On my Dad's birthday a little over a week ago, we were up fairly early in the morning and after getting 'home tasks' and chores done, loaded up in the truck with cameras, binoculars, drinks, snacks, bird books, and set off for a day at our favorite conservation area.
We had such a wonderful time! Soaking up lots of sunshine . . . walking most of the time . . . talking (and laughing :) together . . . seeing so many diverse bird species . . . enjoying the gift of family . . . and enjoying the beauty of God's creation . . . .
Dad photographing a beautiful little Palm Warbler (see the photo below). We saw so many of these striking (and friendly) little birds!
A Palm Warbler (and I just have to say :) . . . my Dad is so talented with photography! I love seeing the photos he captures.)
Me out walking to find a little sparrow that dove down into the brush . . . he eventually hopped out, had himself a bath in the bit of water, and let me enjoy watching him. And identifying him: a Savannah Sparrow. (Photo by my Dad)
My beautiful sister, Leah :)
Mom and Leah watching warblers
It always makes my breath catch a bit to see one of these majestic birds soaring right over head. This Bald Eagle gave me a beautiful view of him . . . and the photo does NOT do it justice!
So peaceful . . . .
Dad photographing a pair of eagles on the nest
Love this photo that my Dad captured . . . and while you can't see them, there are three chicks in there!
Looking back towards the truck and Dad and Mom
The trees are really leafing out now, and with the sun shining through the clouds, it gave quite the contrast with all the blue water.
Mom and Leah watching more warblers
Mom and Dad . . . they had just had fun walking over to one of the pools on the right (on the other side of the trees) to look at some shorebirds
Leah and I watching a little Swamp Sparrow
Leah looking for warblers. There were so many here!
A Yellow-Throated Warbler which we got to watch for awhile. They are a beautiful little bird! (Photo by my Dad)
Loved this view here . . . water was on the left, the grass was blowing in the breeze, beautiful tall trees stretching up to the blue sky . . . so peaceful.
Dad and Mom looking at . . . more warblers :) Plus a nest of Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers! A teeny tiny little bird . . . with quite the small nest, too.
It was here that we also saw a Bald Eagle fly down to the ground (just a ways back from where Dad and Mom are standing in the photo) and then pick up nesting material in its feet before flying off. It was amazing! Too bad we didn't have our cameras ready!
Mom and I
Looking towards the bluffs with Blue Winged Teal down in the little pool of water
Me out walking . . . I loved so much time to just walk and enjoy the beauty all around!
. . . and take photos :)
Not terribly long after this (and the location isn't in the photo), I heard a noise in the brush/weeds next to me which I could tell was from a fairly large animal. Venturing closer, out burst a female turkey just a few feet in front of me! That was really neat to see!
It was so fun watching this cute little guy! (A muskrat) Here he was hunting for things to eat. (Photo by my Dad.)
A lone Canada Goose
Leah scanning the huge numbers of shorebirds that were way out there
A lovely path along the trees just waiting to be enjoyed . . . I obliged :)
. . . and eventually could see the river through the trees!
Before long, I came to a path which wound back to the river . . . I love water and just watching it flow and listening to the sound of it!
The mighty, muddy Missouri River
Up where I was standing high on the bank there was SO much sand . . . evidence of flooding that has taken place in the past.
Leah, Dad and Mom watching birds and enjoying the view
How beautiful is God's creation! And how magnificent is the God who created it.
A little turtle crossing the road
And right close by was this frog just sitting there
Canada Geese not so sure about us and walking further away
Rain clouds rolling in
With it well after lunchtime, we drove home to unload everything and then went into town to have dinner at Chick-fil-a. Then back home for gifts followed by apple pie and ice cream. :)
It was a very much enjoyed and special day together!