Saturday, April 7, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

I started the day out by making a short visit to Devil's Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, CT. This is an excellent area during spring migration but I think that I showed up a few weeks too early. There weren't a lot of birds around but I enjoyed a nice view of the falls.
After leaving the park, I made a stop at some power lines along Mt. Parnassus Road. I enjoyed watching this NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD displaying it's wing-flashing behavior.
There are a few theories as to why they do this. One is that they are trying to scare up insects to eat. I'm not buying that one. Some scientists think that they are tyring to spook off other predators from trying to attack them. They are kind of vulnerable when they are searching for insects in the grass so this might be possible.
Whatever the reason, it is a an interesting behavior to watch. I was tempted to go over to the bird with an oil can to put a few drops of oil in the wing joints. The deliberate mechanical wing-action brings to mind the rusted tin-man in the Wizard Of Oz.
Just before returning home, I decided to make a quick check of my local patch. It was noon time, so I wasn't expecting much. I heard the high-pitched ringing sound that alerted me of a possible BROWN CREEPER. Sure enough, I spotted a creeper working it's way up the trunk of a tree searching for food. I've taken several pictures of these birds, but they never seem to come out well.
I decided to check a nearby field. As I started to walk through the field, I flushed about 6 Wilson's Snipe. I tried to tell them to stay still so I could take a picture, but they flew in to deep cover. I took a quick look, and decided to let them be.
Once again , I drove around looking for birds but they were right down the street.


Ruth said...

Interesting information about the Mockingbird. I have never seen one. Your Brown Creeper picture is very good. I followed one around for 40 minutes last week as it circled tree after tree so quickly that I never caught an image.

Anonymous said...

Love your photos of these birds! Wonderful actionshot of the mockingbird, capture of the Brown Creeper (they are hard to photograph)! The snipe are fun to watch! Great time you had!

LauraHinNJ said...

OK - how do you tell a snipe from a woodcock when you flush them?

Larry said...

I haven't seen al that many Woodcock but they seem to make a lot of noise when they take off.-Snipe show white underneath and Woodcock do not.

Larry said...

-Interesting Ruth-I guess I take the Mockingbird for granted.-Creepers seem to blend in with the bark too much for my camera to pick it up.

Monarch-Thanks it is a good action shot but too bad it wasn't a little closer.