Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Early Spring Migrants

Hello and Happy Spring!~~

Raymondale and especially Luria Park near the main bridge and the chain link fence around the old baseball diamond has had a lovely assortment of early spring migratory songbirds. grab your binoculars and take a look!

You may find...

 This tiny active bird is the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.  The bird was foraging for insects on bare branches over the smaller bridge.

 This yellow-hued bird with white wing bars is the Pine Warbler. Wintering in the US south it's one of our earliest warbler migrants.

 This yellow bird with the rusty patch on top of it's head is the Palm Warbler. Seen bobbing it's tail and flitting from the trees to the ground around the chain link fence.

This bird is the Eastern Phoebe. It's about the size of a Northern Cardinal and like the Palm Warbler it pumps its tail when perched and alert. Seen in the trees along the larger bridge and along the chain link fence. It flies out usually from the same branch/perch catching insects. And speaking of catching insects...

This Ruby-crowned Kinglet (the ruby crown in a few tiny feathers on top of the head rarely seen) was seen in low-growth around the creek catching a tasty insect. These birds are winter residents (like some of the migratory warblers and insect eaters) and are heading far north into Canada to breed.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Love and War Luria Park

Love and disputes were in the air in Luria Park!

Two male Hairy Woodpeckers vying for territory. Beaks raised, stalking each other, and fanned tail feathers signal territorial dispute.

A female Pileated Woodpecker foraging rotted logs with her mate close by.

One of two Mourning Doves resting after courtship. Spring is here for sure!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Pine Siskins

We have two tube shaped thistle seed feeders in our backyard and this week we have noticed flocks of Pine Siskins at the feeders. These sparrow-sized birds with a swath of bright yellow on their wings breed in Canada but spend their winters in our area. They do like to eat seeds from pine cones but will readily eat thistle seed from feeders.

We observed the siskins battling with House Finches and Goldfinches for the thistle seed we offered. At first glance you may think you are observing House Sparrows but looks closer for that swath of yellow on the males. Both male and female Pine Siskin have lots of stripes all over. The females don't have the yellow on their wings.

So hang up your thistle seed feeder and attract our wintering birds!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Winter Is Coming

It's been a while since I've posted on this bird blog but that doesn't mean the birds haven't been doing their birdy thing!
This last week in October, has Luria Park and our own backyard full of migratory birds heading to warmer winter climates and some birds arriving to stay here for the winter. We have several birds in Luria Park and Raymondale that leave their breeding grounds in Canada and seek refuge during the  fall and winter months here. Here are some birds we saw on October 31st.

The White-throated Sparrow is one of the most notable winter residents. The male has a distinctive white throat and bright yellow lores above the beak. You can hear his sweet song in the park, a high pitched song that sounds aptly enough like "Oh, Canada, Canada!"

The Chipping Sparrow, above, may breed in our area but this fellow is seeking a warmer place to spend the winter.

This bright bird, a little smaller than a Robin, is the Yellow-breasted Chat. He was spotted just off the boardwalk skulking through the low underbrush and occasionally flying to a higher perch. An uncommon bird and a loner, this bird will migrate to a more southerly location for the winter.

This tiny bird, the Golden-crowned Kinglet, will spend its winter in our area after spending an active summer breeding in Canada. They are quite tiny and active. With binoculars you can easily spot the bright yellow stripe between dark stripes on top of its head.

At our feeder today we saw a Pine Siskin. These sparrow-like birds with sharp beaks and lots of stripes, may spend their winter here or farther south. You will most commonly see them at your feeders.

So get those sunflower seeds, thistle seeds, and suet out. Who know what you may see this fall and winter?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Fun Around the Neighborhood Ponds

This afternoon, Dan and I were alerted to an unusual bird at the pond next to Jaguar rail. We headed over and found a Black-crowned Night Heron!

This cool bird winters along the southern Atlantic coast and further south to Central America. There is a chance that her could find a mate here and possibly breed and nest in the cattails at Fairview Park.

And speaking of Fairview Park...we found this summer resident walking along the rocky ledge:
This is the Spotted Sandpiper. The most common of the sandpipers. They could potentially breed in the Fairview Park area, most likely in the large area of cattails over the berm near the office towers.

There was a lot of Red-winged Blackbird activity around the pond and over the berm in the cattails. We were holing to see evidence of nest building or food carrying. A female red-winged blackbird scolded us from a tree after flying from the cattails when we walked past.

There is every chance these birds breed here but we need to continue observing to get conclusive evidence. Until then we will enjoy these lovely birds around the pond.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Bay-breasted Warbler

This morning in Luria Park I saw the Bay-breasted Warbler which is an uncommon warbler. He winters in northern South America, flies along the eastern Central American and Mexican coast, goes up the US Atlantic flyway and doesn't stop to breed until it arrives in northern Canada. I was thrilled to see him in our park and to get a few half-way decent shots before he flew away.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

May 6 Was Migratory Bird Mania In Luria Park

Dan and I spent two hours in Luria Park around lunch time today (May 6th) and were rewarded with lots of migratory birds! The recent cold front most likely brought them in and we were thrilled to see so many. Here are the highlights:

 Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Black-throated Green Warbler.

 Blackburnian Warbler.

 Chestnut-sided Warbler.

 Indigo Bunting (seen on our Brad Street backyard).

 Magnolia Warbler.

 Northern Waterthrush.

Wood Thrush.

Take your binoculars into the park, look for something moving in the trees, and take a look. You never know what you may see! These feathery jewels are amazing, don't you think so?