Saturday, June 20, 2009

Atlasing North Brookfield 10 & 11 Day Three

Female Eastern Towhee enjoying the first sun of the day

It was a second day in a row of bird atlasing today, covering North Brookfieild 10 and 11 with Alan. We had started the day bright and early and got there at 5am because we wanted to hear who the first birds would be to sing and what their songs would be. Over the past month or so, I have become fascinated with bird song and joined the Cornell Web Site so I could study various bird songs and call in further detail. Anyhow, some of the information I have learned was that various birds will sing various songs given the time of day or their mating status (i.e. certain birds will sing song A at dawn if un-mated, if mated may not sing at all until later in the morning and sing song b instead.)

So Alan was crazy enough to venture out there with me that early so we could see some of this avian behaviour ourselves (one of the best things about finding a birding buddy as crazy as yourself is that we both found it normal to leave town at 4:15 when the only people out on the road were diehards leaving the bar and the milk man! HA).

When we first arrived we didn't hear much bird song at all. Just your typical American Robins, Gray Catbirds and Eastern Towhees.

Male Scarlett Tanager with his gal pal in the tree right next to him.

Soon enough the Black-capped chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches and various warblers joined in to create a chorus that made distinguishing song a from song b close to impossible!

Female Common Yellowthroat foraging for insects for her nestlings

The odd thing about this was that the area we were birding at would be filled with bird song for a while and then cease all together and all would be silent and this would cycle throughout the morning where we had periods of various songs and periods of still silence.

Male Black-throated Blue Warbler who didn't get the memo to cease constant singing in June. He was singing for almost an entire 1/2 hour.

The one thing that became very clear to the both of us, is that finding birds has become a lot more difficult recently, especially when it comes to atlasing because many are not as visible as they were in May as many are busy nesting already so don't perch and sing like they did just four short weeks ago.

Female Red-winged Blackbird gathering materials for her nest.

Despite these challenges, Alan was able to get a few new birds on his list and do some upgrades too.

So, since the birds were not as visible as I would have liked, I decided to use my camera to practice on other critters including this little guy above. So cute watching it hop away!

A chipmunk posing perfectly for the camera.

An unknown insect that I just had to take a picture of. Such a cool looking bug!

A Great Spangled Fritillary perched upon some wild flowers.

My first shots of the year of a Tiger Swallowtail.

Koi Fish in an ornamental pond.

And a pretty little water lilly.

Take care all.


Mildred said...

That must be fascinating trying to distinguish the diff. sounds and songs of the birds (sounds complicated too!) Glad you had a nice day and I love the bunny & chipmunk and butterfly photos too.

A Scattering said...

Beautiful shots again Kim. As usual, I'm in awe of the variety of birds you get in your area. Good on ya! Have a great weekend.

Ratty said...

Great variety of animals this time! The rabbit and the chipmunk are great pictures. I think I've seen a tanager once. I thought it was a cardinal at first, but it seemed a little too dark and no crest.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great pictures Kim... Glad you are learning the 'songs'.... I still have a hard time, even with our 'common' birds!!!! ha

That Scarlet Tanager is gorgeous..

Have a great Father's Day.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Wonderful shots! The tanager is so bright--I still have yet to see one in the wild. Love the bunny and chipmunk shots as well.


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