Saturday, May 21, 2011

In the park again, at last!

Okay, the weather was not ~great~ but it was not raining, so I headed to the park.  I had no idea there was some sort of half-marathon going on that involved lots of people in hats that reminded me of London cops in old-ish movies.  It was.... unexpected.  :-)  It was also pretty crowded, the first non-raining day in a week or so, a whole lotta folks wanted to be in the park!

I headed up the west side drive, and wandered out onto the rock at the ladies pavilion, where I noticed a great egret across the lake, just standing there and looking beautiful.  A bit too far off for decent pictures, sadly.

Up towards the upper lobe, right by the water fountain an oriole flew back and forth across the road a couple of times, and then disappeared on the other side.  I went over there to just check for him, and although it was beautiful, I didn't find him again.  I did manage to find a bunch of house sparrows, but that was about it.

I went up to get a Diet Coke (pollen gets in my throat I guess) and came back down the mulch path.  At the top, several blackpolls were teasing me, posing for gorgeous pictures too briefly for me to get my camera on them.  I did manage to get this one at last!

Female blackpoll warbler
And another oriole came through, singing up a storm, and let me take a picture.  

This black-crowned night heron was casual, just scratching what itches.

black-crowned night heron
Down to the warbler tree, where there was a sizeable group of birders, which I much later found out was someone's guided walk.  There were a few maggies over there, and one was really being almost over-friendly.  He was just coming right up to the group, the picutres didn't come out well, I think I should have had the camera on macro!  But he did back off slightly to let me take these shots.

Check out my stripes!  :-)

A canada blew through that most of the group saw but I totally missed (bad angle) but this female redstart made up for that by staying still long enough for a few pictures!  I couldn't believe it.  Thanks lovely lady!

There was also a common yellow throat skulking about, I caught glimpses now and then.

From there I walked along the water towards the oven.  I just didn't want that much company, so I took off.  Anyway I did see a vireo I was too slow to get a picture of, I think it was a warbling vireo, but I'm not really sure.  I talked with another couple of birders about banding projects, that was interesting.  And this oriole came through and sang, contributing to the conversation.  :-)

The oven didn't feel right so I went out on the point and sat on the rocks near the start of the path, just being alone and looking around.  There was a common yellowthroat down there, and a Canada teasing me without mercy, and a northern waterthrush.  Turns out this is a pretty good spot to sit!

A bit further up a pair of blackpolls were flitting about on the ground (ish), chasing each other around.

Time to go...... This warbling vireo made me wait but did eventually pose.

The black-crowned night heron was there, and as I was leaving so did he, flying to the main part of the lake, buzzing people on the bridge.  It was great!

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