Thursday, 31 July 2014

Dolomite Mountains, Italy

Sawtooth peaks in the Dolomites, part of the eastern Alps, give way to a bucolic field. The entire northern Italian range, which includes 18 mountains, was named a World Heritage site in 2009.
Photograph by Dick Pitini

Lake Reflections

When viewed at an oblique angle, still pools of water become mirrors, inverting and reflecting objects over the horizon to create a continuous unnatural image (like these circular trees which appear to be floating in the sky).

Hooded Mountain-Tanager

Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Azulejo real, or Tangara de montaña encapuchada (Buthraupis montana). The striking Hooded Mountain-Tanager is distributed from southern Venezuela south through the Andes to northern Bolivia.
Via Neotropical Birds Online

Crested Gallito!

Crested Gallito, also known as Gallito copetón (Rhinocrypta lanceolata) The Crested Gallito is a handsome and rather uncharacteristic tapaculo that is found in Monte and Chaco habitats of central Argentina, reaching north into westernmost Paraguay, and easternmost Bolivia.
Via Neotropical Birds Online

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Bohemian Waxwing

The bohemian waxwing got its name for the red waxy tips on mature feathers, and for its bohemian behavior. These beautiful birds are very nomadic when following food sources and their large flocking instinct leads to a communal type of protection and sharing of food. Therefore; with their vibrant colors and sleek appearance, bohemian waxwings are a favorite on any birder’s life list. Bohemian Waxwings are sleek, masked birds with rare red, waxy deposits at the tips of their secondary feathers. They’re grayish-brown with white and yellow wing-patches and yellow terminal tail-bands. They’ve unique crested heads, black throats, and black masks lightly lined with white.

Their heads have a Rufous tinges, and their under-tail coverts are Rufous. Adolescents have most of the aforementioned field marks, but are mottled gray-brown and lack the feather-tips. Bohemian Waxwings feather-tips seem to rise in number and size as the bird’s age. The only bird in Washington United States that could be confused with a Bohemian Waxwing is a Cedar Waxwing, a far more common relative. Cedars birds are smaller and browner than Bohemians and have yellow tinges underneath. But they have lack the Rufous under-tail coverts and white and yellow wing markings of Bohemian Waxwings.

Bohemian Waxwings habits includes to breeds in open areas and edges of boreal forests, habitually in places with sparse tree cover above brushy understory. In winter season, they can be found in a diversity of habitats, as long as there is fruit available. They habitually congregate in towns with abundant plantings of fruit-bearing trees. Bohemian Waxwings are monogamous, and both members of the pair help build the nest, which is habitually on a horizontal branch of a spruce tree. Their nest is a loose, open cup made of grass, twigs, and moss, lined with feathers and fine grass.

The female incubates four to six eggs for about fourteen to fifteen days. Normally both parents feed the young bird, which leave the nest at fourteen to eighteen days. The young normally stay adjacent to the nest and are fed by the parents for another few days. Moreover; family groups may stay together through the fall. The Fruits which are rich in sugar have deficient in other nutrients, so it must be eaten in huge quantities. Bohemian waxwings have a big liver which supports him to convert sugar to energy. They can metabolize ethanol formed from the fermentation of those sugary fruits more proficiently than humans, but May still become intoxicated, occasionally fatally. Waxwings habitually drink water or eat snow in winter, since the sugar in their fruit diet tends to dehydrate the birds through an osmotic effect. In the summer, the fruits are juicier and water is less of a problem.

Bohemian Waxwings behavior may be mixed in with other common Cedar Waxwing flocks during the winter. They habitually perch atop trees to forage for fruits and berries. However in summer conditions, they fly out to catch aerial insects, but they’re primarily likes fruit-eaters, a trait that dictates much of their behavior. Bohemian Waxwings eat almost nothing but fruit in the winter, relying on the berries of mountain ash, juniper, holly, and others. They also forage on fruit crops and ornamental plantings. Bohemian Waxwings are susceptible to alcohol intoxication, and even death, from eating fermented fruit. Like most songbirds, they feed insects to their young at first, but switch to feeding the young berries within a few days.

