Things I am Thinking About Right Now...

  • 1. Finally Updated; A busy ( and not-so-birdy fall ) fall
  • 2. A smew in Ontario ??? And I got to see it !
  • 3. Thinking about summer vacation...
  • 4. And Sping trips too !
  • 5. Quite a few Winter rarities around. May try to add a few more to the list
  • 6. Still no snow on the ground...
  • 7. Project FeederWatch is going strong. Two eports submitted...
  • 8. I think I have convinced my wife to visit Cape May next summer !
  • 9. The Elephant Pepper Development Trust ( Check out their site ! )
  • 10. Tying to decide how to spend my remaining gift certificates !

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A NEW LIFE BIRD ! and other things in Thickson's Woods

Well, first to get this over with right new life bird is an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, seen at Thickson's Woods on Friday, May 19th. It wasn't an easy ID; I originally thought the bird was a Palm Warbler, albeit an immature bird. However that identification did not sit well and with a bit of research, I found that it may be a tad early to expect immature palm warblers. So what was this little bland/brownish bird with light indistinct streaking on its breast, a wash of yellow on its flanks and a yellow vent ? Orange-Crowned Warbler !!! Not the best looking specimen, I'd say but still a new bird for the big list !

Thickson's Woods has been a good place for birds over the last week. MAGNOLIA, CHESTNUT-SIDED, CAPE MAY, BLACKBURNIAN, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, CANADA and my first WILSON'S WARBLER of the year were highlights. I also had a wonderful BLUE-GREY GNATCATCHER; this one was more blue than grey and made me wish I had my camera. However, the trees are starting to grow out their leaves so the remaining weeks of migration season will be a bit more challenging...

Every so often, I find myself amazed/entranced/enthralled by something I see while birding. These events are unpredictable and do not necessarily correlate to life birds or rarities or anything that comes close to birding glory. Most of these events feature birds I have seen before, most of them common. The first time I saw a Yellow Warbler sing...The time a Blue-Throated Blue Warbler serenade THE DAUGHTER at close range...The first time THE DAUGHTER and I fed blue Jays by hand...THE SON's reaction to a very close chickadee... The fight between a Flicker and two starlings for a nest hole... On Saturday, I was given a wonderful serenade by a beautiful Chestnut-Sided Warbler. The warbler was close, so close that I probably could have got a decent shot with my camera. The little bird was feeding in a dilligent manner but once in a while would throw back it's head and unleash a pitch-perfect version of its pleased-pleased-pleased to meet you song. I watched for a couple of minutes until the bird finally flitted away into deeper brush and was enthralled for that whole time. Afterwards, I reflected that these are the moments that make birding special to me far more so than lifers or listings or spotting the latest rarity.  The moments where I can marvel at the birds themselves and how amazing they are...

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