To Westminster Woods with my better half (at least, that’s what the Coke Zero can said this morning) to see Gram. We saw a couple of birds:
Late this afternoon I watched a male Northern Cardinal feed two youngsters in our back yard. Here he is with one of them:
And here’s a juvenile by itself:
To Westminster Woods to see Gram. There were half a dozen Eastern Bluebirds just outside her hall, on the lake side. Here’s a juvenile:
Across the lake, a Great Blue Heron was on the hunt for a meal.
The back yard is brimming with juvenile birds. The family of four Carolina Wrens still mob the mixed-nut feeder together. Over the last few days I’ve watched a male Downy Woodpecker feed a juvenile male and a juvenile female. Today I watched the juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker land on the cage I’ve put around the mixed-nut feeder, and fly away empty-beaked. I just put the cage up yesterday to thwart the Common Grackles. One of the two male Northern Cardinals has figured out how to shimmy inside. Also today I saw at least three juvenile Tufted Titmice, all clamoring for food–at least one parent obligingly brought them mixed nut bits and seeds. Finally, I’ve seen a male American Redstart over the past two days. It appears fond of the oleander. I can’t wait for the oleander to grow back–our yard will get a lot more traffic, especially migratory birds looking for a drink from the bubbler.
To Westminster Woods to see Gram. When we took a spin around the lake, I saw several Eastern Bluebirds. Near the end of our walk, I spotted one sitting on the corner of a bench. I got Gram up close enough for her to see it. When it flew away, and she laughed. “Thank you,” she said.
To Westminster Woods to see Gram. We saw several Eastern Bluebirds, including this adult:
And the two juvenile Green Herons are still in residence:
To Westminster Woods to see Gram today. As we were sitting on the observation deck, we saw a couple of juvenile Green Herons (see below). After a while, Gram asked, “What’s that?” I listened. “It’s a cardinal,” I said. It was singing behind us, so I turned Gram around so that we could look at two trees behind the dam. The cardinal kept calling, “Birdie! Birdie! Birdie!” and then in a flash of red and feathers it burst out of one tree and alighted in the other.
Back at home, I took this portrait of a Gray Catbird:
Finally, in the herp report, I’m pleased to report that I spotted two Broad-headed Skinks in our back yard. Here’s one:
Migration season is in full swing. Today I saw in the woods behind my back yard four different types of warblers: Blackpoll, Cape May, Black and White, and Black-throated Blue. It’s the first time I’ve seen a Blackpoll or Cape May here. And it’s now family season, too. There’s a pair of Carolina Wrens with two juveniles in tow, and a Red-bellied Woodpecker with a juvenile.
And Ms. Pileated Woodpecker also made an appearance:
This morning at Hanna Park I saw a pair of Common Gallinules and eight chicks, all swimming at the edge of the lake in the reeds.
This afternoon we invited the black Lab puppy next door to play in our back yard with our full-grown (read: middle-aged) dog. Our dog alerted us to a Northern Parula that was in the grass, dazed and flapping around. I placed it in a box lined with a soft cloth and put the box in the shade under the pergola. Then we all played with the dogs for about twenty minutes. When I went to look in the box after the neighbor dog had gone, the Northern Parula wasn’t there. I checked the yard–no sign of it. It must have struck a window, but it appears that it recovered its wits.
A short while later I saw a male American Redstart flitting about in my neighbor’s so-called East Palatka Holly tree. And then I saw both a male and female American Redstart in my own back yard.
Here’s the male American Redstart showing up to take a bath where a Tufted Titmouse is already in residence:
Here’s the male American Redstart again, fanning out its tail feathers: