Sunday, August 25, 2013

They're coming…

It was 58 degrees and sunny. A beautiful day for birdwatching. The moon was out in the west looking lovely and ghostly in a clear blue sky.

When I first arrived, it was unusually quiet. All I heard were the calls of several blue jays. I wasn't there long when Mary Lou appeared, so we walked around together. Goldfinches were very intent eating seeds from the tall weeds that I haven't yet identified in the lower gardens. There were several robins and their spotted young - probably 2nd broods at this point. Cardinals and their young were there too along with catbirds, song sparrows, downy woodpeckers and a chipping sparrow.
Fishing Buddies!

The upper gardens were fairly quiet at first as well. We saw a house wren family, song sparrows, goldfinches, catbirds and finally a common yellowthroat female. As we stood for a long time gazing into the woods and the tall oak trees from the back of the gardens, the action started to improve. First we saw some titmice, then some chickadees and finally caught a glimpse of a blue gray gnatcatcher. Then a red eyed vireo appeared and Mary Lou saw a different vireo that was quite yellow on the belly, but we couldn't positively identify it. She was thinking it may have been a Philadelphia vireo. A line of 6-8 cormorants flew overhead.

Green Heron
The real excitement came down near the soccer field. Something caught Mary Lou's eye and I saw it too, but the light was not in our favor and all we could see was the bird's white underbelly and some wingbars. It flew off and we gave up. In the meantime, we saw a white breasted nuthatch, titmice, a yellow warbler and a group of chickadees. Then, surprisingly, we caught a glimpse of our mystery bird! It had a yellowish green head and the wing bars. It was a  female chestnut sided warbler (or young male?) - my first! It was beautiful. While continuing to follow her as she flew from branch to branch, we got a very quick look at a male American redstart. The warblers are starting to filter in! Saw a couple of phoebes as well.

Solitary Sandpiper
The pond turned out to be quite the hangout. A great blue heron was hunting side by side with a great white egret! A green heron was right in the middle of the pond, almost completely camoflouged save for Mary Lou's keen eye. A solitary sandpiper waded through the mud looking for goodies.

Apologies for the poor quality of some of the pictures - but I felt lucky to have gotten anything at all given the distance I was from the birds...


  1. Sounds like an exciting morning, Suzette! The pond is quite a draw.

  2. Very cool. I've only seen a female/juvenile chestnut-sided warbler once... but that bright green color has stuck with me. and great finds at the pond. how are the mosquitos now?

  3. The mosquitos weren't too bad that day. They had been wicked.