Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beautiful Sunday

60's and sunny. Thanks to Ian, I was able to recognize the call of the Willow flycatcher and there he was again down in the lower gardens (pictured left).  The local cast of characters down there were pretty much the same as yesterday although I think I saw the female grosbeak in this area today but didn't see the male.

The wildflowers in the meadow are getting prettier and prettier every day. The little white flowers of the fleabane are now blooming in tandem with some beautiful grasses. As I approached the upper gardens I saw the bluebird and tree swallow feeding their babies at exactly the same time. It was really sweet. Heard the warbling vireo that has been hanging out in the stand of trees to the right.

I took a look at the woods in the back of the upper gardens and saw what first appeared to be a downy woodpecker, but it looked too large. I am pretty certain it is a hairy woodpecker (pictured left). Can anyone corroborate for me?

Met a new gardener named Sean today. There is a lot of enthusiasm for these community gardens. Abandoned plots are being weeded and fixed up. Just as I was heading down to the soccer field, I saw a commotion in the upper gardens. It was a crow chasing a hawk. I ran back up to take a picture of the hawk as it seemed to have settled for a while on a tree branch. Is this a gorgeous specimen or what?

On the way down to the soccer field I saw something gray in the grass. At first, I thought it was a dead tree root but something made me go over and look. It looked like it might be a dead squirrel until I was right upon it. Very sad - it was a young raccoon. It was totally intact and can't imagine what happened to it. Nature has been very hard on things this year. This is the location where I am hearing the wood thrush this year, but haven't seen them at all.

Down in the soccer field was, what I think was a ruby-crowned kinglet, a yellow warbler that I think has a nest there, the Eastern Kingbird, a cardinal and the male oriole keeping an eye on its nest. I walked down to the pond to hear the bullfrogs and look for the ducks. The bullfrogs were croaking, but no sign of the ducks today. As I returned to the main path, I saw a gray flash come out of a little cleft in a small tree! I thought it might be a titmouse, but wasn't sure until I heard "peter, peter, peter" coming from a nearby branch. I stayed and watched for a while as the parents came and went, feeding their squeaky little brood. The nest locations for birds are so amazing. So often, they are right in front of us and we would never know it were it not for these chance encounters.

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