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

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Veery Cooperative Butterfly

This turned out to be the week when I couldn't avoid seeing first of the year species if I wanted to, and why would I want to? My list jumped from 100 species seen in my county for the year to 135 within a span of about a week.

 Above is my first veery of the year seen at Miller's Pond. I was the only one at the park. It was my 134th species seen this year in my county. I try to stay local so I won't burn much gas. This bird was Very cooperative. I followed it as it jumped to the ground for bits of food and then back into the base of Mountain Laurel. I followed it for a good 10 minutes for a distance of about 30 feet talking to it along the way- (Yes, I know birds can't understand me but it seemed we had an understanding).

I don't spend too much time chasing butterflies but if they pose then I'll snap a shot. This is one of those tiny blue butterflies. I know that the name of this species has been pointed out to me before but I can't remember it. I'll have to see if I have a butterfly book hanging around.

So the birding action has been superb for me this week! I hope everyone else has been seeing their share of birds as well!