Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday at the Audubon Sanctuary

On Saturday we visited an Audubon sanctuary, figuring, hey, it's gotta be pretty good!  Our timing was not perfect, when we got started it was almost noon.  Right away I saw a bird that I was interested in, I didn't recognize it at all, and much later realized it was a starling in its winter plumage.  Yep, I'm definitely still a beginner!  :-)

Walking around their path I saw a black-capped chickadee, they are so cute!  This little one was hopping all around and calling, making sure I saw it, but not being still enough for nice pictures.  Cheeky little chickadee.

Then we saw some sort of thrush by the "stream".  There was only a little trickle of water really.  The thrush did pose for me, but this blasted camera wouldn't focus on it!  It thought the bird was something in the way of the dirt I really wanted a nice crisply focused picture of.  It was maddening!!!!  I really hate that about this camera, I have missed several wonderful opportunities that way.   I'm starting to think I might have to read the manual.

Anyway, continuing around to the "pond" it was really a beautiful setting.  Saw a big tadpole with feet, that was cool.  Saw a redbelly, briefly, the trees were so huge here the woodpeckers quickly become basically invisible.  Then, just as we were about to head further along the path, Jack asked what the tiny thing in the bush was.  I didn't really get a good look at it but had the vague idea it was a butterfly, when it took off - a hummingbird!  Jack's first sighting outside a zoo, and my first as a birder.  I saw them in CA when I was a teenager.  Anyway, we didn't get a good look at it because it basically flew straight away from us, but we were still thrilled.  :-)

Continuing around we saw our first (of about 4) deer, which Jack walked right by.  How the man can spot a hummingbird but miss a deer is beyond me.  :-)

Then the redbelly teased us, flying around in trees across the meadow from us, making sure it was too far away for pictures.

Around the meadow, managing to get a nice shot of one of the many types of butterflies we saw.  Maybe next summer I'll start trying to learn these, they really are gorgeous.

At the little picturesque pool I saw this chickadee, who was not quite as hoppy as the other one.  Or maybe it was the same one, and he had tired himself out!  Hard to tell.

Then this guy was flying around quickly, landing for ~almost~ enough time for a picture, and taking off again.  I settled in pointing the camera near a favorite spot and eventually got some pictures.  Looks like a wren of some sort?

I think it was a pair, this doesn't look like the same bird to me.

Back to the porch, sent Jack for bug spray, sprayed up, and we went back to the pool.  This time we spotted the hummingbird at the same time, and it flew around for a while before disappearing.  It was wonderful!  :-)  I had no chance at pictures though.  And I didn't see any brilliant colors really, it just looked like a teeny brownish bird flying in a manner not explained by normal bird physics.  Jack left soon after that, I explored a bit more.  Another chickadee, and a robin sitting on her nest, then back to the porch.

As we were leaving, we passed some feeders that I hadn't found, and this gorgeous goldfinch was taking full advantage.    Thanks Audubon sanctuary, hope to be back sometime!

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