Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mead is a Little Busier

I decided to go out migrant hunting again at Mead Garden. There still is not a lot around yet but it was a fun walk. I should have taken a shot of the 'muck bag' as it was now about 5 feet high! Maybe next time. For now, I had to concentrate on this male Wood Duck in alternate plumage on the pond.

Wood Duck

Circling the pond, I did find an American Redstart by the cement bridge but got no photos. I then tried to track down a Cooper's Hawk I saw flying near the club house but it slipped away. Guess I will just have to be satisfied with a juvenile Green Heron hunting down the path.

Green Heron

One of the things that drives me crazy about birding Mead in the early morning is that birds usually hang around the creek which mean birders have to stare towards the rising Sun. I don't mind when a bird is on the opposite side of the path in perfect light.

Green Heron

Heading toward Pennsylvania Avenue I began hearing some activity ahead. A quick look at the creek to my right provided a surprise. A Momma Wood Duck and babies in tow riding the water flow!

Wood Duck

Tufted Titmice were calling above me but I couldn't get a good view of them. Suddenly, they all headed down into the Willows just about at eye-level.

Tufted Titmouse

They seemed to have no problem finding juicy meals under the leaves.

Tufted Titmouse

I have been fighting the urge to explore the damaged boardwalk for ages. We used to go out there when compiling data for what would become the Mead Garden Bird Checklist. Today would be the day I gave in. It was surprisingly more clear than it was years ago but is still a bit dangerous as there are many missing/rotting boards. I didn't find too many things out there, though. Too early in the season.


I was just trying to take a shot of the Duck Potato flower since I hadn't seen them in a while. Suddenly, a metallic green bee (Agapostemon) flew in to pose.


I didn't think this shot of Ground Nut (Apios americana) would be anything more than an ID shot but I kinda love it. I first discovered Ground Nut here many years ago in one little spot. Now it has spread all around the boardwalk.


I later refound the flock of Titmice by the boardwalk and was happily greeted by a Prairie Warbler. It was hard to get a shot but by the time the feeding flock made it to the butterfly Garden, the Prairie flew up to an oak tree for a few seconds.

Prairie Warbler

Nice to see more warblers moving in and this female Prairie Warbler was a nice addition to the morning.

Prairie Warbler

We were all looking for the Northern Waterthrush that has been haunting the area but only had obscured views (but enough to ID). Nearby, a pair of Marsh Rabbits hopped around in the underbrush.

Marsh Rabbit

An interesting trek. I will head back out Friday to keep checking for migrants.

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