Sunday, March 3, 2013

Our woodcocks are back and others too!

Mallard & American Black duck
33 degrees and slightly cloudy today. I heard several song sparrows singing from the lower gardens, but as soon as I approached it was dead quiet. The snow was pretty crunchy and noisy. Did I frighten the birds away? The upper gardens seemed to be devoid of any bird life as well. The only sign of life was in the sky - a few robins, blue jays calling, seagulls and Canada geese flying back and forth, honking loudly.

Headed to the path by the pond where the thorny cat briar is already looking green and ready to grow like crazy. I hate cat briar. It really prevents one from exploring further into the woods. Down by the river a large bird flew overhead. I think it was a red tail hawk heading towards Woodcock meadow, but never did find it.

I saw some geese and ducks down the river, so I decided to check out the river from the bridge. Finally, some signs of life. There were several geese couples posturing and flapping their wings. There was one mallard couple and then a mallard hanging out with two American Black ducks. At the furthest range of my binoculars I caught several shapes, splashing wildly in some water that had overflowed the banks. The ducks looked quite different and I realized I had finally gotten my first good look at half a dozen ring necked ducks. Their white tipped beaks were striking!

Downie Woodpecker
Woodcock meadow was quite too, so I decided to revisit the upper gardens and head to the swamp path. The swamp is filled with water and it seemed to be where the most action was. A carolina wren was singing nonstop and robins were rummaging through the leaf litter. Several downies were searching for food up and down the tree trunks. Nuthatches were doing the same. And then I saw my first red-winged blackbird fly across the path with his bright red glowing against his black feathers. And the first wave of noisy grackles were back with their blue green black iridescence. Chickadees sang from the woods on the opposite side of the gardens.

Later that evening, I met up with Jane S. to see if the woodcocks would show. The peents started around 5:50ish and then we saw our first woodcock fly over the meadow. There seemed to be several that night. We used to wait until St. Patricks day or so, but have now realized they come a lot earlier.

The woodcocks were certainly a highlight of the weekend, but a great horned owl sighting at the JCC Saturday at about 5:30 p.m. was totally amazing!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment