Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mid Summer

7:45 a.m. and it was already 75 degrees and hazy. You can tell it's going to be a scorcher. The same little stand of purple liatris I've been seeing year after year is in bloom as well as the white fleabane and yellow St. John's wort in the meadow. A phoebe was perched on one of the large rocks. The house wren greeted me as I entered the lower gardens with his cheerful, bubbling song. Beautiful,lilies were in full bloom in someone's garden. What a miracle of nature.

I was distressed to see the large house sparrow family hanging around. Having had success this year, I fear they will be back next year for sure. Saw lots of robins and their young ones, catbirds, a flicker, female and young red wing blackbirds, song sparrows, yellow warblers, and a mourning dove.

Poor baby catbird
The upper gardens was fairly quiet, although I managed to catch a quick glimpse of a blue gray gnatcatcher. While trying to hone in on the gnatcatcher, I discovered a common yellowthroat male! A beautiful yellow swallowtail butterfly floated by but disappeared into the woods. Downy woodpeckers
and a house finch family were busy looking for food. Then I saw a dead baby catbird on the path, the 2nd dead baby I've seen in a couple of weeks, the other being a baby robin. I'm not sure what happened to it. Very sad...

Young female grosbeak
As I headed down to the soccer field, I came across two birds who seemed most interested in a clump of knotweed. A young female oriole was flitting around as well as a young female grosbeak! The female grosbeak seemed to follow me as I walked along edge of the soccer field. She moved along from tree to tree until I left to look at the pond. I was hoping for a heron, but only heard the frantic screams of frogs as they jumped in the pond, fearing for their lives as I approached. I heard bits and pieces of a wood thrush singing. A vireo was also singing. I didn't hold high hopes of finding it, but surprisingly, it appeared on a bare branch where I could actually see him open his beak and sing! What a concert.

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