My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Grebe and Crossbill weekend!

Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe photo from 2007

This warm weekend had me attempting to do a little birding! Was able to find my first of the year Horned Grebe (CHECK) on the Allegheny River while in town yesterday! Many Black Ducks, Mallards and Common Mergansers were also found in the area! This morning I felt a little antsy and took a walk around Red House Lake with only a few Juncos flittering around.  Of course, a bunch of White-winged Crossbills was in my back yard pines (great thing to find once you get home)! . . . . But WAY up at the very top of the trees! I had horrible lighting and bad positioning for an attempt for a photo. . . grrr so I decided to post this bad (but still better than today’s) White-winged Crossbill photo that I captured a few days ago! They are on the ground when I don’t have my camera but 100feet up in the tree tops any other time! I am still working on the Crossbill photos my friends!  Then while visiting at my mothers house . . . she had about 30-40 Pine Siskins in her back yard (you guessed it, no camera).  Guess being in the back yard was the place to be this weekend!

my bad White-winged Crossbill
My bad White-winged Crossbill photo (2 of them in here)!

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21 responses

  1. A beautiful picture of a horned Grebe, well done. It is a pleasure to find another nature photographer of your quality.

    8 February 2009 at 10:41 pm

  2. What a great picture of the Horned Grebe. I’ve never seen one yet. I’m ready to start counting birds myself and have my lists made up. It’s time to get excited again! It’s been a long winter. Tip….don’t leave home without it (your camera.)

    8 February 2009 at 11:26 pm

  3. Really nice picture of the horned grebe. I am hoping some of them may venture back up to New England soon so I can enjoy them with my own two eyes.

    So envious of your crossbills. I have been searching for three weekends straight for just a glimpse of a crossbill or redpoll with no luck yet.

    9 February 2009 at 5:33 am

  4. Pam

    I *love* your Horned Grebe photo, Tom! So why isn’t the camera with you at all times?? I know, it’s a pain to haul around, right?

    9 February 2009 at 7:16 am

  5. The Grebe photo is fantastic! Whenever I see their faces – I think they must have a good sense of humor – they always look like they’re smiling to me. (Or maybe I need glasses!)

    9 February 2009 at 8:08 am

  6. Lisa at Greenbow

    Great pictures Mon@rch. I thinkwe have missed the WW Crossbill invasion this year. We kept looking for them in our area. I think we are just a little too far south for them. ~sigh. I am glad you got them. Your horned grebe photo is so good. They should be showing at least some of their breeding plummage by now. We have been lazy birders lately. Not out much except around town at our parks.

    9 February 2009 at 8:13 am

  7. Red

    Is it just me, or do all these grebe remind one of old men?

    I’m thinking it’s the tufts of hair at the ears.

    Your crossbills are sneaky little things… they just know when you have the camera! Hope you catch them soon.

    9 February 2009 at 11:31 am

  8. That horned grebe is such a great-looking creature. I would love to see one in the bay here. I just checked my Sibley’s to see if they we are in their range, and we are. Only problem, they’re not going to be in this beautiful breeding plumage here. They are our winter grebes.

    I’ve never seen a white-winged crossbill, but I have photographed red crossbills in Washington. Very, very cool birds.

    9 February 2009 at 6:26 pm

  9. One of those crossbills is mooning us! *L*

    9 February 2009 at 6:34 pm

  10. Cool that you have the WWCB in your back yard! They’ve been seen around here but I’ve had no success at seeing them. I’m hoping to head someplace they’ve been seeing a bunch of them on Saturday, though – which would be nice, as they would be a lifebird for me.

    9 February 2009 at 7:27 pm

  11. I totally know your frustration at not getting good shots sometimes. Still, you get far more good ones than otherwise (see horned grebe above!). Sometimes it’s enough just to sit back and watch.

    9 February 2009 at 10:11 pm

  12. Grace

    I had my camera with me when I saw a big flock of wild turkeys last year–in my coat pocket, in the case, with my seatbelt strappped over it. Why are we never ready for the best chances.

    9 February 2009 at 11:32 pm

  13. Hey…at least you SAW the WWCBs! I’ve never seen one yet – I think they may be easier to see in an airplane 😉

    10 February 2009 at 9:22 am

  14. Loved the horned grebe! Good luck with the crossbills!

    10 February 2009 at 2:12 pm

  15. Nice photos–would like to see a crossbill soon!

    10 February 2009 at 4:39 pm

  16. Marg

    Gorgeous Grebe!

    I couldn’t believe it while coming home from grocery shopping I saw a flock of White Winged Crossbills decimating two trees-I went home (2 blocks!) got my camera-went back and you guessed it not a Crossbill in sight-sigh
    I sympathize!

    10 February 2009 at 7:48 pm

  17. Hi Mon@rch
    Are those white pines your crossbills were spotted in? Is the very top of the tree the best place to look for them? I’m still watching out in my backyard and hoping that I might be able to spot some for the Great Backyard Bird Count coming up!

    10 February 2009 at 7:57 pm

  18. @ Robertmiller – Thanks for your kind words and hope you subscribe to the blog!
    @ Linda – Thanks and they are normally small specks to me! At times I can have it with me during work! A 400mm takes up space!
    @ Kallen – They are fun for sure and wish more of mine would be around . . . guess I need more open water! I have been seeing them since early winter but just having problems with capturing a good photo of them! I did hit one with my truck but it was in bad shape for a photo!
    @ Pam – Guess I need to work once and a while! It is a big camera!
    @ Shelley – don’t you love the tiny eyes! I know I am smiling when I see them!
    @ Lisa – Thanks but if you do get one, they are amazing for sure! Most of ours is still in basic plumage . . . this one was taken a few years ago!
    @ Red – LOL . . . didn’t think of them that way but now that you mention it! Trust me, I am not giving up on them!
    @Robin – Like I said earlier, ours is in basic plumage also! The Red Crossbill would be a lifer for me!
    @ Lana – LOL it sure is! (somehow you ended up in my spam filter . . I pulled it out! Guess you can’t say mooning without ending up in spam filter)!
    @ Marty – I see them about once or twice a week I the yard but always way up high in the tree tops!
    @ Rondi – Many of my good shots end up in the deleted folder! . . . . we all strive for better and better photos! I look through my flickr pictures and I can see progress from month to month.
    @ Grace – Moments like that disappear fast!
    @ Bird Girl – I have had good luck seeing them . . . its just through the camera is where my problem has been !
    @ Kathiesbirds – thanks and will work at it!
    @ Joan – hope you can! Thanks

    10 February 2009 at 7:57 pm

  19. @ marg – Thanks and they don’t stop moving from what I noticed!
    @ Ruthie – Thanks and I always hear them before seeing them! They do like the white pines in the area but they have been in the spruce also !

    10 February 2009 at 7:59 pm

  20. great photo! it seems to have been a grebe-filled weekend for many folks.

    11 February 2009 at 5:16 pm

  21. jaina

    someday i’m gonna be a naturalist at allegany like you!

    17 February 2009 at 12:17 pm

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