- As the sun started to move close to the horizon, two Green Herons emerged from a hidden area within the bog and landed in tree close to the shore. They announced there presence with squawks so loud that it overpowered all other noise in the area (photo from 09). It seems they are attracted to places that have a lot of frogs.
- I heard the sound pa-chang call of a Scarlet Tanager but was unable to locate it.
- Besides the Eastern Kingbirds there were also Eastern Phoebes, a Great-crested Flycatchers, and Eastern Wood Pewees in the area.
- I viewed a male Belted Kingfisher just as it left its branch and plunged into the water below.
- Great Blue Herons flew across the water and changed their perch locations from time to time.
- A flock of about a dozen Cedar Waxwings flew just over my head as they crossed the bog.
- dozens of Chimney Swifts appeared and entertained me with their odd flight patterns.
- I could see a Red-bellied Woodpecker as it attempted to remove a round, reddish object from a hollowed out area of a branch. After several attempts, the woodpecker was unable to pull the object out from the top so it finally pushed it upward from a hole on the underside of the branch. It could have been a very colorful acorn or some sort of fruit-hard to be sure but very interesting to watch.
- A singing Baltimore Oriole landed in the very top of a tree at the back edge of the bog. There was only enough sunlight left to illuminate the very top of the tree where the oriole was perched. The contrast of the brilliant orange and black of the oriole with the dark woods beneath created a breathtaking view. The scene was like a living diorama with built in lighting effects to illuminate the birds.
My weekend visit to the Helen Carlson Bog gave me a new appreciation of a place that I thought I already knew so well. I also discovered a more enjoyable way of using a scope for birdwatching. I'm looking forward to returning for some more late afternoon birdwatching and after the sun sets, maybe I'll even wait for the stars to come out.
click to play -Eastern Kingbird flies away from its perch.