Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Update

Yellow Warbler Female
This weekend was on the cool side. Saturday was 48 degrees and today was 53 degrees but they both turned out to be quite pleasant in the end.

The lower gardens haven't been terribly productive for warbler watching so I've been concentrating on what I'm now calling "Warblerville" in the upper gardens. It's the spot behind the bent over birch tree in the back and this is where I've been seeing most of the warblers.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Yesterday, I saw between 3-4 different warblers. I believe the one above was a female yellow warbler - no sign of a male. At first, I had thought it was a Wilsons - it was so bright and yellow, but no sign of a cap. After consulting with Haynes, I believe one of the other warblers I saw was a ruby-crowned kinglet, which I saw again today and got a good, close look at it. It was so very tiny, that I am certain about the ID (see pic at right). I saw some others (one that I was desperately hoping was a chestnut sided), but just couldn't get a good enough look at them to positively identify.

Today, I had all but given up, when I saw a beautiful male parula (very bright) on the bent over birch tree.  All of a sudden, it seemed there were warblers everywhere, but they were zipping about so quickly, it was hard to see who was what! As I thought I saw another parula, I got my binoculars on the bird in the depths of a shrub and to my surprise, it was an American redstart! The tail was very distinctive. As I mentioned above, I had a great, close encounter with the kinglet and then saw something in an oak tree that I thought might be a female yellow rump or possibly a pine warbler? It had the soft brown striations on the side, a whitish breast and some yellow on the sides under the wings, but I couldn't get a look at the tail, so I can't confirm.

Other than that, it was our good old, reliable friends: catbirds, robins, goldfinches, wrens, titmice, cardinals, chickadees, song sparrows and blue jays.

The wild asters are just coming into bloom and the gardens, even though they are close to the end of their season, look beautiful. The cool temperatures give the flowers a much deeper and rich color. Some of the dahlias in the upper gardens are unbelievably spectacular.

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