Thursday, June 23, 2022

Summer Break

There comes a time in June when the migrant action slows down. it becomes more difficult to see birds through the expanding foliage and bugs start to stalk you. When I find myself running from deerflies it's time to take a break and change strategy. I will try to make it out earlier in the morning at select spots for shorter durations.
During my last trip out I watched some nesting Killdeer. At one point, they chased after a hawk.
There has been a Bald Eagle hanging out at this same branch for many months now. Not a bad set-up when you're king of the marsh!

I hope to get back out to a place that is cool and shady early in the morning this weekend. One or two hours of sedentary birding and I will be done for the day!

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Tree Fungus And Faux Flycatcher

I snuck out to a small nature preserve early one rainy morning .I wondered what are these orange things in the cedar trees?A closer inspection showed me that his must be some sort of orange spaghetti fungus? I don't know what it is but I plan to search for an answer after I post this.My biggest excitement of the morning. This is a bird I've only encountered a few times and only once before away from the shore. The first time I saw one it had me baffled because the call sounded like some sort of flycatcher to me but it is in fact, a White-eyed Vireo. In this grainy photo you can still see the white eye ring, some yellow on the sides/around the face, and wing bars. 

Things have slowed nearly to a halt as far as new inland species for me to see so this was a great addition. I'm still waiting on a few such as green heron but I will turn my attention to the shoreline next.

update: The fungus is called Cedar-apple rust. It doesn't harm the cedar trees but can cause deformed fruit on fruit trees.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

A Warbler That Refuses To be Ignored

The Yellow Warbler is one of the most commonly seen warblers in Connecticut this time of year. The males are bright yellow with black beady eyes, and red streaking on the breast. They move around a lot from bushes to tree branches and back again.

Yellow Warblers are a frequent target of Brown-Headed Cowbirds who lay their eggs in the warbler's nest so that their young can be raised by the warblers. The Yellow Warblers fight this forced adoption system by covering the cowbird eggs with another layer of nest and then lay a fresh batch of their own eggs.

These birds are not shy. If they are around you will most likely hear them and see them which is a treat much like their song.....sweet, sweet, sweet, sweeter than sweet!  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

If Elves Exist They Might Live Here

I visit the Sexton Hill Preserve several times a year. It's not because it's big or has the most birds. I like it here because it has just the right combination of forest, falls, moss, and rock that give the place a mystical quality.
I do find Acadian Flycatchers here which are one of the trickier flycatchers to find. The birds here are more often heard than seen but that's okay.

 If I believed in elves, fairies, and leprechauns this is the first place I would search for them. I could imagine that Robert Plant might have been in a place like this when he wrote the words to Stairway To Heaven