Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stop & Shop or Rather Stop & Bird

Well I finally put off the inevitable and did my weekly dreaded chore of grocery shopping and decided to motivate myself a little more by switching grocery stores. I am usually an avid Price Chopper shopper, not really for their prices or vast selection, but more so because they are directly across from the water treatment plant which is a favorite hang out of the Ring-billed Gulls so it's always a treat to look at them from the Price Chopper parking lot, hoping for some tagged gulls and aging the others while perched on top of the light posts. :-p. Anyhow, there will be no more of that for the time being and have decided to head to Stop & Shop in Grafton from here on out because I have to drive by St Philips which is the perfect reward after the stressful decisions at the grocery store like whether or not I should buy Macintosh or Granny Smith apples this week.

I would do the same as I do every time I enter there, which is to roll down all windows and listen to bird songs to see if I can pick up anything interesting while driving in, before getting out of my car so not to scare them. I would hear only a couple of American Robins this evening which I thought was strange given it was two hours or so before sun set and usually the place is alive with song. While driving to my usual parking place I would see a Cooper's Hawk nearby, having a little din-din. I slowly got out of my car and took some pictures and watched it for a while. The hawk actually appeared to be done with its meal and was just relaxing some to aide in digestion I assume! After about 10 minutes or so, the hawk finally left which gave me the opportunity to go see what it had gotten.
Not 100% certain what it is, but willing to wage some bets on a Northern Flicker.
It appears as if the love triangle between the three flickers of last week has come to an abrupt end as nature has determined its fate. I would not hear the familiar flicKa, flicKa, flicKa call I have grown so accustomed to as I did a quick scan of the wetlands before returning home to put away groceries.
But the opposite of death is life and with life comes new beginnings which was evidenced in quite a few places at the cemetery. I would see the Great-blue Heron at the nest site from two years ago sitting on her nest.
The male would be down below crouched down low and in its usual somber mood. It will be interesting to see if they nest here this year as last year I watched their courtship display of building the nest, to only see them abandon it afterwards. Whatever the outcome, I hope they build upon it to make it nice and sturdy for any other birds who may find it appealing as it has seen better days as many of us know.
The Great-blues are not the only ones attending to nests as you can see in photo above. The Mute Swans appear to be attempting to nest here this year too which is a first. Late in the summer last year we had two Mute Swans arrive but never nest so I am not sure if its the same or not. What I can tell you is it was very apparent that the female was on eggs as the male spent his entire time bullying one lone Canada Goose who was just as stubborn as the swan. The swan would give chase to the goose only to have the goose fly forward just a tad and then continue with its business. I would see no Wood Ducks or other waterfowl here this evening which is unusual and am not sure if it has anything to do with the new watch dog of the wetlands of St Philips.

Take care all.


grammie g said...

It seems you and the hawk both went shopping!! It looks like he got everything he about you!!

Anonymous said...

It does look like a big old female coopers hawk had a meal on a bird that doesn't show up here for some reason. Flicker?

BirdingMaine said...

Those are some awesome feathers! I would venture to say Flicker, but what do I know? LOL

Love the heron in nest in the tree!


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