Monday, October 31, 2011

Birding CMC State Park

Golden-crowned Kinglets and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, oh my! Yellow-rumped warblers everywhere, Blackpoll Warblers, Catbirds, Eastern Phoebes, Dark-eyed Junco, American Goldfinches, Song Sparrows, Brown Thrasher, Osprey working on fish catching, Bald Eagles overhead, Northern Shovelers

It's a beautiful time...

Some of beautiful scenery in our county right now along the lakes of Rt 47. Sad to know that winter is coming though I guess it has a beauty of it's own.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Avalon Seawall

Birding Higbee Beach Area

I spent all day yesterday birding Higbee Fields. Surprisingly, it's not a place I bird very often yet the birds are often plentiful. Some of them were happy to pose for me but most played hide and seek. The most seen bird was the Yellow-rumped Warbler, AKA "Butterbutt" and there were 100's, if not 1000's, of them around. This fall the Eastern Cedar trees are full of berries. In the back field along the edges I saw a group of 7 Flickers together up in a snag that scattered when a hawk flew in. There were several Brown Creepers, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays.

There were kettles of birds overhead including an adult Bald Eagle, Turkey and Black Vultures and different species of Hawks. Other species seen were Palm Warblers, Pine Warblers and Catbirds.

Lots of variety in Sparrows were seen - White-throated, Song, Chipping and Clay-colored but they tend to be shy about having pictures taken.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Backyard Update

I wanted to post some pictures of my backyard before cold weather kills my flowers. I am happy with how the gardens looked in late September and October. The flowers and plantings have filled out nicely though next year I plan to add more dirt to raise the level of the backyard some more. That will mean lifting up some of the plants we added this year.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hawk Banding - con't

This Saturday we saw 3 juveniles -male and female Sharp-shinned hawks, male Cooper's hawk plus a Cooper's hawk that was older than first year at the State Park. At the Meadows we saw juvenile male Cooper's hawk and Red-tailed hawk. Sunday, the hawks were male and female Cooper's hawks.

female Sharp-shinned Hawk

male Sharp-shinned Hawk

Male Sharp-shinned Hawk release
male Cooper's Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More Hawk Banding

Decided to visit the CM Raptor Banding project to see what hawks were shown this weekend. Each time you go to the program it lasts about 45 minutes, sometimes more depending on the number of hawks brought along to be shown.

Each time I go I learn more facts about the raptors. So far over the course of all years there have been over 134,000 raptors banded. Most are first year juvenile birds. The reason for this they think is because the migrating hawks get up over CMP and just see water on 3 sides so they come in and find a buffet of songbirds (during fall migration). This allows them to get their strength up for further migration. Cooper's Hawks are going up in numbers while American Kestrals and Sharp-shinned hawks are decreasing in numbers. Both Sharp-shinned and Coooper's hawks can be seen at your bird feeders taking the birds.

The hawks are put into the cans because it calms them while they are being tagged. All of the hawks that are shown to the public are caught and realeased within an hr so they are not stressed.

Watch those talons!

juvenile male Cooper's Hawk

juvenile female Cooper's Hawk

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

another great fall day

Weather still warm so off to look for butterflies in CMP...
American Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

Orange Sulfur Butterfly

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Caterpillar's everywhere

The past week I have seen an increase of the Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillar on the curly parsley, dill and fennel that's in both the front and back yards. In one area I counted over 50 caterpillars in all stages. Now they are marching away to go into the next stage of their transformation into a butterfly. I am hoping that most of them will overwinter to become the first generation of butterflies next spring.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Northern Waterthrush

Northern Waterthrush

Fall migration con't

More birds from the State Park - Blackpoll Warbler

Brown Creeper

Yellow-rumped Warbler (one from the state park & one from my backyard)