Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Birding by Foot

I came home after work tonight determined to get a few things done around the house and putter around the kitchen to get some decent shots of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird that now comes to my yard hourly
Sure enough he was right on schedule and then I found myself getting bored and chores seemed too mundane so I laced up my hiking shoes and ventured out to bird in the rain. I decided to venture out to some woods and powerlines in my area (less than 1/4 mile away), as I had never really explored there before due to how inhospitable it is with vast growth and not that many paths.

I have become quite the expert at bush wacking recently and find that it doesn't bother me much. In fact sometimes its an adventure of sorts and I really like the challenge (kind of like the obstacle courses I used to love so much in gym class in elementary school!).

I made my way into some deep woods and there I could hear two families of Black-capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmouses. I stood there for a while and watched them and it was very entertaining because sometimes the flocks of both species would all be in the same area doing their various calls. I watched them all interacting with each and thought it was amazing that both species could be in the same series of bushes and trees and not feel threatened by the others presence with their young. I always see them together in the winter, but this was the first time I have seen them together in the summer and with their young no less!

After making my way through some brambles and brush I finally came to a trail (due to dirt bikers I'm sure), that lead to a very overgrown powerline and not like any of the other powerlines I bird at. Right the minute I arrived I could hear begging young in a tree directly above me and realized it was most likely some Rose-breasted Grosbeaks due to how alarmed the male was above (as well as a female who remained hidden in those bushes).

He would fly around from tree to tree and make that little squeek call that these grosbeaks are so known for. I also came across a flock of Song Sparrows too. It was a very cool place to bird and I would have stuck around longer but it was getting close to 8PM so decided to head back home as I don't know the area well enough to try and get out of it in the dark! ;o)

Anyhow, I am getting really sick of this rain. After a while you learn to adapt to it and birding can actually be kind of pleasant with a light mist falling softly on your face but I do long for the sun.

EDITED TO ADD: I have not seen the Black-crowned Night Heron at St Philips since this past Sunday evening at 6:00PM. I was there both Monday and Tuesday and both days were no shows. Attention Beth: I heard one of the Pileated Woodpeckers doing its manic call that echoed throughout the wetlands followed by some loud territorial drumming about 15 minutes later . They are over at the part of the wetlands that is close to impossible to get to (where I reported I saw them this early April)-unless you are crazy enough to attempt as I did. I did not see them though as I believe they MAY be nesting over in a series of large pine trees in an area you can't get to unless you have a canoe. ;o). To be continued as always as I do intend to find them, now to find a canoe! HA. Joking of course.......Well kind of.......

Take care all.


Kelly said...

...nice hummer photos! It took ours a long time to show up this year, but they are back...thank goodness. Pretty grosbeak photos--a pretty nice show for fighting a misty rain. I hope the sun breaks through for you soon!!

Deborah Godin said...

I just love that shot of the grosbeak in the leaves! It's like he posed for you in the perfect composition and design!

dAwN said...

Great hummer shots! You are a driven birder! You will be expert before long..


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