Sunday, October 10, 2010

My first Big Sit

There was a lot of standing at our Big Sit

I joined the State College Bird Club's fourth annual Big Sit out at Bald Eagle State Park this morning; it's my first Big Sit ever, and I really enjoyed it. The leaves are at their peak right now:

I got a few pictures; our one warbler species was the oh-so-common butter-butt:

Yellow-rumped Warblers were abundant, flitting about all morning until about 11.

From the time I got there until about a half-hour before I left, this Great Blue Heron was practically sitting in our circle.
"I sometimes like to come out here and ponder the mysteries of life."

Here he is, trying to swallow a good-sized sunfish:


This immature Bald Eagle flew right over our heads, maybe fifty feet up at most, but I didn't get my camera on him until he was almost gone.

A Greater Yellowlegs dropped by:He stuck around for a couple of hours.

This Common Loon began calling to some other loons around the bend at the marina:He stayed under water for almost a minute at one point.

I met AB out at Fisherman's Paradise for a nice little walk along the creek; check out these Woolly Bear caterpillars:
Does the wide cinnamon-colored band mean a harsh winter?

We also saw this little love scene:I had googled red dragonfly and found some great info; I wrote the following: "Is this a Ruddy Darter or a Common Darter? I checked this web site for following information. The size and coloring seem to match Ruddy, but they're far more rare than the Common. The Common is supposed to have 'light patches on the thorax,' which this one lacks; it's also more orange than the Ruddy. This specimen is more red, not orange--at least in my opinion. I can't tell for certain if the legs are black (Common) or red (Ruddy), or whether it has a 'waist' like the Ruddy. I only got this one slightly blurry shot before they took off. Looking at the female, it's also hard to tell. Female Ruddies are 'greeny-brown' while the Commons are 'yellowish-brown.'" Then it occurred to me to check the range. Dangit, both of these species are found in the UK and Europe!


So -- Autumn Meadowhawk? Help, John!


Dr. MVM said...

Great photos. As usual.

John said...

I think it's probably an Autumn Meadowhawk. Most of the other red meadowhawk species have obvious black triangles all along their abdomens. It's also the species most likely to be active in October.

By the way, that NJ Odes site has really useful ID notes for a lot of the species in our area.

Patrick B. said...

Agreed on Autumn Meadowhawk. I think you used a UK site as reference. They like the term "darter."

NCmountainwoman said...

The wide brown bands predict milder winter. When the brown bands are thin the winter will be harsh.

Loved the photographs, especially the Yellow-rumped Warbler.

dguzman said...

Dr. Monkey--*blush* Thanks! But I don't have "barn of the week" like you do!

John--I figured it looked like the Autumn Meadowhawk you photographed on your blog. Thanks for that link!

Patrick--sure enough, Patrick. UK. Hmph.

NCMtnWoman--interesting. That doesn't jibe with my personal prediction of a harsh winter this year, based on the early start of the migration. But then, I'm no meteorologist. And then again, neither are those wooly worms!

Carol said...

Cant believe that Heron actually got it down. I've seem them catch big ones but then they ended up giving up...Maybe it wished it had. Nice series.