Monday, September 26, 2016

Been Awhile

It has been too long since I was able to visit Mead Botanical Garden. Now that Fall migration is kicking in I decided now was the time. That and reports of some more rare birds being sighted got me out early.

The beginning of the trip was promising but the Sun was making shots difficult but birds were definitely here. By the time I got to the concrete bridge I did find a Cape May Warbler foraging over the water.

Cape May Warbler

I was there for a different flycatcher but soon a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher landed mere feet in front of me. Of course, it flew off as I aimed the camera. I had to try and chase it for a couple of minutes, only getting a brief ID shot before it flew off over the pond.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

I got to the wooden bridge to find a female Anhinga basking in the rising Sun. I stayed at the far end and she eventually flew off. Moments later, the flycatcher I was there for dropped down maybe 4 feet in front of me devouring an insect. Like the Yellow-bellied, it flew before I could click for a nice up close shot.


So I waited at the bridge hoping it would return. In the meantime, I was joined by other birds including a Prairie Warbler.

Prairie Warbler

Then a Red-eyed Vireo made a quick stop and a peek-a-boo treatment. They are hard to photograph as they move so quickly through the branches, usually higher above in the trees.

Red-eyed Vireo

A male Anhinga decided to drop into a Cypress across from be to soak up the sunlight.


Another Prairie Warbler pranced through another Cypress as I continued my watch for my prize.

Prairie Warbler

An "Elephant ear tree", (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), spreads over the wooden bridge and at one point a male Cape May Warbler spent time feeding among its branches and paused for a moment to provide me my best ever shot of this species.

Cape May Warbler

I was prepared to leave when I decided to do something I typically never do. I played a sound clip in hopes of seeing if the bird I was after was still nearby. Moments later the bird I was here for, a Least Flycatcher emerged from the bamboo for a quick minute. I have been trying to get one of these birds on my List for years. Nemesis, no more!

Least Flycatcher

Next Sunday is the official start of Fall migration and I will be spending full weekends trying to capture and band birds at the banding site. More fun ahead!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Return of the Bald Eagles

If it is daylight I try to make it through Greenwood Cemetery to see if the Bald Eagles have returned for the season. Finally, on Saturday, one of the birds made it back and was perched in a distant pine tree near the nest.

Bald Eagle

On Sunday, I found the pair in the same tree just hanging out. Time to try for a new brood!

Bald Eagle

Last years attempt was unsuccessful. Good luck, you two.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Barn Swallows at the Cemetery

With our banding season beginning again, I have less time to explore. Well, I still do my lake checks but there has not been a lot around. I try to end my trip by swinging through Greenwood Cemetery while waiting for the return of the Bald Eagles that nest here every year. No eagles yet. However, I was surprised by the large flock of Barn Swallows foraging all over the property.

Barn Swallow

As always, swallows travel very fast and trying to get a shot is tricky. I got my best one during the middle of the stop. At first, I thought it was a Cliff Swallow but later investigation showed it was a juvenile Barn Swallow.

Barn Swallow

Several Chimney Swifts were also in the area but darkness was falling so I couldn't get any shots of them. Might have to swing through again tomorrow!