Sunday, August 26, 2018

Another strange warbler ...

Beautiful quiet morning at Nahanton Park. This scruffy young House Wren, in the Upper Garden, is molting into first basic plumage.
A pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were the first indication of a big mixed flock at the circle near the soccer field. 

So much activity! Baltimore Orioles were singing, Black-capped Chickadees were bounding around, a couple of American Redstarts were flitting here and there. In the shady path I was surprised by an Ovenbird, a Black-and-white Warbler, a Canada Warbler, a Red-eyed Vireo, and this peculiarly colored Common Yellowthroat.
These birds don't usually show yellow legs and bill, nor this much yellow in the belly. This is a condition known as xanthochromism. The Common Yellowthroat I posted here on July 31 may have shown the same genetic aberration. 

At this point Suzette showed up. The flock had disbursed, so we went to the upper field, Woodcock Meadow, and found a lot of dragonflies, including this male Lance-tipped Darner, a first for me.

In the lower garden we found more dragonflies, as well as this attractive ichneumon wasp:

Friday, August 10, 2018

Let the migration begin!

Fall's here, believe it or not. The Park is already filling up with migrants: At least four American Redstarts for example. A family of Common Yellowthroats was training at the path along the pond, most likely resident. Here's a Field Sparrow from near the lower garden -- very early! The earliest fall record I have from Nahanton Park before today is September 24.

A Northern Watershrush strutted in the pond.

This Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was hanging out in the brush at the far end of the upper garden,

and this juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird was expectantly waiting to be fed. When I first saw it, it shared a branch with a juvenile American Robin. This was odd ... Robins are very rarely parasitized by Cowbirds. The juvenile flew before I saw anyone come to feed it.