Monday, May 23, 2011

AMNH Make-Up Day, complete with make-up rain :-)

Today was the make-up day for the Monday that was supposed to be rainy, but was actually only dismal and overcast and perhaps a bit misty.  The forecast was not 100 percent promising, but I geared up and went anyway.  I mean, why not?  On the way I saw a great egret fly over the lake to the south end and stand around for a while, that was a nice start.  By the ladies pavilion I saw a black crowned night heron fly into a tree and stand there for a while, I love them!  They are inherently hilarious.  Then by the upper lobe an oriole was hanging out in the droopy willow branches, but the wind was moving him around so much the pictures came out too blurry.  Not good conditions for pictures today!

I went to meet the group, and we headed back towards the upper lobe and someone refound the oriole, who was just gorgeous.  It seems like they might be nesting nearby, I hope so!

Heading in to the ramble we noticed a cardinal chick crying from a bush *right* by the path (like, someone might hit it accidentally) and the parents were nearby, loudly letting us know they were not entirely happy.  We thought about putting it in a further back shrub but decided to leave it alone.

We saw a few birds, but overall it was pretty quiet.  We saw a bunch of vireos, at first we thought one might be a Philadelphia, but we later concluded it was probably just red-eyed vireos and warbling vireos.  They were pretty high up so we mostly just saw their bellies, but it was really cool seeing so many of them in one tree!

I wandered off and found a female common yellow-throat and took a bunch of pictures that should have been gorgeous but were instead blurs that were vaguely yellowish.  :-)  The group was moving on so I caught back up, just in time to see the waxwings!  They are so cool, and there were a bunch of them up in the tree.  They flew off, and we thought that was it, but more kept materializing and flying off.  It was hilarious!  Every time we thought the tree was really empty this time, 3 or 4 more would fly out.

We headed over to the point, but it started really raining, and we ducked into the boathouse for a few minutes.  It was really funny to me that it rained so much more on the make-up day than on the actual rain day.  :-)  It quieted down in a few minutes and we headed back out.

We headed up to the castle and saw a few swallows swooping over turtle pond.  There were 3 or 4 northern rough-winged swallows, and at least one barn swallow.

And then someone found this green heron!

That was about it for the group.  Heading home I saw a great heron - probably the same one - on my side of the lake, and took what should have been great pictures of it getting a little fish, but sadly autofocus was not my friend today.

I made it home without further downpours, with wet feet and a happy heart.  :-)

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