Wednesday, April 6, 2011

No snipe, but a great snipe hunt!

Today I set out to find the snipe that was reportedly seen at the oven yesterday.  I set out about 12:30, and walked up the west side park road towards the ramble.  I was pretty intent on just getting there, but something caught my eye.

This chipping sparrow!  My first of the season.  They are such pretty sparrows, I was happy to see this little guy.  There was a phoebe there too, sitting pretty high in a tree with teeny blossoms everywhere, but the phoebe was too busy to pose for pictures.

At the upper lobe, I ran into a couple of birders who said the snipe was gone.  Alas!  But at least I was no longer in a hurry, so I took my time looking around.

I'm glad I did, because I saw my first yellow-rumped warbler of the season.  :-)

Looks like not quite done molting yet.

And this golden crowned kinglet came over to say hello, it was really not very shy at all.  Fast, but not shy.

Here it is again - what's up with that stripe?  Yellow like a female, and then just a touch of red (or ~really~ dark orange?) at the base.  My field guides are not helpful - and not all in agreement.  Could this be a male with most of the orange hidden because the crest is not raised?  I saw this again on another GCKI and it's on one of Crossley's pictures, so it can't be that rare......

This yellow-bellied sap sucker came by for a portrait.  There were actually many of them flying around, chasing each other off of trees, drilling, it was great!

Then the ruby crowned kinglet (which I had seen earlier but had eluded me) agreed to a not-great picture.

From the back you can see the ruby crest a bit!

On my way to the oven, this palm warbler kept me company for a little while.  I love this guy, it has a special place in my heart as the very first warbler I had ever seen.  It was in Cayman, and I thought it was some sort of sparrow......... it was in its more drab plumage at that point.  :-)

At the oven, there was no snipe.  What I did find was a group of people all snip hunting, like me!  :-)  I did see a wood duck, who elected to stay in bad light.  And this song sparrow.

By the stream leading to the wood bridge I saw this swamp sparrow.  I couldn't remember what it was when I saw it, I remember them differently.  Hopefully I can straighten that out in my mind!

By the stone benchlet I followed a kinglet, lost it, followed a brown creeper, and was interested when it went over to the rocks and hung out there.  I haven't seen that before.

Then the kinglet was there too!  I don't know what it was about these rocks, but these two were foraging together for a few minutes.

Then the brown creeper came over to my tree (it was about 6 feet in front of me) and posed.  I've never had one fly right over like that, and I finally got good pictures of this bird!

I glanced back over at the rocks - and this winter wren was there too!

Back to the upper lobe (the weather was turning) where I saw this quite reddish fox sparrow.

And this northern flicker!  I had been seeing them fly all over, hearing them call, watching them hide from my camera all day, so it was great to finally get a nice shot.

On the west side of the upper lobe I witnessed some American robin lust.  The female was making the male chase her around, and he was doing...... I can only call them strafing runs at her.  Later I saw another pair with pretty much the same behavior.  Everyone wants eggs!

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