Saturday, May 22, 2010

A slow and smelly day in the park

Today was the only option weather-wise for us to go birding this weekend, so we went for it!  We started out at the pond, where we saw ~three~ night herons.  Or possibly two if one of them flew quickly past us in stealth mode.  :-)

Also hanging out on the near shore was this duck, who looks to me like he might be a hybrid.  There was no green really in the head.  Interesting.

The goslings were all still alive, and cute as ever!  We also saw the wood duck, and a female red-winged blackbird.  My first time seeing her!  She was interesting, I saw her first up high in the trees on the Hallett side, then hanging out in the reeds.  Elusive little lady, she did not like the camera.  Maybe she was playing coy with her man, who was there as well.  :-)

Once we left the pond and started walking towards the middle, we saw three crows flying over and cawing, one at a time.  So.... yeah, seeing crows is cool...... but why do they seem upset?  Keep going, but keep an eye on where they were flying from.  There he is!  Red-tailed hawk, flying low and meaning business!  We searched for him where it looked like he would land, but could not find him again.  Great to see a hawk again, it feels like it's been a while!  I never thought I'd say it, but.......... I miss winter, or as I think of it now, hawk season.

Anyway, we made our way up to the fountain, and around the boathouse.  Up the path to check on the beehive - it was quiet but had plenty of bees in it, they just weren't flying around much.  I like this much better than that time I saw it all...... abuzz.    Hahahahaha, couldn't help myself!

Anyway, we checked on captain's bench and the tulip tree, which had a northern parula and a female oriole - Jack's first oriole sighting!  The little tree to the  right of the viewing rock had a Canada warbler, I didn't even try to get a picture.

Okay, okay, let's get to the point!  We took the dirt path there and came back on the main path.  Along the way there were a female redstart, a magnolia, a blackpoll, and a couple of common yellowthroat.  At the actual point we spotted the ducklings hanging out on the opposite shore.  They were hard to see, I only found them because I was looking at the goose that was a few feet away from them.  :-)

At the bathing station we looked at the robin's nest and saw mama robin feeding her chicks.  So cute!

Then we headed over to the oven.  There was really nothing unusual there - except the smell!  Oh, yes, it smelled actually quite a bit like that bad-smelling, good-birding pool in Cayman.  If that's the general rule....... well, I guess I'll just have to learn to live with that smell!

We strolled over to the wood bridge to check on the red bellied woodpeckers, who flew in and out of their nest a few times.  While we were waiting, a blackburnian came through!  It was way too brief, and I ended up with one sad picture of a branch were a bird used to be, but it was great!

In the trees to the front-left-ish of the log seat were a bunch of waxwings, having some sort of waxwing convention.  They are so cool!

And in an obvious attempt to upstage the blackburnian, a common yellow-throat came through.  Slowly.  He lingered.  He was almost begging me to photograph him.  After all this time, now he wants pictures!  Well two can play at that game, little buddy - no pictures for you!  He left, I'm sure he would have looked dejected if he didn't have such a vivid mask.

Next was the stone benchlet.  Poor Jack wanted to much to leave, but this was on the way, so.......... Anyway, the waxwings came through and we had a nice but brief look at a water thrush.

Okay, okay, time to leave.  This time for sure!  But at the upper lobe, I ask him to wait for me on the bench while I loop around.  But he doesn't want to - he wants to come with!  And he's glad he did, because we saw the cormorant catch a fish and wrestle it into its....... gullet?  Well, somewhere, anyway.

We continued around and spotted a night heron perched in a tree!  Then Jack went ahead to sit on the bench while I lingered, and found another night heron, this one hiding in the fallen tree!  That was a total of at least four and maybe five night herons this trip.  It was wonderful!

We also saw a black and white warbler, and a magnolia.  But the night herons were the stars.  :-)

That is, until we got to the water fountain and filled up our bottle, because there we spotted a gorgeous Wilson's!  I tried and tried to get pictures, poor tired Jack was patient.  And the pictures totally did not come out at all.  Oh well, maybe next year........ time to really head for home!

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