Saturday, April 04, 2015

Searching Mead Botanical Garden

Took a run over to Mead Botanical Gardens to see if any migrants were around after my lake checks. The only thing of note at Lake Lancaster was the Great Blue Heron rookery that is starting to show some signs of new chicks.

Great Blue Heron

I got out of the car at Mead to the sound of a large flock of Cedar Waxwings. Unfortunately, they dropped into a very tall oak. I hope these are not the best shots I get of Waxwings this year but there is not much time left before they leave.

Cedar Waxwing

I headed into the gardens and when I got to the cement bridge I heard some high pitched calls from nearby. Baby birds, but where? Then it hit me. They were in the nest box just overhead. The box (actually put there years ago by Richard from our banding site) has seen better days. It appears squirrels have been at work over time. Still, it is being used.

It took a few minutes of waiting to see by which species. There was a blur of a bird leaving the box as I got closer but I couldn't tell what kind. Soon the blur returned past me and into the box. Chicks cried out for food and I trained my lens on the box opening. Soon, an adult Tufted Titmouse was staring out to make sure the coast was clear before heading out for more bugs.

Tufted Titmouse

I didn't see the owl family where I expected them. I did hear them later but came away with no photos. Over the back of the original amphitheater a Great Egret preened all alone.

Great Egret

The Lizard's tail is finally reestablished itself after being nearly unseen for many years. Don't remember when it declined. Perhaps it was the hurricanes in 2004. The blooms are now back all over the wet areas like I remember from when I started coming out in the late 1990's.

Lizard's tail

Today the Golden Aster was nearly as profuse along the boardwalk.

Golden Aster

Sitting in the shade and whispering was a near motionless Gray Catbird.

Gray Catbird

On the way out I found one of the reasons there were not a lot of small birds in the open. A Red-shouldered Hawk stood watch on a snag. They have a nest not too far from here for the past couple of years.


Stopping by the cemetery on the way home I finally saw something up in the Bald Eagle nest. See it? To the right of the fishing bobber is a roundish shape behind the sticks. Eagle chick! About time.

Bald Eagle

Still pretty quiet overall. I thought this was Spring migration? Sigh.

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