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 :)

click for larger view
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.
click for larger view
It was so good to finally meet you, Kelly!! Y'all come back so we can do this again :)


  1. Color me green with envy! Would have love to have been there with you two! Looks like a fabulous outing!

    Pam, love the way the page turned out too. Color always surprises me in the difference it makes.

  2. We were talking about you, Laure. Perhaps next year we can all meet!!

    You know, I hadn't planned on adding the view into Pinckney at the bottom but you know how journals take over :) Thanks!

  3. Hi Pam!!!!!!
    We arrived home last night tired and exhausted. The drive home from Hilton Head is always a bit sad. I can never get enough of Pinckney Island, and this year it was even better because I got to meet and bird with you!! I love the journal page your's amazing. You really captured the feel of that evening. I can't believe how quickly the time went. It's always that way at Pinckney. I can't wait to get back down and go birding with you again.

    ...also...thank you for the very kind words. You are so nice!!! I have a lot of ref photos to work from now to paint birds throughout the year. It was so cool to watch you put your journal entry together. I LOVE the finished have beautiful lettering, and I've fallen in love with your rendering of the Boat-tailed Grackles nest. Thanks again for meeting me at Pinckney and birding the evening away!! I had fun!

    p.s. Laure....We were talking about you! :-) It would be awesome if we could all meet. I think a lot of laughing would go on...

  4. Hi Kelly!
    I'm glad you made it back safe and sound!Your visit was very special for me, too! I remember the sad days of leaving HHI after a visit. Time always went way too quickly. Now I live here and having time to visit special places doesn't happen near enough. Funny how that works!

    I can't wait to see your photo's. How wonderful to have both a photographic eye and an artist's hand! Quite a combo, Kelly!

    I'm looking forward to your next visit!!

    And, yes, lots of fun and laughter there would be should we all be able to get together!

  5. Looks like a wonderful get-together with two bloggers I really admire and follow. The sketches are great too--will be a nice memory for you.

  6. Sounds like a very successful and fun meet-up. Nice page too.

  7. Thanks, freebird... and, it was such fun!

  8. hello,
    I am here via Kelly. Lovely to meet you through your blog. It is fun to see the photo of Kelly, that is exactly how I am wearing my hair right now.
    Your journal page is wonderful to see as are your photos.

  9. Hello, Tammie Lee! Thank you for visiting. Y'all stop back by :)

  10. How awesome that you and Kelly got together! Sounds like a great trip - and I love the journal page!

  11. Thanks, Elizabeth! It was an all to brief holiday from work for me, but so refreshing!