May 6, 2017

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!):

American Redstart (male)

In the afternoon we saw a Great Crested Flycatcher, the American Redstarts, and the Hooded Warbler again (below):

Hooded Warbler

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:

Tufted Titmouse with Grub