Saturday, May 15, 2010

Birding with AB

AB and I drove around to some old birding haunts today and had such a wonderful time! We went out to Penns Valley, though we didn't stop at the old marsh (which was still choked with purple loosestrife).

We drove to Long Road, a place I used to bird a lot, and found a very willing Chipping Sparrow:We also saw Song Sparrows, American Goldfinches, an Eastern Kingbird, a pair of Eastern Bluebirds, a Killdeer, American Crows, Turkey Vultures, Common Grackles, and European Starlings, though the bright midday sun made photography difficult.

We then went out to the Coburn Rail Trail and saw some more Song Sparrows, a couple of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Baltimore Oriole, and a bunch of American Redstarts like this one:AB had a great time with the BirdJam, keeping the bird close while I snapped photos. Again, the midday sun created some terrible backlighting, so this was the best picture I got. We also followed a Red-eyed Vireo but didn't get photos; AB is still learning how to use the binocs, and she was getting a bad case of Warbler Neck. Still, it was a lovely time; we heard Wood Thrushes, Eastern Wood Pewees, and Eastern Phoebes too.

Strangely, we also saw this little brown bat, in the middle of the day!I thought they only flew around at night, but this one was flying over Penns Creek for several minutes, hawking for insects.

A few more photos:
Sorry this pic isn't better, but what is this strange sort of fly?

There were dozens of Red Admirals everywhere.

Yarrow (I think)

There are so many kinds of violets; I think this one is a Sweet White Violet, according to my studies of my copy (a gift from AB) of A Guide to Common Pennsylvania Wildflowers and my National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers (Eastern Region).

Swamp Dewberry (pretty sure)

a lovely swallowtail (pretty bitten up, though) on some Dame's Rocket

Greater Celandine, featuring the bright yellow-orange "ink" from its stem forming a D on the back of AB's hand

Black or Field Mustard (I think)

some strangely variegated Dame's Rocket

Golden-Alexander! I confirmed with the leaves on this one:

American Dog Violet (I think--again, violets are tough)

Daisy Fleabane

It's so much fun showing AB some of my favorite places and birds; she loves being outside and in the woods, and she's such a good sport, getting enjoyment out of my excitement over birds.


John said...

That's an interesting insect. Maybe a scorpionfly?

Rabbits' Guy said...

Not to sure about the Yarrow .. we have it here - usually more lacey?

Great photos - you must have shoot-finger!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

It must be nice to have your significant other into what you're into, especially since your last one wasn't into birds at all.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

And, no, that's not yarrow. I'm not sure what it is but it doesn't look like the yarrow we have growing outside our house.

dguzman said...

John--thanks for that tip; sure looks like the photos I googled. Cool!

Rabbits' Guy--You know, I went back and forth on that one too--I just can't find any other suspects! Any ideas?

Dr. Monkey--yes, it's SO cool that AB and I have such similar dispositions and likes! And now I'm sure it's not yarrow--like I said, that was the only thing that seemed to come close in my books. But it had a tinge of pink in the center that really doesn't look like yarrow... I'll just have to keep researching. Thanks!

Earl Cootie said...

Great Chipping Sparrow photo. They never let me get that close.

And I love that redstart! They summer here but only in the corner of the state we never visit. Someday . . .

dguzman said...

Earl--They're EVERYWHERE here, and their calls drown out the other birds' calls!

Also--regarding the "yarrow" -- it does have the lacy leaves and thick stems of yarrow....

Larry said...

Nice flower photos-I chuckle when I see belly side phots of warblers because that's the anlgle I get on redstarts much of the time.