To Wesminster Woods to see Gram. At the lake she saw a Great Blue Heron and an Anhinga, both on the wing. Here’s the Great Blue Heron before it took flight:
To Westminster Woods to see Gram. There were three juvenile Tricolored Herons in the tree growing in the lake. Here are two:
And here’s a knot of three Tricolored Herons, where it looks like one of the juveniles has an adult in its beak:
To Westminster Woods to see Gram. The first bird we saw–almost immediately after leaving her building–was a Wood Stork. It was standing at the edge of the lake, stirring up silt with one foot in hopes of scaring up a meal.
While we were on the observation deck, two Green Herons were hanging out on the log in the lake. What struck me about this pose was that both of them were dropping their left wings at the same time. We didn’t see them fish, but we did see both of them bend to the water to drink water.
On the other side of the observation deck we spotted this Tricolored Heron:
To Wesminster Woods to see Gram. We took a spin by the lake, where I spotted four Tricolored Herons–two adults and two juveniles–in the tree that grows in the lake.
Here’s one of the adults leaving an unhappy juvenile behind in the tree . . .
And landing on a nearby log:
And here’s a Green Heron checking out a turtle on the same log:
To Westminster Woods to see Gram. I saw two Green Herons on the log in front of the observation deck. Here’s one:
To Westminster Woods to see Gram, who had a bridge game. Outside, I saw a number of Eastern Bluebirds:
To Westminster Woods to see Gram. At the lake we watched this Green Heron nab a fish:
A pair of Downy Woodpeckers in our back yard this afternoon:
Here’s a link to activity at the bubbler this morning:
Finally, early morning as I was taking a walk in the next neighborhood over, I heard a strange honking noise. I followed the sound, and found a peacock atop somebody’s roof! The homeowner came out, shirtless and a mug of coffee in his hand, and explained that the peacock had shown up a couple of weeks ago. He said that it wasn’t usually so vocal. He also said it liked to roost about twenty feet up in an oak tree next to his house.
Today was an especially birdy day in our back yard. This morning we saw–in addition to the usuals (Northern Cardinals, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, Gray Catbirds, Carolina Wrens, and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird)–a Northern Waterthrush, a Hooded Warbler, a couple of Black-throated Blue Warblers, and American Redstarts, both male and female. Plus three Pileated Woodpeckers making a bunch of racket (bwok! bwok! bwok! bwok!).
American Redstarts are fun to watch, but devilishly hard to photograph. They cover a lot of canopy, moving so fast, darting out in tight circles to nab insects, and then they disappear in the leaves again. Here’s one that paused on the retaining wall (note the fly in its beak!):
In the afternoon we saw a Great Crested Flycatcher, the American Redstarts, and the Hooded Warbler again (below):
Also an Eastern Black Swallowtail visiting the flowering oleander:
And, from this morning, here’s a Tufted Titmouse, who repeatedly raided a wasp’s nest tucked beneath an eave of our gazebo:
This Gray Catbird was finding bits of peanuts left behind on the vine by the woodpeckers:
And this Mourning Dove had me puzzled at first. And then I realized it had dropped most of its tail feathers!
A few minutes after I photographed the Gray Catbird on the vine, a Downy Woodpecker showed up on the vine with a peanut. It placed the peanut in a crevice in the vines, and, with blows by its beak, it broke apart the peanut.
Tonight I saw my first migratory bird of the season in my back yard: a Black-throated Blue Warbler taking a bath in the bubbler, not long before sunset. A little later, it came back:
I hardly knew which way to look. At the time the Black-throated Blue Warbler came back, I was amazed to spot three Gray Catbirds at once in the back yard: one on the safflower feeder, one on the mixed-nut feeder, and one waiting for the mixed-nut feeder. In the past, I’ve seen Black-throated Blue Warblers at the mixed-nut feeder, so maybe this one will stay a few days for the hospitality.