Today was truly a classic Mid-Atlantic summer afternoon – temperatures in the high 90’s, high humidity, and just a bit of a breeze to occasionally take the edge off the heat. So I went back to Watkins Regional Park to sit by the cherry tree and watch the birds come by. Last week, the tree hung heavy with cherries. Today, the tree was pretty picked over, but there were still a few berries left, and the birds were busy picking them for dinner.
In addition, I saw several Carolina Chickadees, a Blue Jay, quite a few Grackles, and I heard one of the Red-Shouldered Hawks. All in all, it was a nice way to spend a very stifling evening!!
I went back this morning to Watkin’s Park. I took a few photos last week of a Pileated Woodpecker and a Scarlet Tanager that were foraging at some sort of ornamental cherry tree that’s growing alongside the parking lot near the visitor’s center. I decided to go back and just spend the morning sitting under that tree to see what sort of bird life the tree was sustaining. The first bird to greet me was another Pileated Woodpecker, and two of his friends!
I also saw, but didn’t get photos, of House Finches and Blue Jays.
I’ve spent so much time highlighting the baby hawks from Watkins Park. I shouldn’t forget the other birds from this wonderful park! Here goes:
Spring showers bring their own beauty, and this past weekend, the birds continued to feed through the rainstorm.
I finally broke down and spent the money for a new 150-500mm zoom lens. It’s taking awhile to adjust to the difference in weight and perspective, but the challenge is a fun one! One thing I noticed right off the bat is an increased ability to catch the bird when the bird’s eye is reflecting the available light source. It’s something I worked with over the weekend, with variable results.
Today, what is hopefully the last of the snow is being washed away by a cold, drizzly rain. Definitely not birding weather, although I did take a drive around the shore front road in our neighborhood. Not bad for such a dreary day: 2 Pied-Billed Grebes, 2 Redhead Ducks, 12 Ringnecked Ducks, 8 Scaups, 1 Osprey, and 7 Red-Necked Grebes. No pictures. So, here are a few photos of some of the birds from Schoolhouse Pond a few days ago, right after the most recent snowstorm.
We started the day with a very pretty six or seven inches of snow before it turned to a slushy mess of sleet and rain, too wet to go for a nice walk, too slick to get out to drive. So today was a day for backyard birding.
The Grackles, the Starlings, the Crows, and the Brownheaded Cowbirds really seemed to enjoy the free meal, staying around for the whole day.
There were also lots of Juncos, White-Throated Sparrows, Goldfinches, and House Sparrows around. Add a few Blue Jays, Cardinals, and a Red-Bellied Woodpecker for some color. Now, I need to make a trip to the hardware store to get some more bird feed!
Though they are getting longer, the days are still too short to do much evening birding. So today, I’ll just show a few backyard birds that have been around for the last few days.