Thursday, October 10, 2013

Called To Mead Garden

I was just minding my business doing chores and some grocery shopping when Marcus called me to say there were more birds showing up at Mead Botanical Garden than there had been in a quite a while. I had a feeling but decided I would stay close to home. Oh, all right.

By the time I arrived most of the activity had abated. There were only a couple of warblers by the creek. As I stepped out into the open to scan the oaks a noisy Red-shouldered Hawk zoomed in and circled us before moving off into the distance.

Red-shouldered Hawk

I decided to check out some other areas and as I rounded a corner I spied a shadowy bird feeding in the grasses. A female Painted Bunting was eyeing me nervously so I had to stop and could only get a dark image but it was good enough for an ID.

Painted Bunting

Down by the big Cypress, the activity was picking up. Problem is that most birds here stay in the understory which keeps them in near darkness. My camera has a barely functional flash so I usually have to wait on the outer edges and hope for something to fly out there. Luckily, a male American Redstart did me a favor. Only very briefly.

American Redstart

Our main attention was on a female Yellow Warbler. She was almost always buried in leaves or on the far side of the trees so we had to wait it out for quite some time before even getting the slightest full glimpse of her.

Yellow Warbler

As we waited, that male American Redstart continued to bounce from branch to branch and I managed one more shot.

It reminded me of the first time I ever saw a Redstart. I was standing on the front walk trying to get shots of birds at the feeder many years ago. As I watched the Titmice and Cardinals a male Redstart dropped from the trees and landed on a branch mere feet in front of my face. I was so awestruck that all I could do was stare and say aloud, "American Redstart...". The camera was in my hands at the ready but I only watched in wonder. Seconds later it was gone. It would be a couple more years before I ever got a shot of one.

American Redstart

I needed to head home to do more chores so I went out on the boardwalk for one look when a couple of Common Yellowthroats bolted into view. This young male stopped in front of me to preen and allowed several shots before vanishing into the brush.

Common Yellowthroat

Still love these birds and we have been banding a lot of them at Lake Lotus the past few weeks. Just another walk in the park but it is getting busier.

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