Sunday, September 09, 2012

Blackburnian and More at Mead

Despite the lackluster day yesterday, I decided to return to Mead primarily because there was a sighting of a Black-billed Cuckoo a few times in the past few days. I need that one for my collection.

We have been having rain off and on but I guessed I might have enough time before the next round after our banding morning. Rain has been good for the lakes, THey are way up and about back to normal levels.


No luck on that bird today but things were a bit more birdy and gave me many opportunities for photos. Once I arrived, I headed into the wooded area near the parking lot but only managed to find some Carolina Wrens and a pair of Cardinals. The male posed nicely in the shade.

Northern Cardinal

I spent some time behind the amphitheater to see if the Cuckoo might be hiding there where it was last seen. Instead, all I found were some Redstarts. Then, another bird flashed through the branches but kept to the back of the oaks. It was an Acadian Flycatcher!

Acadian Flycatcher

I swung down the river's edge and onto the boardwalk. No birds here so I stopped to get a shot of the Primrose Willow blossoms. They are invasives but I do love these flowers.

Primrose Willow

Fairly quiet until I approached the butterfly garden. There I found the Mockingbirds in the trees and flying about.

Northern Mockingbird

Many of the younger birds were grabbing berries when they could but I was more interested in the adult perched up in the watch tower.

Northern Mockingbird

As I admired the Mockers, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher drifted in and gave me a gaze before heading on.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

This was followed quickly by a female Cardinal who brought her own food to snack on. She was a bit damp and undergoing some molting but I still found her pretty. In a birdy kind of way...

Northern Cardinal

Besides the Flycatcher earlier, the most interesting birds were found as I made my back to the parking lot and found a few fellow birders staring at the trees. Turned out a feeding flock was moving through there and there were many Blackburnian Warblers in the flock.

Blackburnian Warbler

I haven't seen too many Blackburnian Warblers in my life so it was nice to have this bunch around for some photos. Even though the sky was fully overcast and the light was poor.

Blackburnian Warbler

Even got a pair together in one shot.

Blackburnian Warbler

Here is that same scene cropped to show the lower bird better.

Blackburnian Warbler

We tried to follow the flock but they dispersed. I got to end the day with a cuddly moment before heading home. A Rabbit was out on the grass, nibbling away.


Not a bad walk in the park, eh?

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