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Elizabeth River Bird Blog by David Gibson

I came across this scene the other day. I'd rather not disclose where it was, and I'd rather not divulge what I said when I saw it. Outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen search for vistas. Landscape photographers do the same. But no one--except for maybe the occasional blogger--searches for anything like this.  This jumbled mess of a trash pile was just feet from an Elizabeth River tributary. And that'll be its destination following a rainstorm, a higher than usual tide, or an overflow... Read More
I also had the pleasure recently of meeting Dre. No, not Dr. Dre. But when Dre told me his name, that's how I remembered it--by associating it with the name of the famous rapper and producer. From Compton. I'd call Dre a master crabber. Boy was he good, not to mention that he seemed like a great guy.  When I arrived on the scene (same general area where I saw the night heron perched on a tire, and the otter), he'd already caught 2 dozen blue crabs, and was busy trying to catch more.... Read More
I had the pleasure recently of meeting a lady named Barb. She approached me as I was watching and photographing an active Osprey nest on the Southern Branch of the  Elizabeth. We struck up a conversation. I shared with her that I was with the Elizabeth River Project, that I monitor Osprey nests in the river and elsewhere, and that two nestlings were about to fledge from the nest I was watching. 'Any day now', I excitedly told her.  She expressed an interest in seeing the nest. So... Read More
That's the title of a well-known poem by American poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916). And we are, of course, knee deep in June! Here are a few lines from one of the verses. Fitting lines for inclusion in a bird blog. Mr. Bluejay, full o’ sass,             In them base-ball clothes o’ his,     Sportin’ ’round the orchard jes’     Like he owned the premises! Hopefully some of you are smiling as you're all too... Read More
Before we answer that question, here's a fun sequence of  'arrival through departure' shots I took at the end of Inland Rd. and right on the river. This is an Eastern Kingbird looking for nesting material. Birds are now settling in to their nest-building, egg-laying, and brood-raising responsibilities. Perhaps a child had wrapped string around these cleats? The kingbird discovered the string and decided to use it as nesting material. It was a struggle at first, but the bird succeeded at... Read More
This photograph says it all. A picture worth ten thousand words--and more. A king-size mattress carelessly disposed of right in front of a can't-miss, equally king-size sign forbidding the action. The sign and mattress are just outside the ERP restoration site at Money Point, and very close to where I took the pictures of the Canada Geese.  Volumes have been written about the things that we have done and continue to do to pollute--and damage--the environment. This is a prime... Read More
The day is on the wing. Above is my favorite line in a children's poem about spring by N.M Bodecker. That line is followed by another great line: 'The kite is on the string.' Let me share the third verse of the poem with you: Right on to daffodils, Right on to whippoorwills, Right on to chirp-producing eggs, And baby birds and quills. I thought about that verse when taking this shot of newly fledged Canada Geese (and presumably their parents). This is yet another early morning... Read More
I'm helping out with the Elizabeth River Project preschool field trips being held at Norfolk Botanical Gardens in Norfolk, VA. This photo shows me showing the children the recorder that I often take into the field. The kids were generally fascinated with my birding 'tools': binocs, bird call, field guide, recorder. A number of them, though, thought my binocs were 'goggles'. A teachable moment indeed. On one of our bird trips, one child consoled another as we walked through the woods looking... Read More
I've begun to make a case for bird watching. Birds are beautiful, they capture the imagination, one can enjoy the hobby alone or with others, etc., etc. Let me add, if I may, one more reason to go birding. (I'll add more reasons as time goes on. No, this 'case' isn't going to be the focus of the blog.) Birding is downright exciting. You never know what you might come across!  Along those lines, here's something I shared with a fellow birder recently. As we're well into the 2018 baseball... Read More
Blog #2--finally! I was traveling, am home now, and am raring to go. I'd like to start things off by sharing with you two statements that really got my attention. The first was made by famous biologist and conservationist Thomas Lovejoy: "If you take care of the birds, you take care of most of the big problems of the world." Intriguing statement. The second was made by novelist Jonathan Franzen in his recent National Geographic article entitled "Why Birds Matter and Are Worth Protecting": "They... Read More