Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Midsummer lookalikes

Back to the Garden for the first time in several weeks. There were a lot (maybe 4) of Common Yellowthroats around, including this extensively yellow individual....

looking almost like a Yellow Warbler. One of them posed for me too.

A Chipping Sparrow was dutifully feeding a much larger Brown-headed Cowbird.

In the lower garden I encountered this Bobolink. They are almost annual spring and fall visitors. This very gray and poorly marked juvenile sure looks like the cowbird, doesn't it!

Several Hummingbirds were taking advantage of the tube flowers ...

Also in the lower garden I watched a Spicebush Swallowtail feasting on an Ecinacea.

and this Twelve-spotted Skimmer.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A break from the dog days of summer

Hummingbird Moth
It's been quite some time since I've been at the park.  At 7:30 a.m., it was a beautiful 71 degrees, pleasant, clear and sunny.

I was surprised that the gardens were abuzz with activity as it was so quiet when I was last there. Several different bird species were out and about with their young/adolescents including robins, blue jays, cardinals and house wrens.

The gardens are looking great - filled with growing veggies and beautiful flowers. There were song sparrows, goldfinches, cedar waxwings, titmice and tree swallows.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
I saw a beautiful male hummingbird. The light made him look really unusual. His head was black with a white chin and iridescent turquoise feathers. I was sure he was something other than a ruby-throated male, but he must be because there is nothing else he looks like either.

Female Ruby-throated hummingbird
In bloom in the meadow (besides that horrible monoculture of artemisia) was Queen Anne's Lace, goldenrod, purple cone flowers and black-eyed Susans.

The upper gardens had similar fare, with the addition of a yellow warbler, a female hummingbird and my favorite moth - the hummingbird moth.

The pond is low, but surprisingly for this time of year still has water in it. It's hard getting down to get a good look with all the dead trees blocking the path and also the brush has taken over and is blocking much of the view. However, I don't think there were any sandpipers or herons down there.

Down by the river, the barn swallows were flying under the bridge and chickadees were calling near the parking lot. A few tree swallows were in Woodcock meadow, but otherwise very quiet up there.