Friday, May 4, 2012

The day of no thunderstorms

I was on the fence about going to the park, and decided to just go before showering to get a couple of hours outside before the promised rain and thunderstorms.  I walked quickly up to turtle pond, where I soon saw this great egret flying over.

Great Egret
 It settled high in a tree, which I haven't seen in the park before, so that was a nice beginning.  I waited a few minutes, hoping to see it fly off, but it waited until I walked away.  Then it made its move, so I saw the latter half of its flight.......
Great Egret
 On the path to the castle was this palm warbler, a welcome sight!
Palm Warbler
 As I turned to continue on the path, I noticed that the geese were doing the head-bobbing that ducks do in a mating ritual.  Looks like it's about the same for geese........
Canada Geese
 To the ramble!  I ran into a group of 4 guys who had seen the cerulean (everyone's sought-after bird in the park today) (no, I did not see it, in spite of joining a mission for it) and they were very friendly and kind, pointing out some nearby birds and chatting with me.  They wandered on and I stayed in that spot, mostly to look at the magnolia warblers.  I saw several today.
Magnolia Warbler
 Also several black and white warblers.  It was so different today than any other day for me this year, there were really quite a few different types of birds everywhere.
Black and White Warbler
 Several black-throated blues were around, there were so many beautiful birds, I was sort of cursing the light.
Black-throated Blue Warbler
 This common yellowthroat helped me out by popping onto a branch at the oven.  There was at least one female there too, I have missed them!
Common Yellowthroat
 Also at the oven, this female Baltimore oriole.
Baltimore Oriole (female)
 I saw this sandpiper fly in, and it hung out on my side for quite some time before a robin chased it off.  Then it flew in a big loop which the robin only followed half of, and it stayed on the other side for a while.  This process repeated several times.
Spotted Sandpiper
 Soon after that I saw an indigo bunting, but could not get my camera on it.  He was gorgeous!  But what is it with them and photos?  They are exceptionally well-dressed. They know it.  I know it.  Everyone knows it.  Oh well, maybe someday.........

Back to azalea pond, where someone pointed out this northern parula to me.
Northern Parula
 I returned the favor by finding this Baltimore oriole for him.  It was quite handy that they were fairly close together!
Baltimore Oriole
 The streamlet did not let me down, waterthrush-wise.  I think this is a northern, but I cannot tell for sure.
A black-throated green!  Yay!  This is one of my favorites!
Black-throated Green Warbler
 My normal path was too pond-ish to go through (I don't know why I thought that, I had already sunk into mud and flooded my sandals so there was no point in avoiding a puddle really) so I went up to the next one.  And I'm happy I did, I got to see this rose-breasted grosbeak take a bath!  He looked so cheerful the whole time.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
 It was on this path that I saw the hooded warbler.  Saw, clearly but all too briefly, as it hopped up onto a branch and stood in the sun looking at me.  I was so stunned I looked for a couple of moments longer instead of getting my camera up....... and so I now have pictures of a branch that used to hold a gorgeous and vivid hooded warbler.  This towhee tried to cheer me up.
Eastern Towhee
 This wood thrush is also upset about the whole thing, and tried to show the hooded how to pose properly.
Wood Thrush
 The brown thrasher is unimpressed.  I waited, I circled, I looked and looked, but I did not see the hooded again.  Well, I did, but only through a bunch of branches, not in a camera-friendly setting.  Aaaauuuuuuughghghghghghghghghg!!!!!!!  Oh well, time to move on.  My camera card was almost full from the wonderful day, it was getting later and I was still worried about the promised rain and storms, although the weather seemed to only get nicer.
Brown Thrasher
 To the upper lobe, where this blue-winged warbler serenaded me for quite some time before agreeing to this (suboptimal) picture. I even ignored a gorgeous yellow warbler to focus on the blue-winged warbler!  Now my camera card was really about full, I could only take a couple more shots.
Blue-winged Warbler
 So this Nashville warbler came by, and soon I was done.  Time to head home, wishing I had another memory card with me.
Nashville Warbler
On the way home as I was about to cross to exit at Columbus Circle, an ovenbird came over.  It perched on a branch a few inches off the ground.  In the sun.  And stayed still. And my camera card was full.  It looked at me.  I looked at it.  I swear it smirked.........

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