Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Warm Summer's Eve - 13 Jul 2017

We spent the evening just lazing on the deck. It is hot, humid, and still. I love it! After seeing a pair of Brown Thrashers chasing each other in the brush I decided to take the scope out and wait for some digiscoping opportunities.

Blue Jays were quite active.

As were the Tufted Titmouse juveniles.

Eastern Towhees were singing, as were the Chipping Sparrows and a Common Yellowthroat.

This Mourning Dove posed nicely in the open.

The excitement came from a Vole that kept ducking out into the open to grab a seed or two before scampering back into the understory.

A poor mouse was fighting equilibrium issues, stumbling around while trying to get a few seeds for itself.

My favorite flower is blooming: Cardinal Lobelia, also called Cardinal Flower.

This female Rose-breasted Grosbeak was a nice way to end our evening.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kensington Waders - 10 Jul 2017

I gave the second half of my "Shorebird ID - Spring to Fall" to the Huron Valley Audubon Society this evening at Kensington Metropark's Nature Center. I arrived about an hour early so I took the opportunity to look for something to digiscope. The Heron Rookery was active, so I wandered along the boardwalk digiscoping the Great Blue Herons that were nearby.

A Great Egret was also close enough to digiscope in the early evening sunset.

Behind the Nature Center I spotted a juvenile Solitary Sandpiper foraging among the lily pads.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Downpour! - 07 Jul 2017

Late this afternoon a quick storm moved through the area. Heavy rain lasted for only a few minutes, but managed to soak everything.

Just as it ended this Skunk came out for a quick forage below the feeder.

Then the birds came out to dry. This male Northern Cardinal was particularly wet.

Eastern Towhee - 07 Jul 2017

We've had a pair of Eastern Towhees singing out back of Brownton Abbey for the past few months. Calls of "Drink-your Tiiiii" and "Zreee" have been heard daily since early May, but its only been a few days that I've started seeing them. First the female, and finally the male. They tend to show near the end of the day.

She looks a bit angry...

Monday, July 3, 2017

Oak Openings Metropark, NW Ohio - 03 Jul 2017

After last night's downpours the day was supposed to be nice. It was. I arrived at Oak Openings Metropark shortly after 7 am and enjoyed a nice morning watching Lark Sparrows, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Towhees, Field Sparrows, Red-headed Woodpeckers, and Chipping Sparrows.

Good start! A brightly-colored male Scarlet Tanager was a nice find as I drove slowly along Girdham Rd. toward the Metropark. It was far back in the field and I felt uncomfortable driving on the two-track where it was perched. So, as I back up another pair of Scarlet Tanagers appeared just outside the car window to my left. But, wouldn't you know it - the camera jammed. Dead batteries. Switched batteries, and still had a frozen shutter. Not a good start. But, the Girdham Rd. corridor was a gem of a habitat, and I could see why its so popular among birders.

I arrived at the Lark Sparrow nesting site and spotted several birds on the road ahead of me. But, they were uncooperative and would remain so for the rest of the morning. However, the Red-headed Woodpeckers were out and I would enjoy some nice digiscoping from 300' away.

This image of the Red-headed Woodpecker is almost identical to the one Paul Jacyk posted on Facebook yesterday. Same bird, same tree, same branch, and almost the same pose. Wild.

Baby birds were about. A fledgling Chipping Sparrow was foraging on the road ahead of me while an adult Chipper was foraging nearby. A short time later I'd find a fledgling Field Sparrow near the cemetery fence. Note the white eye-ring.

I then drove by the Lodge and headed back toward the airport to look for Grasshopper Sparrows. I wasn't disappointed. From a side road I was able to digiscope several birds at fairly close range, but they didn't stay around long.

Another loop through the Metropark kicked up a pair of Common Yellowthroats, and another attempt at the Red-headed Woodpeckers.

I was happy to see this juvenile Eastern Phoebe singing "Fee-BEE". It helped me verify identification of not only it, but the exact same-looking bird that was in my yard late last evening. The cinnamon wing bars and dark beak, grayish chest,  and light tail pumping are also nice clues.

Other highlight birds seen or heard included Wood Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Red-tailed Hawk, Summer Tanager, Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos, and Indigo Buntings.

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