Saturday, June 11, 2011

Birding with Kelly... AKA Red and the Peanut

Imagine my delight when I received an email from Kelly, of Red and the Peanut, letting me know she'd be visiting Hilton Head Island real soon! I sooo love meeting blogging friends :)

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We met at Pinckney Island Wildlife Management Area and off we went to Ibis Pond. Kelly has a keen eye and pointed out many a bird treat.  The first was a Boat-tailed Grackle nest built within the cattail reeds - a beautiful, deep structure constructed from dead cattail reeds and woven into living cattails.

Kelly captured this sketching moment for me :) My scope is just in front of me. I love sketching with a scope. My sketching combines both blind and modified contour techniques.

The Grackles were flying above us sounding like helicopters. Just as I was about to move on, I saw a Grackles beak rise above the side of the nest!

I moved a bit more to the left and started to draw a pair of White Ibis. One was perched above and to the left of a nest, the other laying on the nest. Just when I was going to start sketching the Ibis on the nest, they traded places. Dang... But, it was fun to see the changing of the guard :)

Then I spotted two juvi Tricolor Herons with fantastic 'bad hair' heads. Oooo they are so fun!

We moved around to see the more densely populated trees. Just amazing. Kelly said the bird numbers are actually down from her visit here last year.  We are in the midst of a drought which directly affects nesting. I can't believe how much the cattails have filled in the pond since my visit in 2009.  It's a wonder there's any open water. 

Kelly of 'Red and the Peanut'
Wait until you see some of the shots, Kelly got. She has such a great eye! Be sure to check out her blog.

Here's a taste of what we were viewing...
White Ibis







This short video of Little Blue Herons, Egretta caerulea, shows adults flying in to feed their babies.  Immature Little Blues are always white. Their feathers will start to darken after their first spring. You can distinguish them from Snowy Egrets, Egretta thula, by noting coloration of their beak (pale grayish green) and legs (pale dull green). I shot this with my little Nikon Coolpix.  I so love this camera :) Kelly's doing most of the narrative. She's so funny!

And, the completed journal page... I added color at home.
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It was so good to finally meet you, Kelly!! Y'all come back so we can do this again :)