Sunday, August 23, 2015

Nice Weekend at Brownton - 22-23 Aug 2015

With clear skies and temps in the mid-upper 70's it was a great time to sit in the grass with Buffy and Asia and watch the birds. We were not disappointed. That is to say, "I was not disappointed".

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been active at the feeder. Mom, dad and this year's two young have been visiting the feeder. One juvenile appears to be a male based on a single red gorget feather that has appeared on its cheek. The other (at left) is a suspected female based on lack of gorget feathers.  The two young spend much more time at the feeder and nearby flowers than the adults, who seem to come only late in the evening.

A juvenile Baltimore Oriole has been frequenting the feeder, as well. It tries to pry the yellow flowers from the base so as to be able to get at the nectar easier.

An Eastern Phoebe made a 10-second appearance early Saturday morning, and returned mid-afternoon for another 10 seconds. Yard Bird #54.

An Empidonax sp. flycatcher also made an appearance for a few seconds. Even though I was able to get some nice digiscoped images of the bird I don't know if it is either an Alder or  Willow Flycatcher.  Without it calling I have to call it Empidonax flycatcher. Yard Bird #55.

Buffy got a bit too close to the hedge while eating grass, and was scolded by a House Wren for a good 10 minutes.

While lying back on the grass w/ Asia, the hummingbird pair hovered over us, squabbling over rights to the feeder.

Looking up into the sky I watched a small flock of Chimney Swifts attack a soaring Cooper's Hawk while a Black-billed Cuckoo called softly from the trees at the back of the property line.

A small American Toad hopped out and joined the two of us on the grass. I had to quietly place my hand over it to keep Asia from noticing it.

Three more Leopard Frogs were rescued from the basement well and released across the street in the ponds.

Our resident Gray Tree Frog continues to spend the day napping on the porch light. Last evening I went out and watched numerous moths swirling around its head; it got bopped on the head several times by fly-by insects.

Sunday morning brought a juvenile Rufous-sided Towhee to the base of the feeder. I could tell that its molting into an adult male by the bright white wing patches, and the beginnings of black feathers in the throat / belly region. The streaky-brown head and overall roughed-up appearance indicates juvenile. The adult male will have a clean black head with red eyes, while the female will have a clean brown head w/ buffy wing patches and brown throat feathers.

A Woodchuck appeared briefly from the woods behind the house. It scampered back into the woods almost immediately.

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