Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This & That Part Deux

I did a little birding today and decided to hit another trail for a run this morning where I would hear a peenting Woodcock, quite a few White-throated Sparrows, the usuals like the Northern Cardinals, Eastern Towhees and Field Sparrows but as I would running along some thick shrubbery, I would hear a bird tucked deep within, making the mumbled and subdued calls that you will sometimes hear a Catbird do so I stopped dead in my tracks and did some pishing. I could hear it scrambling about in the brambles and sure enough the bird would pop up just long enough for me to get a look at it and a record shot before going back into hiding. First of the year bird for me and so glad to see the Gray Catbirds are starting to come back.
While I was running up a hill, I could sense the presence of a bird overhead and I would be lucky to get a quick shot of this Cooper's Hawk above. Although the picture is horrible, I like it in that it really shows that "flying cross silhouette" as well as the "bull headed appearance" the coops has.
I would take 1/2 hour at work today to head to Notre Dame Cemetery and would be lucky enough to hear a Swamp Sparrow which I finally locate and get my camera ready as the bird is perched really nicely and eating a bug. I turn the camera on and the little bugger flies down near the water. I start pishing and never did get the Swamp Sparrow back, but decided to take a picture of the Song Sparrow above as it was just begging for a picture. ;-).
I would continue in my walk and would see the nesting Mute Swan, some Mallards, an Eastern Bluebird and the other usuals including a very vocal Northern Mockingbird, but then I would see a bird perched rather demurely on a branch in the middle of the path. I would not put my binoculars on her immediately because I wanted to get an estimate on overall size of the bird and bins can distort that so I will sometimes eyeball the bird at first to judge size and other things before looking at it with my optics. Hmmmm....Bigger than a Song Sparrow and smaller than a Robin I think. It looks like a Red-winged Blackbird I think again, but what the heck is up with that notched tail I mumble in my mind while trying to remember if a Red-winged Blackbird has one or not.
She allows me to get really close to her and doesn't make a peep which would have helped. I am convinced its a female Red-winged Blackbird at this point, but the whole scenario doesn't sit well with me as she is all by herself and very quiet which I never think of these blackbirds as and the tail would continue to throw me off, but what else is new. Finally she would fly away which I was happy to see because I thought she was sick for a moment because she was just acting so uncharacteristically un-black bird like.
And speaking of odd, check out Mr Peregrine (I believe) above. I am wondering what the heck happened to one of its secondaries as it appears as if he is missing one or two of them.
Hmmmm...Perhaps the misses doesn't like his choice of dinner or something. ;-). Seriously though, it wasn't like that yesterday so thought it was note worthy as he flew past my window again late this afternoon.
And since I am throwing in everything but the kitchen sink here, I figured I would share with you a picture of this very handsome American Robin who is always in my yard. He is not at all afraid of me as I have been playing a little game of chicken with him where I try and get real close to see how long it takes him to fly to another location, but I can get within a few feet of him before he does so. He is so friendly that even my two kids notice it, and that's saying a lot because they don't notice much about birds or so I thought. They would be cleaning the yard a couple of days ago while the robin followed. Is that not adorable or what! The only worry I have is my neighbors cat who is always in my yard despite me hollering at it. I would hate to see this handsome little fella fall pray to the cat.
I would have no time for birding this evening much to my dismay as there is a Sora at Bolton Flats that I am eager to see, but it will have to wait for till the weekend I'm afraid. I would manage to do some birding by foot around my neighborhood this evening after dinner as I wanted to get some fresh air and move my legs some. The Turkey Vultures would be out in full force and in their usual tree so I decided to watch them.
They would land in the tree only briefly and then fly off and do some circles only to land again. I really like the photo above as it shows off it's back while in flight which I don't see much.
As this is what I am so used to seeing.

Take care all


Laurel said...

Since I've been reading your blog, I find myself taking note of every bird I see on my travels through the woods, and looking them up in my book when I get home if I can't identify them. Who knew a person could catch that birding fever just by reading another blogger's accounts?

Kim said...

Great hearing this Laurel as THIS is one of the biggest reasons why I blog. I love seeing people getting into birding for the 1st time as I know how "magical" it can be.

Get yourself a good field guide and most importantly a CD field guide that plays bird songs only. Very often when you are trail running, you will only hear their songs and you will hear many of them during spring migration and it will be really neat for you to be able to figure out what they are through their song. The thrush's, warblers and vireos' in particular as they will all be sining on top of the trees very shortly! Enjoy every minute of it!


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