Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The day of fleeting flickers

We were not off to an auspicious start today, it started raining just in time for the tour.  Happily that did not last, and the birding was great!  From our meeting place we were able to look down on a robin's nest, I did not see eggs but maybe there will be some next week.  It would be great to have such an easy view of eggs and hatchlings.  On our way into the park we saw a ruby-crowned kinglet and a hermit thrush, they were flitting about like mad.  It was pretty fun listening to so many people give directions to the birds.  And fun chiming in.  

Paul had scouted out this pine warbler for us, it was high up in the tree but it sang for us and was very pretty.  As you can see from the sky int he picture, the rain had cleared up and it was sunny!

Pine Warbler

Also at the upper lobe was this wood duck, being gorgeous.

Wood Duck
And another ruby-crowned kinglet.  We ended up seeing several of these.  THis one was the friendliest, it just kept getting closer and closer.  Its next step would have been to just go ahead and land on Paul's head.  :-)  This was about when we started almost-a-little-sort-of seeing flickers.  We saw many of them fly by, several people spotted one which would fly away as soon as they started giving directions to it.  It was the day of the fleeting flickers!
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
There are still white-throated sparrows in the park, looking spiffy.  This one is so gorgeous, posing in the white flowers, I feel like he is definitely going to get all the girls.
White-throated Sparrow
There were again several yellow-bellied sapsuckers.  It was hard to look at them when the flickers were distracting us and then flying away.  :-)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
This was a new one for me - a rusty blackbird!  We got a really good look at it, which was great.  However the light was so dim (it was cloudy again and the trees were blocking) that the pictures are really........ not stellar.  The light eye was striking.  However, I will agree with the chorus of objections from the group that this bird does not look particularly rusty...... I hope to see one in its costume that looks more fancy to me, which according to my book is in the fall.  It's unusual for the non-breeding plumage to look more interesting to me.
Rusty Blackbird
This little guy looks so sleepy!  Migration really takes it out of you, I guess.......
Hermit Thrush
There were a few brown creepers, and one came over to pose for me while I was trying to get a picture of..........
Brown Creeper
......this winter wren!  It led me on a merry chase, posing briefly right out in the open and then ducking underneath some handy branch or crevice in a rock or other hiding place.  It's so fast that most of my pictures are of a bird-colored blur, or of half a wren leaving the scene.  This is the only one that shows the whole bird and is fairly non-blurry!  Meanwhile, most of the group was looking for flickers and watching them fly away.
Winter Wren
As I was taking pictures of the wren this swamp sparrow came over asking for attention.  We saw several of these, I kept trying to make them into a chipping sparrow, but they stubbornly refused.
Swamp Sparrow
Field sparrow!  Yes it is.  Yes, I know, the picture is not great, but I was there!  Oh, also, a dark-eyed junco.  There was a flock of juncos and song sparrows that this field sparrow had joined, all foraging together.
Field Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco
At last!  A flicker staying put!  This one had found a nice spot to drum and call, and we were able to get a good look at one.  Thanks buddy!

Northern Flicker
At the castle, this phoebe flew a few loops for us.
Eastern Phoebe
In the courtyard by the castle there was a flock of song sparrows and white-throated sparrows.  None of the song sparrows would face me and look up, so we get to enjoy this profile shot.  :-)
Song Sparrow

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