotink Park, and took a photo.
Another not awesome photo of the bird. They like to be around these trees with vines on them, seeming to like the berries on the vines, but it makes it hard to get a good photo. So I tried again.
I kinda accidentally grabbed this photo of a pileated in flight as I was framing it up just as it took off.
And then there were two woodpeckers. I never saw the second one until it showed up on the same tree as the one I was looking at.
And to finish with the photos, a third pileated woodpecker showed up.
And to finish with the text, in the same tree was a flicker (a type of woodpecker), a downy woodpecker and a red-bellied woodpecker. My photos of the others aren't up to my standards for publishing here. But it certainly was a woodpecker-friendly tree.
I had a couple hours free, and needed to get out and get some exercise. Lake Accotink Park is not very far away, and provides a four-mile long hike around it. I usually find something interesting there, so headed out.
First thing, was a big gathering of crows. Did you know that a bunch of crows is called a murder of crows? Yes, a flock of sheep, a pride of lions, and a murder of crows.
And as I started my walk, I noticed all the canoes, locked up for winter.
So I started my walk, not knowing what I would see but knowing I would get some much needed exercise. And then this bit of graffiti caught my attention. On a bridge over a stream there was this hand print. Size was small, so a kid or a small lady, but I find it unique among the graffiti I generally see.
Okay, so let's get to some wildlife. I heard a red-shouldered hawk call from pretty close by. Took me a minute to find the bird, but I did find it, sitting low in the trees. And it wasn't alone. A gray squirrel was on a tree beside it and they seemed to be having a look at each other.
And while the squirrel is hawk food, it seemed to have a strong interest in staying near the hawk. They were about one meter away from each other.
So I moved around to get a better picture of the hawk.
That was fun and I like hawks. But shortly after I came upon something I wasn't expecting... a turtle basking. It is mid-December, Christmas is just a week away, and here was a turtle. I thought they had long gone into the mud for the winter.
And finally, I think this is what folks are talking about when they say they need to get their duck in a line.
I had such a response to my last post, that I am doing another. The last Post was a community of the Emberá tribe that is located well up the Chagres River in central Panama (most are in eastern Panama). Today's folks are from Kwamalasamutu, Suriname. This is in the southern part of the country and several tribes live in one consolidated village.
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist