Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Birding

Was able to do a little birding today after a hectic work week. The pictures above is one of a few Cedar Waxwings who were all behaving in a way I have never seen them behave before.
They would take turns flying into a non-berry producing tree and grabbing what appeared to be insects and then flying off. Some were even looking for bugs on the ground and flew right next to me to forage. There were even a couple of times I ducked to avoid being a direct target!!

I am guessing it's for nestlings but it was odd that there was so many of them doing it at the same time. The picture above is of one flying toward me to go onto the ground for bugs.

This handsome little devil, the Turkey Vulture was perched quietly on a tall pine tree. I just so happened to look into the tree to see it staring at me. I quietly took its picture as it watched every move I made.

Here he is getting ready to fly off. Notice the shoulders in the forward position, ready for takeoff!

And away he flew taking advantage of the thermal waves.

Next it was o to Brierly pond to see if I could spot the family of Canada Geese including the Hybrid Canada Goose x Graylag Goose. While I did indeed see them, they were too far away for a picture, and wanted to part of me as I didn't bring bread. I did see approx 20 Mallards including what I am presuming a male in eclipse plumage in the picture above. Check out its bill though. He had this thing hanging from it the entire time I was there and I can't figure out if its part of his bill, or something stuck to it. I couldn't get any closer pictures either.

It was nice to see the Mallards foraging for food the way they should be instead of getting fed all of the bread they get there. I get really good pictures of these ducks because they are NOT afraid of people. In fact, once they see a human they come to you thinking you have bread for them.

Very common ducks, but still so pretty. Everyone remarks on how attractive the male is, but I think the females are attractive in their own way too.

Another shot of what I am presuming is a male in eclipse plumage. I did see some of them attempt to fly and all they could do was flap their wings a little, get a little bit of air, and then they dropped into the water.

And finally a family of Mallards all on a rock. Talk about cramped space here!

During my lunch hour, I decided to head over to Institute Park in Worcester to see if I could spot the Black-crowned Night Heron and maybe even some shorebirds. The first bird I noticed besides the obvious Mallards was the Great-blue Heron in the picture above.

If you click on the photo above, you will see a Least Sandpiper over the right near the puddle of water. THIS is how I spotted the sandpipers as they were so far away and I didn't have bins with me.

A couple of Least Sandpipers and a Killdeer.

I spent about 20 minutes watching them and left in such a better mood than when I got there. I decided to email Rick Q to let him know as he is only minutes away from the pond and he emails me back saying not only did he get the sandpipers and the killdeer, but he also got the Black-crowned Night Heron!!! Doh, the story of my life I tell you! Such a cool place and a short drive from my work so I am will checking it out more often now that the shorebirds are starting to migrate back.

The Red-winged Blackbirds continue to be out in full force. Check out the photo of the male above and look at the top of his head. I am wondering if it is molting?

This is one of three Ring-billed Gulls I saw at Price Chopper Wednesday night while grocery shopping. This is the largest number of gulls I have seen there since early June (as I keep count). A good sign indeed!

One of the juvie Peregrine Falcons who went back over to her nest box for a while on Wednesday. They are never around much anymore and when they are, they are flying. It is so cool to watch them flying around with their parents.

Take care everyone!


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kim, I love watching Cedar Waxwings. You got some great pictures of them. I enjoyed seeing the family of Mallards and that Ring-billed Gull is gorgeous!!!!

Looks like you had another good birding day.

Kelly said...

Kim...I saw Cedars chasing bugs today as well. I was in a Hemlock ravine, and they were going after spiders and other bugs along the branches. There were only two however...
wonderful photos.....and lots of them!! :-) Have a great weekend.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Birding really is a great mood enhancing drug, isn't it?

Happy weekend!

P said...

I'm hoping to start attracting Cedar Waxwings to our yard. The pictures you took are beautiful!


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