Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Regulars

Today was about 68 degrees and overcast with light sprinkles.

It was pretty quiet but as I explored the lower gardens, I gradually heard from many of our regulars. Saw a gray catbird with a bright red raspberry in his beak, goldfinches, song sparrows, mockingbirds and blue jays.

I saw what I thought was a female yellowthroat, but then I heard it trying to sing. The song wasn't quite right and now I think it must have been a very young male practicing his song. I also saw a flicker and a red-bellied woodpecker.

Wonder if this goldfinch (left) knows how handsome he looks on the yellow sundrops?

I went down to the soccer field to find the same situation that Haynes reported on yesterday - lotsa robins!!!!!!

The pond is looking like a very different environment. Now that the water has evaporated, we are left with blue pickerel growing in a wet field of grass! No wonder we aren't seeing the herons down here right now.

The upper gardens were extremely quiet. No sign of the bluebirds but a lovely, spicy scent was in the air up there. Quite heavenly, like this morning glory (pictured above).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lotsa robins

Observation date: 8/21/10
Number of species: 23

Mourning Dove 2
Chimney Swift 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 12 eg 6 on soccer field
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 8
American Crow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Tufted Titmouse 5 family. cheva.
House Wren 6
American Robin 75 eg 53 on soccer field
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 3
European Starling 22 soccer field
Common Yellowthroat 4
Chipping Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 10
Baltimore Oriole 2 silent
American Goldfinch 10

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Glad to be back at the Park!

I was away for the week and though I saw some great birds in North Carolina, I missed the park. I see that Haynes had some great sightings!

It was a beautiful morning - about 68 degrees. Pleasant, cool and a little bit of fall in the air. The flowers blooming right now are some of summer's last; sunflowers, sundrops, goldenrod, chokeberry, sumac and jewel weed. Soon it will be our native asters.

The pond is all dried up and I couldn't even manage to see a sandpiper today. The soccer field was mostly filled with robins searching for worms, but I did manage to see an Eastern kingbird family flitting about.

The upper and lower gardens were filled with similar birds today. Many catbirds, chickadees, robins, downies, goldfinches, hummers, house finches, cardinals, mockingbirds and bluejays. I think some orioles are passing through because I saw several including a few females or possible juveniles. Of course the song sparrows were plentiful and I saw one that must have been a young one practicing its song, because it was definitely not there yet!

Before moving to the upper gardens, I heard the song of a Carolina wren, but having never seen or heard one at the park before, I wasn't sure. I tried to track it down and found the bush where the song was coming from. I decided it was probably a mockingbird tricking me but all of a sudden, a tiny little bird emerged from the shrub, looking very bedraggled as if it had been caught in a storm. It had the tell-tale white eyebrow and it sang some more as I watched!

The upper garden had at least one Phoebe hanging out. Many of our regulars were there and lots of chasing going on with mockingbirds and orioles. A female hummer was perusing the sundrops getting ready for her long flight. No sign of our bluebirds. Have the babies fledged yet?

Just as I was leaving, I caught a glimpse of this bird drinking water from this tub. I know it's hard to see in the photo to the left, but I was so excited. It was my best ever view of an American redstart!!!! And there were two of them!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Observation date: 8/8/10
Notes: Still to light breeze, sun, 60 deg
Number of species: 25

Least Sandpiper 3 Pond
Mourning Dove 2
Chimney Swift 7
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1 F, upper garden
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 9
Eastern Wood-Pewee 3 Singing
Empidonax sp. 1
Eastern Kingbird 3
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 8
American Crow 1
Barn Swallow 6
Black-capped Chickadee 10
Tufted Titmouse 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
House Wren 6
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4, 3 together behind upper garden
American Robin 18
Gray Catbird 6
Northern Mockingbird 5
Song Sparrow 7 Chips only
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Red-winged Blackbird 2
Baltimore Oriole 8 lots of short song
American Goldfinch 12

Monday, August 2, 2010

Saturday July 31

A great day with lots of bird activity. In the lower gardens, I saw a beautiful male Indigo Bunting, a pair of hummingbirds and two Eastern Wood Pee-wees. In the upper gardens there were two Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.

I noticed a new boardwalk across the Charles from the boat-ramp, so I crossed the bridge to walk the path that I had not noticed before. I saw a deer with two young fawns ahead on the path, so I backed off.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend Update

Saturday and Sunday were both lovely mornings at the park. A little cool, sunny and NOT humid.

The upper gardens have been pretty active. It seems like there are more than the normal amount of mockingbirds and they are very busy zipping here and there and socializing. Song sparrows and their young are finding tasty morsels in the gardens.

This little hummingbird caught my eye as he rested for a very brief moment. Most of the wren families are out and about, joining the robins, catbirds, cardinals, goldfinches and female yellowthroats.

The bluebirds are actively in the midst of their second brood. Saw the bluebird feeding it's young. Today when I met up with Haynes, we saw it drop a fecal sac high in the sky in the lower gardens, surprisingly far from its nesting box!

The soccer field area had a rose-breasted grosbeak and I could hear an Eastern Phoebe in the woods behind.

On Saturday, my first stop was the pond which is pretty much dried up with all the hot weather and lack of rain. Surprisingly, there was the blue heron as well as a solitary sandpiper which Haynes and I saw today as well - only now there were two of them! There were also some mallards which made me laugh. The little bit of water they could find was so shallow, they could hardly swim, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves anyway.

Other highlights included a few sightings of baltimore orioles, an Eastern Kingbird hanging out with robins and barn swallows on the soccer field, a blue-gray gnatcatcher and a probable kinglet (heard only) and the Pee Wee (heard only).