Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Visit from Gail and Bill!!

We weren't totally successful at providing nice weather for our "fair weather" Florida relatives this past weekend!  My sister and her hubby came up for a short visit and we tried to provide some birding for them and managed a little before they left.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) the weather deteriorated but the birding improved just as they left!!  Our first day we went to the Basin trail to see the Hooded Mergansers and down to Carolina Beach State Park..  We also made frequent visits to the boat ramp at Ft. Fisher as you just never know....  The second day we took them to Greenfield Lake and the Arboretum but both were free of birds for the most part.  This scene is of some of the swampy part of Greenfield Lake and one of my favorite scenes with the cypress and the algae.  The alligators like it over here but it was far too cold for any alligators!

The Hooded Mergansers were showing off their fine feathers and were doing all sorts of dancing behaviors and Bill and I watched for some time.

There were also some Ruddy Ducks mostly sleeping and a female Hooded Merganser in the foreground.  No diving today!!

There were a lot of Horned Grebes down by the boat ramp.

We spotted this juvenile Cooper's Hawk sitting in a tree at Carolina Beach State Park.

Sunday morning brought extra icky cold windy weather which is perfect for sighting Northern Gannets from the porch!!  Gail was the first to see them!  They are a beautiful very large elegant bird which usually spends its time out over the ocean except for these stormy days when you see lots of them.

All we saw at Greenfield Lake were a Pied Billed Grebe and another Ruddy Duck.  There was an area which was just filled with Great Egrets which only I got out in the cold and photographed!!  I liked the background of the trees.

This is my sister Gail and her husband Bill in front of the most beautiful Japanese maple (which doesn't show unfortunately) at the Arboretum.

The Camellias were blooming and this is a nice pansy garden for all my northern friends!!  It is cold but we have flowers here all year round!!

Tomorrow pictures of all the birds that came down to the boat ramp on the morning that they left (but fortunately which they were able to see on their way to the ferry and going home).

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