Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jail Bird, Escaped Bird!

I guess I must have arrived before Ian and Haynes. It was a beautiful morning - not too hot. I was immediately greeted by the sound of the wood thrush coming from the woods near the JCC. Still haven't seen it this year though.

Most of the action seemed to be in the upper gardens. I was captivated by the antics of a large wren family out and about today. I saw a baby perched on a wire fence that was demanding to be fed and sure enough, mom landed on one side with a bug or berry in her mouth and dad arrived to look on.

As I was watching them and some of the other babies nearby, a different baby flew right in front of me. It was so close I was afraid I wouldn't be able to focus the camera. They are just so totally entertaining!

I agree with Haynes and Ian that the Baltimore orioles seemed noticeably absent and haven't seen the red-breasted grosbeaks in some time and as far as I can tell, I think there was only one pair this year. I did see yellow warblers, cardinals, robins, goldfinches, tree swallows, mourning doves, downies, and heard the warbling vireo. I saw the red-bellied woodpecker in the big mulberry tree in the upper gardens as well.

I was also excited to see the bluebird couple too and I am excited that they are considering a 2nd brood. I saw the female hanging out with a sparrow at one point, looking like two old friends catching up. (Wish I had seen that scarlet tanager! but glad to know it's there).

Down by the river the phoebe is sitting on her nest and I heard the wood peewee on my way back.

P.S. Later in the afternoon, on the way to the Friends of Nahanton Park meeting, I saw a very large, great blue heron in the pond (which I think maybe Ian saw too) and on the way back almost literally ran into a young deer eating by the edge of the soccer field path. It was so young it wasn't as afraid of me as it should have been. Where else can you have these unexpected, incredible experiences?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bluebirds again

Ian and I walked through the park this morning. We were surprised and delighted to see a pair of Eastern Bluebirds associating with the painted box on the west side of the upper gardens. We remarked on the absolute absence of evidence of Baltimore Oriole, Red-bellied Woodpecker or Rose-breasted Grosbeak, though I think all three species were around. No sign of the Blue-winged Warbler or American Redstart either, but we did get a visual on the Pewee singing in the woods, and a great view of a male Scarlet Tanager at the same spot. A nice morning at Nahanton Park!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekend Update

I knew it was going to be hot Saturday, so I went to the park early - about 6:15 a.m. It was a beautiful day, sunny and pleasant.

I was immediately struck by how the brush pile had grown! I am so glad that Duane Hillis called Parks & Recreation and that they were willing to move it. What they had previously dumped did destroy the flowers and plants underneath, but this would have been devastating to the meadow.

The tree swallow and house wren boxes at the entrance to the lower gardens were filled with baby noises. I am so glad they've both been successful and they seemed to be good neighbors as well!

Lots of yellow warblers this morning and am now seeing many of the females, which were not as visible until recently. That means that nesting must be over. It seems like many of the birds have had their babies and are very busy feeding them, flying here and there and exploring the area. Catbirds, orioles, goldfinches, song sparrows and house wrens were everywhere with chickadee songs permeating from the woods today. Ian showed up shortly after I arrived and we both heard a great-crested flycatcher which later turned up down near the soccer field and we had a good look at him. Ian also heard and saw the blue winged warbler, which I missed out on. They are so beautiful and I'm glad we have them at the park.

The mulberry tree on the way to the upper gardens is in fruit and I was anxious to see who might be there. Lots of robins, squirrels and some orioles, but nothing terribly exciting. I  the upper gardens were more goldfinches, an oriole family, tons of catbirds, yellow warblers and cardinals. As we were getting ready to leave we saw a small little warblerish bird that looked quite interesting. It was gray, with yellow under its tail and and a little yellow wash on it's wings. I couldn't figure it out, but after showing me a picture from the guide, we both thought it probably was a female redstart!

The soccer field area had a warbling vireo, the great crested flycatcher, gnatcatchers and peewees somewhere in the woods near the upper gardens. Not much going on in the pond and down by the river, Ian noticed the phoebe in her nest in the very same place where the nest had previously been predated. I'm so glad she's trying again!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday June 12

Lots of activity in the gardens this morning with breeding birds feeding young, especially with the Mulberry fruits. Birding highlights included singing Willow Flycatchers, Eastern Kingbird and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In Between the Rain Drops...

I managed to get a 45 minute walk in this morning in between early morning rains. It was very muggy out today.

When I arrived in the lower gardens, our friends were all in their favorite areas. Tree swallows in first nestbox, house wrens in second box, and house wrens in garden nestbox around the corner. Yellow warblers, catbirds, robins, cardinals, orioles and goldfinches were busy flitting about, singing and feeding babies. Saw this young rabbit in a field of clover looking very wet, but happily eating it's grass.

The mulberry tree halfway between the gardens is fruiting now and starting to attract all kinds of birds. Today I saw this juvenile something (I think it's a young red-winged blackbird) hanging out there. Haynes or Ian, can you verify? I think it was waiting for a parent to feed it.

In the upper garden, it looks as though the bluebirds have fledged as the box has the tell-tale stick poking out of the hole and the house wren sitting atop it. This same thing happened last year. The wren took over the house when the bluebirds were done. (At least we hope they were done). Will have to keep an eye out for the young bluebirds.

It started to rain again and had to head for the hills before my camera and binoculars got wrecked.