September 24, 2015

There was more rain yesterday and today, and this afternoon the water at Nathan Krestul Park was higher than ever.  The soggy, muddy field now has standing water in places.  Good thing I have duck shoes!  Five White Ibis, two with remnants of juvenile plumage, were in a frenzy feasting on earthworms:

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White Ibis with Earthworm

Afterwards, they cleaned their muddy beaks at the water’s edge:

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White Ibis Cleaning up at Water’s Edge

Then they preened and rested:

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White Ibis Digesting Earthworms at Water’s Edge

The field was so wet that even a Little Blue Heron tried its luck there:

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Little Blue Heron

The Little Blue Heron went back into the water and disappeared behind some foliage.  It was soon joined by a white bird that flew in.  I heard a ruckus, and then watched the white bird fly off, chased by the Little Blue Heron.  That seemed strange–a Little Blue Heron chasing a Great Egret?  Only after I got home did I discover that the white bird was a juvenile Little Blue Heron:

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Juvenile Little Blue Heron

A female Belted Kingfisher alighted on one of her favorite perching trees (conveniently out of range for me to take a sharp shot).  Not a minute later a Red-bellied Woodpecker showed up at the top of a nearby tree.  At Nathan Krestul Park, the Red Bellies are a curious lot. Whenever there’s action–such as the other day when the Eastern Kingbird and the Eastern Bluebird were exchanging words–they tend to show up as though getting a closer look.

Also today at the park I saw a lone Eastern Kingbird, perched high, as well as one Red-shouldered Hawk, also perched high.

Late yesterday morning as I was driving through the neighborhood immediately next to Nathan Krestul Park I saw several Eastern Bluebirds on the wing.  And then I saw a small bird flying away with what appeared to be a butter pat of yellow on its rump.  It’s a little early for the Yellow-rumped Warblers to be here yet, so possibly I saw a Palm Warbler–they’ve been spotted in town very recently.   And last winter they made the field at Nathan Krestul Park their home.  Still, one never knows.  I haven’t seen a single hummingbird in my yard or at the feeder this month.  Over the past few years, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have disappeared just as the Yellow-rumped warblers show up.  I’ve never seen them both on the same day.