To San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park today for mountain biking . . . and a little birding. A dozen White Ibis were hanging out in the marshy area. Here’s one:
Also saw a pair of Eastern Phoebes in the field behind the restrooms.
Other birds spotted but not well photographed include an American Kestrel, a Red-shouldered Hawk, a Belted Kingfisher, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Dragonflies were everywhere, just as they were yesterday at Nathan Krestul Park. And we saw lots of deer while riding, mostly young ones.
Stopped by Nathan Krestul Park on my way home from work today, drawn by a Great Blue Heron perched up high in a tree.
Great Blue Heron
Down below I saw a Little Blue Heron, and, nearby, a Tricolored Heron, both hunting in the marsh.
Then a Belted Kingfisher flew over my head and alighted nearby.
Apparently the sound of my camera bothered her, for she soon flew away for a higher perch.
And for birds new to me this season: three Palm Warblers and one Eastern Phoebe.
This afternoon a female American Redstart appeared several times in the oleander by the bubbler. Like that light on the French coast, each time it gleamed and was gone. Much too quick to get a decent picture:
American Redstart (female)
And then late this afternoon a Black-throated Green Warbler appeared!
Black-throated Green Warbler (female)
Here she is peering at the bubbler below:
Black-throated Green Warbler
The bubbler–more than any feeder–attracts interest from the animals and birds that visit the back yard. Yesterday was typical: in mid-afternoon a Gray Catbird took a couple of baths, at twilight a Northern Cardinal stopped by for a drink, and all day long at least two squirrels visited the bubbler repeatedly for sips of water. One of the squirrels, the eponymously named Bent Ear, always takes a long, graceful jump back onto the oleander. The other, unnamed and no distinguishing marks, takes a short, straightforward hop back onto the oleander. They both drink with one front paw standing in the water, the other three paws on the lip of the bubbler.
Until this spring I had never seen any woodpeckers drink from the bubbler, but this year two juvenile Downy Woodpeckers, a male and a female, routinely came to the bubbler to drink.
It’s the season of stealthy visits to the backyard bubbler. Yesterday in the hour before sunset I saw a female American Redstart. This evening it was a female Black-throated Blue Warbler.
This afternoon a Veery showed up for a bath at the bubbler in our back yard.
A resident (and much larger) Brown Thrasher insisted on taking its bath first, though.
But eventually the Veery got its turn.
A very warm (low 80s) fall afternoon, and the usuals are at Nathan Krestul Park.
Belted Kingfisher (female)
Stopped by Nathan Krestul Park on my way home from work. A yard crew was trimming the grass: one guy tore around on a loud riding mower, and two others worked gas-powered hand-held trimmers. The field is so wet and soggy that they left about a quarter of it uncut, the quarter closest to the water. There a dozen White Ibis were in a feeding frenzy, not bothered by the yard crew, nor by my approach within ten feet. Today’s delicacy: fiddler crabs.
Juvenile White Ibis with Crab
Juvenile and Adult White Ibis
A juvenile Blue Heron hunted in the water, and back far in the swamp a female Belted Kingfisher hunted from the tops of low trees, maybe ten feet high.
Back at home I saw a Gray Catbird take two energetic baths in the bubbler. Also saw an American Redstart in the oleander, a flash of yellow spread on tail feathers and then an empty branch.
Stopped by Nathan Krestul Park after work. The water was as high as I’ve ever seen it, and the field was flooded. Unlike a week ago, there were no standing puddles; rather, each footstep on the grass would bring you ankle-deep into the water. When I arrived, there were three dozen or so White Ibis high in the trees, including these two sharing a tree with an Osprey:
Osprey with White Ibis
Eastern Bluebirds were sitting quietly in the trees near the parking lot, including this scruffy one getting its adult plumage:
After a short while, a Red-shouldered Hawk showed up, and wheeled over the water, calling loudly. All the White Ibis took flight and resettled in trees on the other side of water. A lone Little Blue Heron stood atop a tree on an island in the middle of the water.
Little Blue Heron