Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sooooooo Behind - yard & WWPP

A week goes by, and I fall so far behind! I can't believe how busy June is for birding, despite that I know that birders often take summer easy compared to migration periods.

Last Sunday I went hiking at Moreau Lake State Park. Like, painful, strenous 1000' mountain hiking, complete with overlook. It was great. I just might have to do it again soon. I even hid in the trees on the side of the mountain near some deer due to a downpour. I also ran all the way back down, twisting my ankle in the process due to slippery, rough terrain. If you haven't been up the backside of Moreau Lake State Park, do it. The habitat is weird. You start off thinking you'll have tons of tall trees, and instead you get amongst tiny shadbush halfway up, with big boulders.

I'm not actually going to post about that trip yet, because I'm trying to get it into ebird using either "feet" or "miles" but those are hard to determine from an unmarked map.

This week was strange. 6/25 (Thursday) we had the return of the Eastern Bluebird couple during a nice display of rather rare mammatus clouds. The Bluebirds seemed confused by the new boxmate we have, the House Wren. He finally has one set nest and I saw him bringing insects to it today. The Bluebirds stayed, but I can't figure out where they might be nesting now. There was also a Broad-winged Hawk overhead for three days straight earlier in the week, I could hear it calling in late morning each day. And now we have a bunch of Blue Jays, which are very welcome here. It seems there's two very hungry fledglings here who are a big skittish about going to my feeder (it has peanuts!). I like hearing them calling from the nearby hemlocks.

I also went birding quite a bit this week at the Wilton Wildlife Preserve, which turns up quite a diversity and you don't have to stray far from Scout Road. The office has highlights such as Northern Mockingbirds who are out there practicing the songs of nearby birds, and mocking the Mourning Doves to trick them into coming closer so that the Mockingbird can fight them. The Mockingbird there also loves annoying and fighting the American Crows. Also notable at the office are Tree Swallows and Indigo Buntings.

At Delegan Pond I saw an Osprey yesterday! Yes! The call it emitted sounded like a high, mournful, "Cue cue cue cue cue," while it was flying to a perch, which it sat on for 20 minutes, nearly unmovable. I thought it was rather small, and the body reminded me of that of a Turkey Vulture's. I was mesmerized. There were two Belted Kingfishers resting on a dead log below - they were cute, as they were sitting very near each other. Likely a pair. That spot also gets Great Blue and Green Herons.

Camp Saratoga's parking lot is GREAT for birding. Such an array. My highlight yesterday was two Brown Creepers chasing each other around tree trunks and from tree to tree. Also, if you take the blue trail in to the left of the bigger building, you can pass one small field to your right to a much larger field to your right. This place is also bird-worthy. Look for/listen for Eastern Towhees. I heard their "Drink-your-TEEAAA!" song for the first time yesterday. There was also the ping-pong-on-table call of the Field Sparrow. There was also a black-and-white cat, which made me unhappy.

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