Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It Twas a Dark and Dreary Day...once again...

 The Song Sparrow was singing because I couldn't...or can't...

 After three lovely days of having the flu and missing work, I decided to try to escape to the wilds. I looked at the thermometer and saw that it was in the mid sixties...and a little cloudy. What the heck, I need to get outside! I heard about Short-eared Owls zooming around at Sandy Ridge Reservation the previous day among others...I'll head out there. Yeah, that will be a good idea. Camera, binoculars, water, snack, cough drops, LOTS of tissues...ready...I'm off.

You know what they say about well made plans...there's always a snag...and you know it's me...somethings gonna happen! Suddenly the winds shifted...and picked up...the temp dropped to about 45 and we were completely cloud covered. I'm here, so I'm gonna walk no matter what! I also have my rain cover for the camera just in case!

It didn't rain thankfully...and I brought enough tissues. And the cough drops kept me from scaring away any birds that were there...except for the owls which I never found...or most of the ducks...or the woodcock...or thrush...vireos...warblers...anyway...I had a nice walk and it was great to get out and wander around and get some fresh air.

 You can tell this is an American Tree Sparrow by the bi-colored bill.
Uh...well, if he didn't duck you'd be able to tell...
Gotta love the patterns on the backs of sparrows!

 There ya go!
Bi-colored bill!
Told ya so.

Love that scare hair he has!

 Orange-breasted Ground Thrush.

 There's a Bald Eagle in there!

 He was embarrassed about something...

 I forgot to mention that I saw a Song Sparrow out there!

 As usual, the Kingfishers were far away...and the grayness of the day made for dark and moody pics.

 I did see a number of ducks, though they were on the other side of the marsh...a little too far for getting any good photos.
The Blue-winged Teals were a bit closer.

 There were quite a few pairs out there...

 "Hello Red! I have anything stuck in my beak?"

 Canada Geese are sloppy eaters...always drooling...and we won't discuss what they leave on the trails...or the soles of my boots...

 I think I mentioned the fact that there were dozens of Song Sparrows out...didn't I?

 Those two male Green-winged Teal were getting ready to rumble over that hot babe...
Ah, spring is in the air...quack...

 I have never seen a shy Mallard before...

 Squirrels, yes.

 Otters, no.

 Now, a couple two, three Song Sparrows singing, yes...just a few...hundred...

 I haven't seen any Red-headed Woodpeckers in quite some time.
This guy was worth the trip out there!

 So, as I was leaving the marsh and heading back into the woods, I saw a shadow streaking into the trees to my right. I backed down the trail slowly, hoping for an owl...scanning all of the low limbs where I thought I saw the bird move. I made it all of the way out, back to the edge and didn't see a thing. When I turned around to look at the marsh, this Red-shouldered Hawk was about twenty feet in front of me staring me down!
That was the shadow I saw!

 Oh, and there was another Song Sparrow there as well...
 (meanwhile, back at the hawk...)
I slowly walked away from the hawk so I could get a full shot of him. 
He posed for a minute, still staring me down...wondering if I was weak enough to kill and eat...

 He flew to another snag so I could get a profile shot too!
Such a nice bird...and yea, I was talking to him the whole time, that's why he was watching me.
"Crazy humans..."
 The Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows were zooming around...faster than I can focus.
Luckily this Tree Swallow sat still for a moment.

Song Sparrow. 

 Oops...I spoke to soon...he's off!

 Not the best lighting for a Red-winged Blackbird...oh time!
I'll leave you again with just one more Song Sparrow...from behind!

See ya soon!