Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mesmerized By One Proud And Noble Bluebird

 It was a beautiful Fall morning yesterday with crisp, clean air and bright blue skies. I was out making my rounds looking for birds that I haven't seen yet this year. I don't consider myself to be a "lister" but I have been keeping track of bird species that I see in my county during the year. It's sort of like completing a puzzle but in this case it's a bird search instead of a word search.

  I was at Machimoodus Park walking the trails at a moderate pace, taking inventory of birds along the way when I encountered a flock of bluebirds out in the field. My whole plan came to a halt when I came face to face with one particular  bluebird.
 While the other birds were coming and going,  I would move a couple of steps closer to him every minute or so but he did not move. this went on for 20 minutes until we were just a few feet away from each other. As other bluebirds came and went he stayed rock solid and continued to look me straight in the eye.
Such a proud and noble bluebird he was!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fall Comes And Goes In The Blink Of An Eye

 It was just a couple of weeks ago that summer was coming to an end. I was walking through the fields and you could feel the cooler air pushing in the morning fog.
The damp air left dew drops on plants and spider webs.
 It's usually around the end of September that Great Egrets start showing up at the rookery where the Great Blue Herons left their nests in July. 

 The first week of October is here now and the leaves are just starting to change color.
 Belted kingfishers seem to fly off with a loud rattle the second I look in their direction.  Maybe the birds are slowing down now that Fall is her because this Kingfisher actually stayed still long enough to let me take his picture. Fall is probably my favorite season but it seems to come and go in the blink of an eye which is why I'm going to try to avoid blinking my eyes for the next few weeks.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Some Warbler Done Somebody Wrong Song

 A few weeks ago I was walking along an undeveloped portion of the Airline Rail Trail. It is an elevated trail which is bordered on one side by forest and overlooks the Connecticut River from the other side. Over the last couple of years I've found a few interesting birds there including good numbers of Black Vultures and Hooded Warblers during Fall migration. This time around I saw some Hooded Warblers again and a large number of House and Carolina Wrens, about 8 of each in a short stretch.

I also encountered many Common Yellowthroats along the way. I thought that I was going to run into another one when I heard this warbler singing but the song wasn't right for a Yellowthroat. 

The possibility of Kentucky Warbler popped into my head because one had been seen a few miles west of this location a month before and I was told about another a few years back just about a mile north of this location. I didn't get a chance to see the Kentucky which was in town a month before because it was in a private area and the statute of approved viewing limitations had run out by the time I had the opportunity to see it. 

I had one good 2 second view of this bird and judging by the face pattern it looked like a Kentucky Warbler to me. However, this would have been my first live view of one so I needed better evidence than a 2 second look, half of which didn't count because I was a bit shellshocked. 

After 45 minutes of trying, I wasn't able to get another good view of this bird. It was singing repeatedly so I thought that a recording of its song would confirm my sighting for sure. Here is my desperate attempt at capturing the song and hoping to get it into the camera view at the same time.

As it turns out I was wrong. After sending the song to a few experts I received responses like: "It's reminiscent of a Kentucky but I can't be sure" and "I can't say it's not a Kentucky but then again I don't know what else it would be". It would have been a nice addition to my town year list but in the end I decided that I just better let this one go. This warbler sure sang me the wrong song! It reminded me of that  pop hit in the 70's by Bj Thomas titled "Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Huge White Pelican Just Flew Over My House!

I was in my back yard cutting my grass this morning with one of those non-powered reel push mowers. At the same time, I was watching the sky knowing that this will be the last weekend that large numbers of broad-winged Hawks might move through the area.
Suddenly, I see this huge black and white bird with an an enormous wingspan (108") flying towards my direction.
 It was soaring like a giant bird bird of prey. What an awesome sight an American White Pelican is when in flight! It's also considered a rare sighting for Connecticut. Maybe I should start cutting my grass more often!