Thursday, August 26, 2010

4 for 4 at the pond this morning

What a beautiful day!  I decided to go for a quick walk around the pond before getting ready for work.  I plan to spend all of tomorrow outside, but it's been so dismal, I was just itching to get some time in the park, even if just a quick lap around the pond.  I was really hoping to see the wood duck, this time with binocs and camera!

Went down the 6th Ave entrance, went back over to the waterfall, where I saw (and heard) a couple of cardinals.  They didn't stay still long.  At the waterfall and thereabouts were the normal birds - robins, starlings, grackles, sparrows, catbirds.  They were having a grand old time!

Went back by the wall and around, and quite quickly found this double crested cormorant.  He was alternately preening and showing off his throat warbling skills for me.

Then I saw this kingbird, who was quite busy catching his brunch and then some!  He did not stay perched for long, which is why the picture isn't the best.

I met another birder, who pointed out the cormorant and told me there was an egret up ahead.  Yay!  I told her about the kingbird, she didn't know what that was. Is it possible them I am entering intermediate territory?  Seeing another birder with less experience than me?  Oh, no, I want to hold onto beginner status a little while longer...... I get at least one full year, right?  I was actually hoping for two but I might have to give it up before then.

Anyway before I could get to where she saw the egret it flew back past me towards the entrance wall!  I could not even get the camera on it while it flew, which is a shame, because they are really gorgeous flyers.  I did get this one of the egret in front of the wall, with people ignoring it as much as it ignored them.  Definitely a city bird!  :-)  I didn't go back because I knew if I went all the way back there I wouldn't come all the way back to the bridge, and I really wanted to find the wood duck.  So, I kept on towards the bridge!

Do kingbirds have white bars on the underside of their wings?  I thought I saw a pair of mockingbirds fly off when I was on the bridge, but I only saw them flying, and after that I didn't see the kingbird any more, so I'm sort of suspicious. Well I saw a pair of somethings fly off, the looked grey with white bars on the underside of the wings, and they were flapping really a lot.  I didn't see any breaks in flapping as they went, it was all flapping all the time.  It actually looked a bit spastic and desperate.

Anyway, the trip to the bridge was totally worth it - the wood duck!  In all (well, okay, most) of his splendor. Oh, he is quite a fancy little man, this one!  He was not shy at all, now that he has his beautiful plumage back again, he's quite pleased when I take the camera out.

Walking back around towards the entrance again, I saw one of the black crowned night herons in its fishing spot by the stairs!  That makes this walk four for four - cormorant, egret, wood duck, night heron.  Quite a banner day at the pond.

As I was leaving I took another look at the cardinals.  I think that this one is a juvenile male.  It just sounded like a chick to me.  There was a female nearby, and a brilliant male flying around the area, but this is the only picture I got.  They were all quite busy!

It was a lovely walk, I'm glad I got out there for a little while.

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