The bird’s migration is nomadic and irruptive species roams in search of food sources, rather than undertaking a typical migration. However; food availability seems to be a more imperative predictor of winter presence than temperature or latitude. Populations fluctuate considerably from year to year, but Christmas Bird Count Data reveals a slightly declining long-term trend. Maximum Bohemian Waxwings in Washington are northern breeders that come down into Washington in winter. In many years they’re fairly common in winter in northeastern Washington Ferry, Douglas, Okanogan, Stevens, and Pend Oreille Counties, particularly in cities and towns where they feed on fruit trees. In few years they’d extend farther west into the Columbia Basin, and can rarely be seen west of the Cascades. Bohemian Waxwings are erratic breeders in Washington in the North Cascades at Hart's Pass and Holman Pass.

Source: Charismatic Planet 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) is a parrot native to the Solomon Islands, Sumba, New Guinea and nearby islands, northeastern Australia and the Maluku Islands

The Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) is a parrot native to the Solomon Islands, Sumba, New Guinea and nearby islands, northeastern Australia and the Maluku Islands.  The male having a mostly bright emerald green plumage and the female a mostly bright red and purple/blue plumage.

Blue-crowned Parakeet, also famous as Blue-crowned Conure

Blue-crowned Parakeet, also famous as Blue-crowned Conure, Sharp-tailed Conure, Perico Frentiazul, Periquitão de cabeça azul/ Aratinga-de-testa-azul (Aratinga acuticaudata). Picture is by Thiago Calil,taken in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
The Blue-crowned Parakeet occurs in lowland dry forests in South America. A remarkable aspect of this species is that it occupies these deciduous forests in several widely separated regions: in northern Colombia and northern Venezuela; in the interior of northeastern Brazil; and from eastern Bolivia and south central Brazil south through Paraguay to north central Argentina. Image by Chris Wood.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Shah-e-Karakoram Highway is the eighth wonder of the World

The incredible Shah-e-Karakoram Highway runs through the northern areas linking Pakistan with China’s Xingjiang province is often described as ” Eighth Wonder of the World” due to the marvel of civil engineering as it has taken 15 years to complete by the Pakistan Army Engineers in collaboration with China. It’s been labeled as” World’s highest paved international Road” under world’s toughest terrain.

Lively Pictures of Ocean during Powerful Storms

The New York Based Photographer Dalton Portella capture a beautiful collection of dramatic seascapes depicts the striking power of nature as it collides with the fine art of photography. Created by Montauk, the images are filled with a painterly quality that shows the powerful force of the ocean during stormy weather. The beautiful dark ominous clouds and streaks of powerful lightning fill the sky while layers of texture blend sea and atmosphere together into one brightly colored palette.

As each storm rolls in, the ocean moves with violent force to make waves that curl up and crash down again in an instant. Dalton Portella took those electrifying moments with a single snap of his shutter. The viewers will almost feel the mist of the ocean water spraying up during the air. Dalton Portella says; I know with my art, I can capture essence; the essence of places I have been, emotions I have felt, and the subjects I paint and photograph. I portray the broad range of the human experience.

Transportation in the Philippines.

This is one of the mode of transportation in the Philippines. We call  it Skylab since it resembles the sky laboratory.  You should appreciate the driver for great balance.  This one will climb mountains in the mining area in Mindanao Philippines.

Tiny 2,000-year-old oasis - Crescent Lake (Dunhuang).

Tiny 2,000-year-old oasis - Crescent Lake (Dunhuang). Yueyaquan is a crescent-shaped lake in an oasis, 6 km south of the city of Dunhuang in Gansu Province, China. It was named Yueyaquan in the Qing Dynasty.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park,

Australian The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Their proximity to one another has made the site a widespread visitor attraction. Presently there’re eight apostles left but the name remains important and remarkable especially in the Australian tourism industry. The apostles were formed by erosion due to the harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 45 metres high. Now because of this erosion there’re less than ten remaining.

Iroha-zaka Road Japan

Iroha-zaka is a pair of famous winding roads located in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It’s the main access to connect the lower elevations around central Nikko to the higher elevations of the mountainous Okunikko region. This pair of asphalted roads it’s a 1-way switchback mountain road (2 separate roads; up and down). It’s necessary to use the Second Iroha-zaka to go up, and use the First Iroha-zaka to come down.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland

There have been a sprinkle of snow the night before, I was it had been more than that. The hillside looked a bit dirty with this entire dark green surface protruding through the snow. Yet, I decided to head up to the top as there was some interesting cloud formation lingering above the sea. In the first look I didn’t like the image in color and thought of shooting it with black & white in mind. All this was going to change as I saw the file on the large 27” screen, it looked much better in color, although there was not much color in it. The color version brings out the mood of the place in a much better way.