On Saturday, I made a short visit to Hurd State Park to see if I could find any warblers. As I was driving into the park on the main entrance road, I noticed a small marshy area on the left. I could hear a warbler singing but could not identify its song. I have noticed in recent list-serve reports that waterthrushes have been seen in Connecticut for the last week. Judging by the song, reports, and habitat, I thought one of the waterthrushes was a possibility. I spent a good fifteen minutes looking for this one bird before finally catching a decent glimpse of it. It was streaked underneath and the breast had an overall yellowish tint. I recognized it as a Northern Waterthrush. The song description in my field guide helped me confirm what I was hearing. I remembered that the Northern Waterthrushes are the ones more likely to be found near slow-running or still water. One more piece to the puzzle.
I had a few other interesting sightings of note at this park. An adult Bald Eagle flew right past me, just clearing the tree tops! "Where you going?" I was thinking. The river was in the opposite direction. I also spooked a bird or should I say the bird spooked me. I think it was a Turkey Vulture that had been perched in a tree above me. It took off quite fast for a Turkey Vulture and made plenty of noise doing so. Other birds of interest included Brown Creeper, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Hermit Thrush. I was hearing a lot more birds than I actually saw. It's nice to get a visual confirmation of what you're hearing but a lot of times it just doesn't work out that way. I guess that's just the nature of the game in the game of nature.
On my way out, I stopped at some power lines that are just down the road from the park. There was a bird perched on the top of a tall dead tree in a small swamp that looked kind of falconish. It turned out to be an American Kestrel! Nice bird for me, I don't get to see them very often.
Here some flowers that I found in the woods this weekend. Can you identify them?
I visited Hartman Park off of Gungy Road in Lyme on Sunday. This was the first time that I've ever been there and I was really impressed. In fact, that whole area of the state is very scenic. Whoever marked the trails at Hartman Park did a great job. Every trail was clearly marked with a different color. Sometimes when I walk the blue trails, they venture off into several different directions. It can be very frustrating for the directionally challenged. Here, there was never any doubt about which trail I was on.
The photo above is of a Prairie Warbler that I saw near the power line area. I realize that it isn't much of a photo but this is my first Prairie Warbler of the year. When it comes to warbler photos, I can't afford to be too picky! I had to hide in a patch of Mountain Laurel just to capture this meager shot. I felt like Artie Johnson from the old comedy show "Laugh-In."
The Field Sparrow is a very washed out looking sparrow with a pinkish bill. You can see that it has a bit of an eye ring too. It might not be the most exciting looking bird but I like them. It was one of the first challenging LBJ's -(little brown jobs)- that I was able to distinguish from the other LBJ's. Up until this year, I've really only seen them occasionally; mostly in the Fall. This Spring I have come across droves of them for some reason. They have quite an interesting song that I hadn't heard before. The song had me baffled until I was able to match the voice with a face. -One more piece to the puzzle!
I had a single White-throated Sparrow visiting my backyard this weekend. I realized that I had not taken a single picture of a White-throated Sparrow this year. As Elvis would say, "It's Now Or Never" because I would imagine this little guy will be heading up north pretty soon. I will miss seeing this winter sparrow with its striped head and bright yellow lores.
I've actually been lucky enough to see several Pileated Woodpeckers this year but I haven't been lucky to get a good photo of one. This time I tried a video. I saw this one on my way out of Hartman Park. The view was shielded by some branches but I uploaded it anyway. In this video, the bird seems to be preening it's feathers and that about covers my birding for last weekend. I will be making my first-ever visit to River Road in Kent this upcoming weekend. I might be a little early but hopefully I'll come across some interesting birds. -Wish Me Luck!