Joan Carson

BIRD WATCH: Here comes the sun

IN LESS THAN three weeks we will turn the corner. If you have been reading this column for even a short time, you will know… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Weather ushers in some surprise visitors

SOME YEARS, THE population of sea ducks wintering on our protected waters is much less than others. This appears to occur during mild winters. That… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: As Thanksgiving looms, look to your feeders

“YOU HAVE A woodpecker!” My observant visitor was about to open the sliding glass door leading to the deck. There, on a newly hung lard/oatmeal… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Birds of a feather: How are they named together?

GROUPS OF BIRDS are mostly referred to as “flocks.” Other terms are also used but not as much. There are “gaggles” of geese and “murders”… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Rumpled ground gives clue in mole mystery

GRAY SQUIRRELS AND cottontail rabbits are Penny Dog’s favorite prey. Perhaps prey isn’t the correct word, as she isn’t very happy if they stop running.… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Size, silhouette and all that slang

WHEN YOU TRAVEL to different countries or different places in this country, it’s easy to pick up local slang. After two weeks of birding in… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Halloween heralds owl sightings on Peninsula

THE MORNING PHONE call was one of those surprises that rouses your curiosity. Neighbors sometimes call, but most of our visiting is done “over the… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Welcome waxwings unique in both voice, appearance

THE SOUND COMING from somewhere on the outside of the house was one homeowners never want to hear. Was a woodpecker poking about on the… Continue reading

CARSON BIRDING: Brush up on gull identification to stave off confusion

“YOUR GULLS COULD eat ours!” That’s the impression our glaucous-winged gulls made on friends visiting from Australia. I think Don was only half-joking. Australia’s common… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Mysteries of migration produce surprise visitors

WHEN A GOOD friend arrives and it has been several months since you last saw them, it’s a happy day. Two such “friends” arrived this… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Predators provide glimpse of nature in the raw

STRANGE SOUNDS IN the walls or the attic are never good sounds, especially at this time of the year. When some rather muffled “thuds” were… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Expecting the unexpected with our local visitors

THE SOUND IN the garden was as pleasant as 10 fingers scratching their nails on a chalkboard. It wasn’t being made by a human. After… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Texas birding makes for lasting memories

I LOVE TEXAS. I’ve considered it special ever since childhood. You can’t grow up crazy about horses and cowboys without giving part of your heart… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Kingfishers carry their dogfights into yard’s territory

THE YARD HAD gone totally quiet. There wasn’t a breath of air. The 2017 eclipse was underway, and then a familiar sound was heard. A… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Heading north to Alaska yields several surprises

North to Alaska THE PASSAGE OF43 years will see momentous changes in most areas. That’s how long it has been since I visited southeast Alaska… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Tough to pick a favorite of the season

THERE ARE ALWAYS birds that seem to go with a particular season in the way some plants and flowers do. When the red currant begins… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Species’ introduction heralds change for non-native country

THE IRRITATION SOME experience when a crowing rooster greets the dawn is being directed at another avian vocalist. Eurasian collared-doves begin “cooing” at first light.… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Water provides the action for bird activity

I HOPE EVERYONE reading this has a birdbath in their yard or in another spot where it can be observed on a regular basis. That’s… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: Bumper crop of luscious plums prompts orgy-like antics

BEFORE REFERRING TO something taking place in my garden, I thought it prudent to see Webster’s definition of an “orgy.” One definition for this word… Continue reading

BIRD WATCH: ‘Inland Sea’ ideal and easy place to enjoy birding

SOMETHING ABOUT THE lone gull perched on top of the ferry landing’s dolphin was different. It looked smaller than the familiar glaucous-winged that are so… Continue reading