Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another gorgeous summer day in the park! :-)

Today the weather was just absolutely beautiful again - not too hot, hot too humid, sunny, a bit of a breeze, gorgeous.  Jack and I decided to start at the pond, and see how much energy he had after that.  Maybe the zoo, maybe the lake, whatever.

We walked over to the 6th Ave entrance and walked around to the waterfall.  Lots of robins and grackles and sparrows there, that was about it.  On the way back, across the pond we saw a water thrush very briefly, and then a female redstart for quite some time.  She was moving really quickly, going after the insects, so the pictures were not great, but we got a really good look at her.  So nice to see her again!

Going over the bridge, this guy was in the tree right over the path.  I think it's a juvenile red-winged blackbird.  It was making some noise for us, to make sure we spotted it.  I haven't seen the adult male in a while,I wonder what he's up to.

We looked all over the pond for the wood duck, but didn't see him.  I hope I get to see him in his summer costume, but so far he's too shy to let me see him when he's not all decked out.  One of the ducks we saw paddling around looked injured, it was only paddling with one foot.  The other one it was holding close to its body and not moving.  I don't know if ducks sometimes do this when they are not injured, I guess it's possible.

Jack headed home and I headed up to the lake.  I went up to the fountain and around to the right by the boathouse, and out to the point by the little path.  I saw this blue jay who caught something big and juicy, and amazingly stayed still long enough for a picture.  Thanks buddy!

There were a couple of birds that looked little and interesting that might have been migrants coming back through, but they were too flighty for me.    Hahahaha, get it, flighty?  Aaaaaah, yeah, I crack myself up.

Anyway, I saw a redbelly there and was excited to see it, I haven't seen one in a while.  Sadly though the pictures came out crappy.

After that I went to the oven, where I sat for a while and had a wonderful time.  Didn't see anything of note, it was just wonderful sitting in the shade and drinking my DK and seeing nature.

From there, over towards the wooden bridge.  On the way, I saw this redbelly pair!  I wonder if this is the pair that was nesting here.  I think that flicker might have killed their chicks.  So sad.

Also across the stream on the rocks, this robin was....... well, I guess it was lounging.  I don't have any idea why it did this, it just spread its wings out somewhat and ..... basically just lay there for a few minutes.  I've never seen a bird do this before, the closest I've seen was the skimmer being a decoy that time.  After a few minutes the bird got up and I didn't notice any injuries.  But I didn't get a great look at it either.

I spotted a little interesting bird that turned out to be this black and white warbler, and also spotted some waxwings coming through the area.  I sat down on a rock to hopefully get some pictures.  The waxwings were way too fast for me, they didn't stick around at all, they were outta there!  The black and white warbler stayed for a while, it was moving quickly and working its way up and down that section of the stream.

Moving on toward the stone benchlet, I saw this mystery bird.  I don't know what it is, it looked like a warbler of some sort.

I wish I could have gotten better pictures!

There were two water thrushes there, working their way up the stream.  I got a pretty good look at them, but the pictures did not come out well.  Water thrushes have been a problem picture-wise!

I thought about going up to turtle pond, but I was getting kind of annoyed by the people everywhere.  And the castle and turtle pond would definitely be crowded, and I decided I'd be happier heading home.  Back over to the upper lobe, where this cardinal flirted with me for quite some time.  He was quite charming.

Until I found his nest with his chicks, and took pictures.  At that point he made a noise that I didn't know could come out of a cardinal!  It sounded like a blue jay, but louder and more strident.  Amazing!  I backed off a bit and tried to act all casual, and ended up seeing the whole family.  It was great!  I didn't show any tourists even though some of them looked curious.

Also at the upper lobe I saw two black-crowned night herons, this one in the tree - quite high up, I was surprised - and the other on the fallen tree, looking into the water quite intently.  I'm getting so spoiled seeing these so much this spring and summer!  Between the pair at the pond and the pair here, I'll be so over them by the time fall really rolls around.  :-)

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