I decided to head over there again tonight after work to see if I could do some fall warbler birding which is something I have been avoiding as I have heard it could be quite the challenge due to the fall plumage cycle these birds have. I get confused enough over the various colorful warblers so the thought of having to get out there to try and identify them in fall plumage can be a little intimidating for a newbie such as myself but I figured I would never learn if I didn't at least try and try I did. Not too many warlbers to speak of but I was lucky enough to see this lone Juvenile(?) American Kestrel perched on the same dead snag as the Merlin a couple of weeks ago. The sun was not at all in my favor when I eyeballed the bird and knew immediately just by the silhouette of the bird that it was a falcon of some kind and it was smaller than both the Peregrine and Merlin so was excited to get my first Kestrel here. I put my bins on the bird and wasn't able to get the vivid colors this bird is so known for so decided to whip out my camera for a few pictures of record despite the fact that I knew they would come out lousy.
I had decided before I left St Phils that this was indeed a Kestrel but wanted to double check with the pictures and am confident that this is in fact what it is. Based on the two mustaches if you will for lack of a better word.
Okay, nothing to see here folks so just move along (especially your Fran! ;-)). This is OBVIOUSLY a Downy Woodpecker on a tree with a huge honkin orange leaf hiding its back. As if anyone couldn't figure that out, sheesh!
Take care everyone. Will try and do some more fall warbler birding this week here and there and may do some hawkwatching this weekend. I went up to Mount Watatic this past Sunday to hawkwatch and its a totally different element of birding that I experienced for the first time. It's very relaxing but EXTREMELY challenging as the birds are so far away that it's hard to find them unless you are an experienced hawk watcher. Once you do find them more often than not they are small specks in the sky so unless you know your raptors extremely well, you have no idea what it is. Very rewarding though to see them even if they do appear to all look the same to you though. ;-).
Take care everyone.