Saturday, April 09, 2005

Mini fallout

Late yesterday afternoon we had a mini-fallout of spring birds, so we got up early this morning to see if they were still here. They were! In addition to the usual suspects, we heard and/or saw these migrants:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Hooded Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Parula
Worm-eating Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
[Ed - forgot one!]
Green Heron

And maybe - Swainson's Warbler. Maybe. We never saw it, and we're not very familiar with its song. It sounded a lot like a Louisiana Waterthrush's song, only not quite. But I'm remembering that time on a bird count when we chased what I thought was a singing Swainson's warbler for quite a while, scrambling over hill and dale, the ID becoming more concrete with each warblery rendition, and then when we finally saw the bird... Well I can't remember what it was, but it sure as heck wasn't a Swainson's. A lesson in birding-by-ear humility.

A few birds we saw hanging out with the warblers will be leaving us soon and heading north:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
White-throated Sparrow
Cedar Waxwings

Oh, and we saw a new yard bird!

Eastern Meadowlark

Many small spiderwebs were visible in the early morning dew.

A bigger web.

Another big one.

I wish I could show pictures of all the migrants we saw, but this is the best I could manage - I don't have the camera for far-away birds.

A Louisiana Waterthrush. They constantly wag their tails up and down when they walk. The Northern Waterthrush looks almost exactly like this, but his song is different.

And if you think that picture is small and fuzzy, you should see the Pine Warbler...

Oh well there's always...

the female Red-bellied Woodpecker at the suet feeder.

The amount of pollen that fell on my binoculars while we ate lunch in the back yard.


Rexroth's Daughter said...

How wonderful that you have so many birds. We're just getting to know the birds up here on the Olympic Peninsula. What a fine way to get to know a place, by getting to know the birds.
We've been having a hard time getting good photographs of them, though. Thinking about getting a new camera. Today there was a hummingbird taking a bath in the pond. If only we had a camera with a telephoto--
Nice spiderwebs. Thanks for taking such great shots, even with all that pollen!

Maktaaq said...

The first photo looks as if there are fairies flying about.

Charles said...

god. your posts continue to challenge my contentment with city living. birding ain't so bad here actually, though I rarely do it anymore. I get egrets flying in formation by my 5th story window at eye-level which is a fun angle to see. They are going from Central Park, or the seaboard, towards the Hudson river, I think. One winter when the sidewalks were filled with Christmas trees for sale, I saw a saw-whet owl sitting in one on the upper west side. That was a good one. Love your photos.

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all.

RD, whenever I see these birds I keep thinking "new camera" too! But unless we win the lottery, I don't think it's in the near future. I keep telling myself, 2 megapixels is fine for close-ups... put the charge card away...

Maktaaq, I had to release several fairies from the spider webs. They promised lots of good luck in return. :)

Charles, it sounds like city birding isn't too bad! One guy even has a web site on it: .

At my old workplace in downtown Birmingham, folks on the upper floors sometimes get to see a Peregrin Falcon eating pigeons and ducks. (Yum, huh.)

Charles said...

cool. I'll check the bird blod you listed. thanks. we have Peregrin nesting nearby where I'm working too. On the 34th floor, I've seen them fly towards our windows and then bank up. they get so close you can see the face markings without binoculors.