Friday, May 21, 2010

The day of pretty birds and crappy pictures

Today the park still had lots of birds, but not many wanted pictures!  And, to be honest, not quite as many as yesterday.  I started at the upper lobe on my usual route, where I saw a Canada, some magnolias, and some common yellowthroat.  No egrets or herons or cormorants.  There were a couple of mystery birds that hopefully I will figure out next year.  At the tip of the upper lobe, an oriole flew over and landed briefly in that tree that's across the path.  They are so gorgeous!

I ran into a couple of birders there, including that photographer guy who looks like Apollo.  He said he was just meaning to cross over the park but got stuck there because there were so many birds.  :-)

There was a work crew on the shore on the way to bow bridge, a tree fell or was cut down and I think they were chipping it.  Some of the paths were closed, and it was ~quite~ loud.  I took an alternate route over to the wood bridge, and saw a magnolia, blackpoll, and another Canada.  The tall trees were filled with thrushes, it seemed like everywhere I looked was another one!  A female redstart came over to bathe, looking delicate and sweet.  A pair of cardinals made their appearance, making sure I saw them and paid them proper attention.  Sometimes they are like publicity-hungry minor celebrities, they want their pictures taken so badly!  A downy came through and rustled around in the bramble a bit.  And of course the red-bellies came and went.  I heard chicks!  :-)

From there I went over to the stone benchlet, but just after I got there the noise started again, and it was just too loud.  To the oven!

I took the shore path to the oven.  At that thick bush over the water that I always think should have herons, there actually was a night heron!  It was tucked up under there almost invisible, I would not have seen it if I didn't always look under there just in case.  At last, a heron in the heron bush!

I thought that was a great sighting, until I got to the oven.  On the fallen willow, on the diaganol branch with vines, was this night heron, just out there perched in the sun!  Everyone had a great view, and I felt really lucky.  The water thrush was also there, along with the common yellow-throat, magnolia, and a gorgeous northern parula.  I guess it's the same one I've seen here before, really vivid and beautiful.  I was hoping to see the ducklings there again, but, no joy.  The sandpiper wasn't there either.  I did see a couple of swallows flying over, they are fun to see!

Next, the point, where things were pretty quiet.  I went out on the regular path and came back on the dirt path.  I found a Wilson's and was trying to get a picture when Lingering Photo Guy found me.  It was awkward, he wanted to show me really a lot of pictures.  And he seemed like he had been looking for a rosy-breasted grosbeak for 40 years and not seen one.  It's possible we didn't have the best communication I guess.  Anyway, I never found the Wilson's again so I still don't have any pictures.  There was also a Canada, a couple of magnolias, and a female redstart there.  I looked again for the moorhen, but couldn't find it.

Up to captain's bench!  The beehive had lots of bees inside but not a lot of activity outside.  I definitely prefer it when it's calm.  Not much going on up here, bird-wise.

I walked around towards azalea pond, where I ran into a couple of photographer dudes, including the same one who was just crossing over 2-3 hours ago.  Hahahahaha, I totally understand!  Quote of the Day: "If you see something with a long tail, just get your lens on it and start shooting!"  We chatted for a couple of minutes, then I walked on and a birder lady who has ignored me in the past talked to me and gave me some pointers on where to go.  I mean, in the good way!  :-)

I ended up walking towards the wooden bridge, and along the way saw this gorgeous male redstart come down to bathe.  He hopped down, looked right at me, waited for the camera to be ready, and fanned out his tail.  It was hilarious!  Then he took quite a thorough bath, looked at me again, and flitted off to dry and put himself back together.

I sat for a little while back by the wooden bridge, where this Canada finally allowed a picture!  Oh, I'm so happy to finally have a decent shot of a Canada!

Then a pair of orioles came through, on the move but not super-quick.  Here's the male, I didn't get a picture of the female.  She posed for me, but I had camera aiming trouble and instead got pictures of branches near her.  A magnolia also came through, and what I think is some sort of flycatcher.  It was going too fast for me to be able to really zoom in, so the pictures are not good enough to ID the bird.

Back to the oven, which was definitely missing a night heron.  The water thrush was still there, but not much going on otherwise.  I sat for a few minutes, it's one of my favorite spots to sit and see what cool things come through.

But it was time to go.  I hugged the shore on the way back to the upper lobe to take the subway home, and along the way saw a cute and quick black and white, and this chestnut-sided.

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