Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fall warblers in August

I guess fall is here. This afternoon I found this Blackburnian Warbler to go along with Suzette's Canada Warbler from a few days ago. It was high in the trees near the JCC, along with some Chickadees. Hummers are still around, but the Catbird activity seems down. Also of interest was a rare sighting of a Horned House Finch, at right.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mystery Bird?

Back from vacation and anxious to get to the park before it got too hot. It was 67 degrees and sunny.

As I drove in to the park at the Winchester St. entrance, I was greeted by 3 turkeys on parade, aiming to cross the street to get to the other side! The fire house is empty and all equipment and personnel have been moved to the new building.

Common Yellow-throat Female
In the lower gardens were tons of robins, many of them enjoying the puddles created by last nights rain. A family of goldfinches was having a great time foraging for seeds in the bright magenta cosmos. There were hummers, a family of flickers, mourning doves, catbirds and house wrens. A downy woodpecker was hard at work removing seeds from a sunflower head. Song sparrow families were flitting about with their little tail-less young. A bright red cardinal perched on a garden fence and posed.

Mystery bird?? Had white eye ring.
As I headed up the path to the upper gardens a couple of common yellowthroats feeding in the meadow flew to the mulberry tree and were willing to be photographed which was quite surprising. I also encountered what I thought was a common yellow-throat at first, but it's belly was a brilliant yellow and the gray on it's back darker. It also had an eye ring, but couldn't get a good look at it. I have a rather poor picture below but if anyone can help me identify it, that would be much appreciated.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Chimney swifts flew high in the sky. Jays called from the woods. A family of chipping sparrows foraged on the ground near the dumping area where it now says "No Dumping"! There were more robins, hummers, downies, chickadees and catbirds. I heard a warbling vireo singing, but couldn't find it. Heard a funny little noise and caught this blue-gray gnatcatcher in the little willow tree near the beehives. It was solo which surprised me. The Concord grapes at the back of the gardens are turning their luscious deep blue/purple.

A nuthatch was making a racket as I cut through the woods to the soccer field area. The pond is all mud and grass and didn't see anything interesting there save for a bright male oriole and a couple of grackles.

Lots of people getting ready to canoe or kayak today. With such a hot forecast, being on the water is one of the best places to be!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hummer fever and a Blue Winged Warbler

I wanted to get to the park before I went on vacation. It's been a while. Not sure where the time has gone...

It was sunny and clear and pretty quiet. The tree swallows are done breeding and most have left which is also true of the yellow warblers, although a few remain. The meadow has some coneflowers and Queen Anne's lace in bloom. Very pretty.

The gardeners won't be happy, but several bunnies lined the path to the lower gardens and they hurried away as I approached. There were blue jays, robins, goldfinches and song sparrows. Then I was greeted by approximately three hummingbirds - a male, female and young one. I watched them for ages feeding on the sweet pea nectar shown in the photo above. I will never get over the magic of seeing hummingbirds, even though I see them almost everyday at my feeder for the summer. They are the most amazing creatures.

Common Yellow-throat Male
In the upper garden I saw another favorite (oh, who am I kidding, they're all my favorites) - a
common yellowthroat male. There's something about his black superhero mask and coloring that I find beautiful, but sort of comical at the same time. There were more hummers, robins, a family of house finches and a family of house wrens begging mom and dad for food.

Down by the soccer field were baby catbirds and parents eating bright red berries, robins, downies, 2 tree swallows, goldfinches, a pee wee and a few yellow warblers singing. The highlight was a brief sighting of a blue winged warbler. It's been quite a while since I have seen one.

The pond is dried up and couldn't even find a sandpiper. The river was also very low and only saw a song sparrow and a cardinal.