Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Solstice 2012 and a Rare Bird in Rydal,Georgia

Yesterday morning I got up extremely early and met a co-worker for a hike up Pine Mountain in Cartersville,Georgia.  The hike was to start at 5:30 am. The plan was to reach the top in time to watch the sunrise. 

It was pitch dark when we arrived. Greg Anderson  who is with the Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department drove up behind us. We were a few minutes early so as we waited for other hikers we were entertained by the calls of a Whip-poor-will. 

If you have never heard a Whip-poor-will then you are missing out. These birds usually sing a dusk but this one was singing before dawn. I grew-up listening to this bird but have never seen one. This is the link to listen to this neat bird: Whip-poor-will at All About Birds
These birds are declining in my area but are not rare. I will get to the rare bird after the hike.

Teresa and I were surprised when another co-worker arrived with his daughter and daughter-in-law. Britt McGill also with Parks and Recreation rounded out our small group. 

At first we had to use flashlights. I was glad I had brought one. Soon it light enough to see the  trail. We weren't sure we would make it to the top in time. But four of us did make it and I happened to be one of them. The Sun was breathtakingly beautiful. My first couple of shots didn't turn out that great. These were my favorites.  

I boosted the color on this shot. I may get this made into a canvas.
It was interesting how the sky darken when I zoomed in.
I love the colors!
Our group minus myself. It was a tough hike for Jose (the one with the walking stick and my water bottle) but he made it to the top!

This was my third time hiking Pine Mountain and was happy that it had gotten easier for me. But it still got my heart-rate up. 

Now about the Rare bird.....

My county is hosting a pair of nesting Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. It is interesting how I learned about them. I blog about birds on the Cartersville Patch. Last Thursday a man wrote a comment telling me he saw 3 Fork-tailed Flycatchers flying across a road just north of Cartersville. He thought one was a juvenile. I thought they were probably Scissor-tail Flycatchers due to knowing that they sometimes will wander this far from their normal range in Texas and Oklahoma. I included the number for the Georgia Rare Bird Alert line and suggested he call it. Well he did and many a birder has come to see them. 

I got to see one doing loop-de-loops over a field catching an insect. Couldn't get a photo but got a Lifer. They are nesting in a half dead pine tree near a house so it is tough to get close enough with my camera. 

But others have gotten some really good photos. Here are the links: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher-near Rydal GeorgiaScissor-tailed Flycatchers Rydal, GA and Rydal,GA Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Video

We may not have been able to see the Scissor-tails but we did see plenty of Meadowlarks. I kept hearing Eastern Bluebirds but couldn't see them. When all of a sudden this male appears on the electrical box. He went inside so there may be a nest inside. 

I thought this made an interesting photo.

It is always a thrill when I see a new bird but when it is a Rare bird (in my area) that is super thrilling! I plan on going back in hopes of another sighting and getting a miracle shot.

This has been a very busy time for me. As a result I have fallen behind on blog visits. I hope to get caught up in the next few days. 

Wishing Peace,Love,Health,and Wealth to ALL!



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