Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Day of the Hummingbirds!

Entering the park, I was hoping to see more birds today.  Yesterday was nice in that we did eventually see great birds, but it was not a lot in terms of numbers.  As I was walking across to Bow Bridge I saw something intriguing, so I checked out those trees.

It was a cute little black and white who was so fast and active that it was really hard to get a picture of him!  Very strange for B&W's, they have posed for me so often, but this guy was just not interested at all.  There was also a redstart, and a few others that were just too fast to identify.  On the bridge looking across on the left there were a pair of flickers flying slowly and I got to see under their wings clearly for the first time.  That little bit of yellow on the edge is just the beginning!  There was so much yellow, I couldn't believe it.  It was wonderful!

All along that area, there were lots and lots of little birds zipping around and across and just teasing me, I wasn't able to even get binocs on them, let alone a camera.  It really started to seem almost like they were doing it on purpose!  I would start to search for one and get distracted by another zipping around, and they would just disappear.

From Bank Rock bridge I saw two water thrushes, there was one on the little mud flat who then flew to the other side, and then this guy came out of the brush and visited the same mud flat.  There were water thrushes everywhere today!

It really seemed like a day to just find a spot and wait for these hyper birds to fly by, so I reluctantly ignored all the zippers-byers and made my way to the rocks on the way to the wood bridge.  I waited about 10 minutes, but - nothing!  Well, that's not entirely true, there was another black and white somewhere in there. And another water thrush, of course.  And a couple of redstarts.  Those were along the way though, once I was actually sitting on the rocks, zilch.  From a zillion to nearly zero!  Tried the stone benchlet, and that didn't seem promising either. I decided to just go to willow rock.

On the way there I saw two little lovelies briefly, from the picture I'm guessing parulas, but I'm not sure.  I tried to get a better look at them but they were too fast.

Luckily another black and white came over to the tree right next to me, apparently as some sort of bird consolation prize.  This one definitely wanted picture, hanging out basically next to me at eye level for a while.  Thanks Buddy!

Once at the rocks, I saw a pair of redstarts (one yellow, one orange) but they didn't hang around.  Still it seemed quite promising so I sat on the concrete "seat" and saw this yoga turtle.  He has clearly been practicing for a while, he clearly knows his stuff.  The younger turtles nearby just ignored him, but I hope he starts a class.  I would love to see that!  :-)

I hung out for a while, waiting, hoping a hummingbird would come by, but considering it unlikely.  And then, there he was, a gorgeous teeny hummingbird!  It was quite brief.  But wonderful.  Then he came back with a friend!  A pair of hummingbirds!  Again, quite brief.

Then the song sparrow came out to say hello.

And the water thrush made an appearance, getting a snack.

And then it seemed like hummingbirds were everywhere!  There were at least three of them, and I think more like 5-7.  They would come around for a few minutes at a time, and then disappear for 5 or 10 minutes.

Sometimes they chased each other around, once they pretty much buzzed us, chattering.  :-)  I saw one perched twice, but was not able to get pictures.  Once because it was just too fast, and once because I couldn't get the camera to focus on the bird.  It thought the bird was just a little something in the way of the background plants, which it insisted on focusing on.

It was really a special time, hanging out for about an hour and a half with these hummingbirds, and eventually a few other birders.

In between visits we also saw this mockingbird (I think).  And a mystery yellow guy popped up briefly but we didn't get a decent look at it.  And a few redstarts were flitting about once in a while, but so quick and elusive that I didn't get any pictures!  Again at least one yellow and one orange.  Maybe the same ones I saw when I got there, but I really don't know.

And this veery.  Also the water thrush flew over towards that little fence on the right and sat on the tree for a few minutes.  But the camera defeated me again and refused to focus on it.  That's really my biggest problem right now with the camera, getting it to focus ~on~ ~the~ ~bird~.

But really, who cares about any of that.  Hummingbirds!  What a special day!

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