Friday, May 08, 2009

Birding By Butt Day at New River

I'm still in a twirl trying to process my pictures and memories of my week at the New River Birding and Nature Festival in West Virginia but I'm WAY behind in posting so I decided to just jump right in. (For some reason I'm not able to build links, sorry.)
Look at these beautiful Kathies! That's Kathie from Sycamore Canyon in Tuscon on the left and Kathi the Katdoc on the right. About every third woman at the festival was a Kathie/Kathi/Cathy/Kathleen etc. Coming from Tuscon poor Kathie was always cold.

Susan, Mary and Tim.
Susan is an old friend since we met last October in Cape May. Mary could make me dissolve into a fit of tear-squirting giggles just by looking at me. Tim is hilarious. He flew into Charleston a bit ahead of me but waited for my flight so we could caravan on to Opossum Creek Retreat. When I came around the corner toward the baggage claim area and I saw his smiling face I could have just melted. Out of everyone, I was most nervous about meeting Tim. I needn't have worried- Tim is wonderful.

Birding by Butt included a banding demonstration by Bill Hilton Jr. from Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History near York, South Carolina. I have subscribed to This Week at Hilton Pond longer than any other blog.

Bill has done extensive work banding and researching Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. I took many photos of Bill banding birds that day but found this photo particularly moving. Look at this hummingbird's tiny foot grasping the lead on his mechanical pencil.

After each bird was banded Bill chose someone to release the bird. Look at the priceless expression Kathie's face. Her joy was a delight to share.

BITE that finger!

Jane, Susan and I took a quiet stroll and found a great birding spot on our own. This Scarlet Tanager looked like a Christmas light in the tree-top.

Another shot of the Hooded Warbler which I believe was my first lifer of the trip.

Earlier in the afternoon on a birding walk Geoff Heeter pointed out this Blue-gray Gnatcatcher working on her nest. She would fly in with bits of lichen and gently tamp them down into place with her chin.

I spent time every day on the big covered porch out back at the Meadows. This day someone spotted this Eastern Bluebird baking in the sun on the lawn. Not sure if he was anting (do Bluebirds do that?) or just soaking up the sun. Maybe he knew that rain was going to be coming later in the week.

Art and I are headed up north to Hasty Brook tomorrow morning. We're hoping to talk to our builder again to firm up our plans for moving forward with building this spring.


RuthieJ said...

I'm glad you had at least one sunny day for pictures and also that you had such a great time with new and old friends.

KGMom said...

It sounds like you had a well-deserved grand time.
I agree--that photo of the hummingbird grasping pencil point says it all. So tiny, so fragile, so resilient.

Barbie ♥ said...

That is such a neat shot of the beautiful Kathies! Your pictures are so great, Lynne! That Hooded warbler just blows me away! Would have loved to see that gnatcatcher building a nest - those are hidden gems! What a tanager, too!!!

Linda in Erie said...

I just love that hummingbird photo. How gentle he must be as to not harm them. Everyone is just so happy in the photos! What a great place that is and have fun up at Hasty Brook!

Heidi said...

Your pictures turned out fantastic! I hope to see more real soon... well after you get back from Hasty Brook of course :) Have fun!

Kim said...

Love the pictures Lynne. Seeing all of you there makes me wish I could have gone. You all look so happy! Great pictures of the birds too.

Have fun at Hasty Brook. I can't wait to read all about the birds you find there.

Shelley said...

I so would've loved to have been there - looks like so much fun! Your hooded warbler was stunning!
And congrats on your plans at hasty brook - I know the feeling once you have decided to build on your piece of heaven!

Kathi said...

Good to see you post, Lynne. What great photos you got! That tiny hummingbird foot fills me with awe.

You know, I usually hate every pic of me that anybody takes, but yours is great. Send me a copy?

~Kathi, one of many

PS: I need a snail-mail address to send you your wine bottle. e-mail me, OK (If you have lost my e-mail, you can find my alt. address on my blog's side bar)

Mary said...

