Monday, June 11, 2012
Backyard Bird Photos and other "Stuff"
So I'd head back home for a hearty breakfast and see what the American Robins were up to. Both mom an pop would be busy taking care of the youngins who were everywhere much to the parents exasperation.
Off to take care of another unruly fledgling, don't worry lad, I'll help you with that worm!
It wouldn't take long to realize something was amiss in Robin land due to the sharp chip notes coming from one and it would be then I'd realize the local Red-tailed Hawk was scanning the area for a late breakfast, but neither hare nor squirrel would be in sight so off it went to dine elsewhere.
My mullberry tree continues to be the hit of the neighborhood especially with the young robins who are always there it seems.
A favorite of the honey bees which are sage blossoms that actually taste fantastic when cooked. I harvest and dry the flowers as well as the herb for Thanksgiving stuffing another other comfort foods for Autumn and Winter eating. I wish I could say the same for the lavender which is another honey bee preference that I also dry for herbs de provence for winter roasted chicken so hoping it rebounds as I'm all out of last years stock.
After lounging about in the yard I was feeling restless so decided to get out on the bike with my binnoculars and camera for a little late afternoon birding. It's something I've been apprehensive about as I wasn't sure how I'd do but now that migration is done, it's not like I'm stopping every minute to check out a new bird so off I went.
The shaggy looking throat would catch my eye as it's common with ravens but knew by size it wasn't, but everything about the crow threw me off.
1. It was by itself and crows normally travel in groups.
2. I was fairly close by and it didn't move which has been my experience with Fish Crows.
3. The bill looked small
4. It was at the river which is a inland Fish Crow favorite spot
5. The sun was shining in such a way the bird appeared glossy.
I'd spend a considerable amount of time begging it to call, but didn't egg it on as it was so hot and finally I'd hear it........."CAW-CAW-CAW". Ha! Just as I thought....Bummer as it would have been nice to get my first FOY bird on my bike.
I was enjoying myself so much I'd do a few loops around the cemetery and then I'd hear a call that sounded like an Eastern Wood-pewee. A pewee here? I'd wonder, next would be what sounded like the beginning notes of a Field Sparrow and realize I was being fooled by a Northern Mockingbird of course!
The Pewee again
And not only the Blue Jays, jay call, but their soft call as well and he'd do it back to back!
Alarm clock like call
And a few others thrown in for good measure. It is said that the higher a mockingbird's vocabulary, the more appealing he is to the ladies as it shows experience and proves he's a wise choice for nesting. I don't know if he was charming any lady mockingbirds, but his vocal gymnastics had me captivated as I'd never heard a mocker with a vocabulary as impressive as his! I'm guessing he's already paired up but still likes to reaffirm his turf as he's not a young mockingbird I'm almost certain.
Next it was off to the Millbury Bike Path as it felt so good to be out on my bike again and didn't want to stop so figured I'd use it as an excuse to look for an American Black Duck knowing the odds were close to null.
And what you see above folks is the most prime piece of waterfowl real estate along the Millbury bike path. Seriously, the Mallards must have been bullshit the Canada Geese got there first as they were just starting to cruise down the river for a little R&R. No American Black Duck of course as what respectable, distinguished duck would he be hanging out with that crew!
And since I was on a losing streak, I figured I'd continue and head up to the highest part of the bike path to see if I could spot a Black Vulture in the area Alan had found one a couple years back. I've been complaining to myself a lot lately about my binoculars but would be amazed at how much of the land fill I could see with them. No Black Vulture or even Turkey Vultures for that matter, but I did see an American Crow being chased off by what appeared to be a Common Grackle which is pretty amazing considering the distance.
Take care all.