Wednesday, May 31, 2023

3 Random Birds I Came Across

I saw may birds over the last couple of months during this migration period. Many are brilliantly colored warblers but others are not exactly eye catching. This is a Rough-winged Swallow. They nest in little drain pipes located in a reservoir dam. Some people confuse them with female tree swallows because there are tree swallows in the same area. They have a kind of dingy brownish charcoal markings around the side of their body and head.
The male Yellow Warblers stand out more and are very plentiful in some places during spring and summer. If the sun hits them right they are mostly yellow with a nice reddish-brown streaking on their chest and their beady little black eyes also stand out.
This is a Red-shouldered Hawk that likes to sit itself on the top of an 80 foot tree near my backyard and screech KEYEAR! KEYEAR! KEYEAR! They are noisy but are also interesting to observe as they move from tree to tree and sometimes take to the air circling higher and higher. I like to think they help keep the local rodent population under control too!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Pea Soup Pond

One of our local parks that has become popular with birders in recent years is a place that used to be a golf course called Pistol Creek Park. There have been a number of interesting bird sightings here over the last couple of years, many of them found in this pond which is divided by a boardwalk. 
I don't know the name of the pond so I just call it pea soup pond .I wouldn't drink the water or swim here (although there is an urban legend that Linda Blair used to swim here). I came here to find my first of year Green heron, which I did. 
I also had a nice view of this female Red-winged Blackbird which is I think is kind of underappreciated. It looks nothing at all like the male and many mistake it for a large sparrow  when they first see one. They aren't very colorful but they are nicely marked!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

What Is This Little Building On A Stream?

Sometimes when I'm out birding I don't get any bird photos at all but there is always something to look at anyway. I saw this tiny building along the stream and wondered what it was? A pump house? Something to do with a waterwheel? An abandoned Hobbit complex? I'll have to ask around because curiosity gets the best of me.
I suppose I could look this fungus up in a book. I don't really need to know but it's nice to familiarize yourself with things in the woods. I'll just call it a rare roast beef tree mushroom for now.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

The Good, the Bad, And The Compulsive Birding

May is a busy month for birders. Migration is in full swing with warblers, flycatchers, and other assorted goodies decorating every tree with their unique colors and style.

For me, the best part is sitting next to a trickling brook watching everything unfold at its own pace but spring migration is like having a ticket to an all you can eat buffet at the world's greatest restaurant. You're tempted to stuff your plate with the as much of a variety of food as you can!
Birding can become a compulsion. You start to know what birds to expect in what places and it becomes a race to see as much as you can or you might miss something. 

Above is the elegant Eastern Kingbird with a nice contrast of charcoal and white.

This is the Blue-winged Warbler. I see them every year at powerline cuts or other open areas with similar habitat. The make a call that sounds like bee-buzzz. They have what looks like a small black eyeliner that marks their yellow head.

It's not uncommon to see as many as 50 or 60 species a day this time of the year! Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining but after I see as much as I can manage I will look forward to slowing down and watching just one bird at a time!