Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Last AMNH Spring walk

Well today is the last of the spring lunchtime AMNH bird walks, so that's sad.  But it's a lovely day, so that's happy!  Dale led the walk today, it was great to see him.  Before meeting up with the group, I saw this gorgeous egret at the upper lobe.

Then a tanager, reminding me of Panama.
scarlet tanager

Hello Maggie!
magnolia warbler
 This Canada is going to need to work on its necklace.
Canada warbler
 Even birders are taken by the cuteness of a raccoon.
 This red-bellied woodpecker was having to defend its hole against starlings, who thought it looked pretty comfy-cozy.
red-bellied woodpecker
 There were plenty of ovenbirds, but they were mostly staying under cover.  This one popped up for a quick photo session though.  Thanks Buddy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cuckoo for spring!

It was pretty glorious in the park today.  One of the best spring walks ever!  I'm so glad that this spring is not a repeat of last spring's sparse migration.

On the way up to meet the group, things were pretty loud at the lake - and by things, I mean spawning carp!  They were *very* splashy.  I saw at least 3 pairs of carp, swimming and thrashing together (one pair at a time) along the reeds at the edge of the lake.  It was pretty awesome!  Then I spotted some more splashy activity - mating snapper turtles!  The picture doesn't look like much, I know.

snapping turtles
 The walk itself started off with a little pocket of warblers at the beginning, and this common yellowthroat was one of plenty who were not into skulking.  They were out in the open, showing off their masks.
common yellowthroat
 This hawk was soaring above us for quite some time, and even got harassed by a grackle for a bit.
red-tailed hawk
 Hello Maggie!
magnolia warbler
 This female scarlet tanager was just minding her own business, and didn't really know what to make of all the attention.
scarlet tanager (female)
 There were several chestnut-sideds.  This one was not very vivid, but it was quite cooperative!
chestnut-sided warbler
 Cuckoo!!!!!!  There's not much to say about this, except for the general statement that cuckoos are awesome.  Obviously.
yellow-billed cuckoo
 What?  Who, me?  Just hanging around.
common yellowthroat (female)
 Blackburnian!  This gorgeous fellow did not stay long.  I love seeing them in the pink flowers.  It's like, Dude, you do ~not~ blend.  So why are you so hard to spot?
Blackburnian warbler
 Indigo bunting!  Well, mostly indigo.  He's going through some changes.
indigo bunting
 This blackpoll sang and sang and sang.
Blackpoll warbler
 This Canada did not sing.  It flitted.  Quickly.  And then paused briefly to show me its necklace before it was off again!
Canada warbler
 Lincoln's sparrow!  This got a great reaction from Paul, which was much more entertaining to watch than the bird was.  I'm sure someday I'll appreciate sparrows properly.
Lincoln's sparrow
 After leaving the group I saw this amazing oriole.  No, I did not photoshop-enhance-super-saturate that color.  He was so incredibly vivid!  Then a female flew off, and he chased her.  They were together in a tree, and then hopped to another tree.  The female left, and the male stayed, chattering at me and scolding me.  For..... being near his nest?  I can only hope so!  I didn't find one, but maybe they'll lead me to it next time.
Baltimore oriole

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sunny and happy in the park

Quite a nice day in the park today, sunny and happy.  On the way to meet the group I saw two black-crowned night herons and that's about it - I left later than I planned and I had to hurry up to get there on time!  :-)
black-crowned night heron
 Quite quickly we found this oriole showing off for us.  Nice tail!
Baltimore oriole
 This parula was nearby but didn't really want to pose much.
northern parula
 There were several black-throated blues around, and I loved seeing this female come in right next to us.  Hello Gorgeous!
black-throated blue warbler
 It was pretty exciting to see this worm-eating warbler eating something that was probably not worms.  They are not the most gaudy of birds, but they do look sleek and stylish with their racing stripes.
worm-eating warbler
 This veery teased us for a while and then came out in the open, posing in the sun.
 There were several ovenbirds too!  I love spring, all the birds get just a bit flirtier.
 This cormorant provided a nice contrast in scale.  After a zillion teeny little cuties, it was great to see this big guy sunning.
double-crested cormorant
 This was my best view of the rose-breasted grosbeak.  I was unsatisfied, but the bird was stubborn!
rose-breasted grosbeak
 Back to cooperative cuties - this black and white came right over.
black-and-white warbler
 After leaving the group, I found this towhee playing in the leaves.  Funny how I see more of them in the fall.  I wonder if they follow different paths in the spring vs. the fall, or if it's just been my luck so far.
eastern towhee
 And my good-bye bird was this kingbird, who started out nice and low but once he got his prize headed up to the top branches of a tree to devour it.
eastern kingbird