Great photos, Linne. You amaze me! Have fun at Hasty Brook, lucky lady.

Pablo said...

Okay, can you enlighten me? What's the deal with the shoulder straps for the bins? Does this provide some benefit? Ease of access? More comfortable? It looks constricting.

Also, I want lots and lots of details about the construction at Hasty Brook. Lots.

Bill Hilton Jr. said...

LYNNE . . . Thanks for the photos and nice comments. I enjoyed working with all of you bloggers--and the birds!--at this year's New River Birding & Nature Festival in West Virginia.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Thanks for sharing parts of your great experience.The pictures help to make it real.

Grizz………… said...

Looks like you had a wonderful trip. The photos are great! West Virginia is a beautiful state, and it appears the birding was fabulous. It is also neat to be able to put faces to so many blog authors. I hope you'll share lots more photos and memories from your week.

Kathi said...

Lynne: Never mind, I figured out how to steal the picture from your blog. It is my new profile pic, with photo credit, natch!

Pablo: Bino harnesses are much more comfortable than neck straps if you are wearing them all day long. Try it, you'll like it!


Beth said...

Love the pictures, Lynne. And the tiny himmingbird foot made me gasp.


Vickie said...

Wonderful post. Its as much fun seeing the happy faces and candid stories of bloggers loving what they're doing as it is seeing the beautiful birds. So sorry I missed being so close to the hummers, too!

Wanted you to see this post below. You know this bird!

jalynn01 said...

Yes bloggers, banding, bonding, and beautiful friendships at New River. We had such a grand time and I so enjoyed meeting you! Love the tiny hummingbird grasping the pen and the bluebird 'anting' haha..

Ruth said...

Your hooded warbler and tanager pictures are amazing. They would both be life birds for me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne, good to have you back.
Looks like a great time was had
by all! That Hooded Warbler is,
as Shellmo put it, "stunning".
Am enjoying all your photos,
keep 'em coming. Twenty-eight
lifers, way to go! Hope you have
a nice time at Hasty Brook.
Hap in New Hope

Kelly said... many nice photos. Love the Scarlet Tanager and the Hooded Warbler, but the little hummingbird stole the show--such tiny little feet...melts my heart!!!

NCmountainwoman said...

Have a great time at Hasty Brook! Oh...planning for the building! I am so excited and happy for you.

Great photos of the people and of the birds. That week will be one to stay in your memory for years to come.

Happy Mother's Day!

Kathie Brown said...

Lynne, I am just getting started on blogging myself, so don't get too frazzled about it. We'll be heating up the blogosphere with our stories and photos for days to come!

It was so much fun to meet you and every one esle at the farm. I only wish I had taken MORE photos of the places and people. I was so focused on birds! You got some amazing photos here. I love the shot of the hooded warbler. I don't have anything like that!

Releasing that bird and seeing the bobolinks were the highlights of this trip for me.

I hope all goes well for you to move forward with building at Hastybrook. Perhaps we could all have a reunion there someday!

Tim is a sweetheart, isn't he!

BTW, it's been in the 100's almost every day since I came back. We finally turned the AC on for the first time last Tuesday!

Kathie Brown said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I really like that photo of KatDoc and I also! Great shot! I want one too!

Dawn Fine said...

I am having so much fun reading about all your bloggers meeting in VA. So Cool..
Someday I hope to cross paths with some or all of you.
I love your photos...I am just starting to try and take pics of moving its hard.
I dont have an slr camera..with fast shutter..maybe that is the key.
Have fun at Hasty brook!

BirdBoy said...

That must be awesome to have such close looks at those passerines. I have held a saw whet owl which was awesome

Keith at Opossum Creek said...

Hi back to ya!

Mel said...

Hola Lynne,
Those birds are beautiful! It's great to read about your adventures over there. Tommy & I will soon find a way to meet you somehow in the near future for some birding and wine ;)

Susan Gets Native said...

Sigh...I wanna move there.

mon@rch said...

Cheers . . What a great time you guys had!

Marsha said...

Amazing the birds you saw!