Sunday, August 21, 2016

Migration season starting...

Blue-gray gnatcatcher
I got to the park early today - 6:45 a.m. It was 62 degrees, slightly hazy, but clear and pleasant. However, the change of seasons is in the air already. Cooler evenings, shorter days and crickets etc.

The lower gardens had lots of robins. No more tree swallows or yellow warblers, at least this morning. The gardens are bursting with flowers and ripe vegetables and it was a beautiful sight.

There were hummingbirds whizzing about, goldfinches, downy woodpeckers, cardinals, catbirds, and song sparrows. Of special note, I was surprised to see a few blue-gray gnatcatchers out and about as well as a black & white warbler. Saw a few yellowthroat females as well. Ran into Mary Lou who saw a Northern parula.

The upper gardens were very much the same with the addition of chickadees and a flicker. I ran into a
father/daughter team who were out searching for the tanager that had been reported on e-bird, but they couldn't find it. In one of the gardens, I was amazed to find an artichoke growing. It was quite splendid with it's bright purple hairs sticking up and the leaves of the choke starting to form. I don't think I've ever seen one at this stage.

The soccer field had a swallow that was dipping and diving so quickly, I wasn't sure if it was a tree or barn swallow. There were more common yellowthroats and robins, but otherwise fairly quiet. The pond is now dried up, with bright green grass coming up through the mud. I was hoping to see a sandpiper or two, but it wasn't to be.

The river was very quiet and as I headed up to Woodcock meadow, I was greeted by a very thin doe and her fawn. They weren't sure what to make of me. Mom was cautious, but baby got scared and ran in the other direction flashing her white tail as she fled.

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