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

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