Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday's birding -- not much action

After work today, I went to Scotia Barrens IBA in search of some late-to-rise warblers. Sadly, I found/heard none, but I did get mobbed by Purple Finches (one of my former nemeses!) and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. I even managed to get photos:
This male Purple Finch was surrounded by about 9 females. What a male:female ratio that guy's enjoying!

These were EVERYWHERE. Now that I recognize their little squeaky noises, I see them all the time! But a decent addition to my lifebirds photo file.

Here's another common bird that had somehow eluded my lens:There were Gray Catbirds like this one everywhere this morning too.

Highlights included hearing a Wild Turkey gobble way in the distance and a Ruffed Grouse drumming. However, soon after I'd heard the drumming a couple of times, I heard a really loud gunshot. I didn't hear the drumming again. I'm hoping that's just a coincidence.

Also had a low flyover by this fisherman:
That might be the best photo I have of an Osprey. Sweet!

I also got another life-flower: Trailing Arbutus, a plant that is getting more and more rare in PA according to my Guide to Common Pennsylvania Wildlowers (Carol A. Sanderson). Here's the flower:

Another one that I THINK is Plantain-leaved Pussytoe but I'm not sure:Any input?

I haven't even talked much about my ever-growing yard list of birds, which AB is helping with. She's getting really good at IDing new birds at the feeders! Today I had two singing Yellow Warblers; I had a Yellow-rumped Warbler a few days ago. I also had a Purple Finch -- none of these birds came to the feeder; they remained in the trees at the back of the yard by the stream. Still, yard-birds!

Speaking of feeders, I made some nyjer finch feeders myself today!I had looked at our local birdseed store, Wiscoy, but theirs were really expensive, and the ones at Lowe's were kinda crappy. So it occurred to me, while looking at my many water bottles bouncing around the floorboard on the passenger side of my car, that I could make a feeder! So far, the American Goldfinches are NOT amused. They kept swooping in and hitting the brakes HARD when they saw that something was just not right! I know birds don't deal well with change, so I'm trying to be patient. I did see one brave little guy on the feeder early in the evening, and I think he was getting some seed out of it. I'm pretty sure the holes are big enough, but perhaps they're not? Or perhaps I'm just being impatient and they just need to get used to the new look.


Elizabeth said...

Great picture of the gnatcatcher. I love their stern-looking eyebrows.

The catbird is my nemesis. Sometimes my husband comes birding with me and takes pictures with a spare camera. I was going through his pictures and found a picture of a catbird. Where was I?!!!

John said...

Nice shot of the gnatcatcher! Those don't sit still for long.