Saturday, May 14, 2011

You can leave your (tilly) hat on. (#141-143)

I got up (relatively) early today to join on the OFNC outing at Mud Lake, despite the uplifting forecast  (pouring rain x infinity). Well if April showers were supposed to bring May flowers, what the heck do May showers bring?
I knew I was late, so I figured they might have started already. When I got there though, they were nowhere to be had, so I checked in my Trail and Landscape, and it had started 30 minutes earlier than I thought! I could swear I had checked the time last night. Well, this meant I was actually 45 minutes late, so I got started on my own. I got talking to another OFNC member, Gillian, but after not too long we caught up to a group of people we thought could be them (A group of 20 people with tilly hats and binoculars and their heads all craned in the same direction? It's gotta be them.)

Well, it was a little bit quieter than I hoped, but I did manage to get three new blog birds. The amazing thing was having others identify them so quickly.

#141: Blue-headed vireo; Mud Lake, Ottawa; May 14, 2011
# 142: Blackburnian Warbler; Mud Lake, Ottawa; May 14, 2011
 What a gorgeous bird.
I pulled a full-on rookie move with this bird. "Um, guys, what's the one with the orange head again?"
#143: American Redstart;  Mud Lake, Ottawa; May 14, 2011
First time I'm putting a redstart on my blog. I remember well the first time I saw one. It was at the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and it was flitting around being very difficult. I kept saying, "I don't know what it is! It isn't in the book!" (It was.)
I have to remember that this is a "Field Naturalists" club and not just a bird club, so there was almost as much talk about plants as there was about birds. They kindly pointed out Jack-in-the-pulpit plants (cool!), trout-lilies (below, also known as Adder's Tongue, Dogtooth Violet, Yellow Adder's Tongue), garlic mustard (incredibly invasive but also delicious, so I am told), blue beech (the "muscle" tree), hackberry trees, purple violets and trilliums, and poison ivy (haha). Funny, aside from the obvious, I have never taken note of any of these things before. What do you say, does this call for a 100 plants in a year blog? ;) Well, it's a great big world out there, and so much to learn. I loved how with the rain today it felt like walking through a west coast rain forest. mmmm....
Trout lily. Funny name, pretty flower.

The other thing about this group is it tends to be a lot of the same people, so lots of familiar faces, and some of them really know their stuff. What a humbling experience. I feel like I have learned so much in the last year, enough to consider myself somewhat intermediate....then I listen to these people and I just put myself way back at the bottom of the totem pole. Rookie!

The leaves are really starting to come out and it's much more dense than last week. I'm pretty sure next week we'll have a full-blown canopy...

Well, I missed a lot of things that they saw and normally I really take my time and stick around until I get "the shot." I still got a few, and towards the end, we started having more luck (which of course, meant it started to pour).  But it was just too wet for d90 so I headed home at 11, hoping for a break in the weather later on. It didn't happen :(

Earlier this week on Wednesday, I headed out after work with Matt. It was such a gorgeous day, and we didn't go too far since gas was at $1.36 or something crazy like that. So we went to Shirley's Bay...Saw a thrasher behaving much like a robin, an eastern phoebe, terns, stunning orioles, a few geese on nests that I thought were going to charge right after us (they built their nests right beside the path!), and lots of the other usual suspects.
Eastern Phoebe
Beautiful Baltimore.
Single spotted sandpiper

There are so many awesome birds being reported that I'm missing. I'm planning to really study some of the songs so I'm more prepared for tomorrow, if it lets up a bit. I've found a few really promising links...
I definitely have my work cut out for me. Because in addition to this, I need to construct a rainjacket or something for d90.
mm-hmm. not glamourous, but promising.
I've got a few hopefuls, but won't mention them here. *Crossing fingers*


dwaynejava said...

Jenna, great birds! I think the Blackburnian was one of my favorite lifers. The orange of its throat seemed to burn my retinas. The BHV and the redstart are awesome as well. I saw my first male restart today oddly enough. Its one of the few warblers that breed at Pelee. The weather screenshot is hilarious!

❦ fitcetera said...

The other day a R.T. Hummer was sitting on a limb resting and the sun was hitting its throat just perfectly and lighting it up like a jewel and then a Blackburnian flew in to land a few feet from it. What a colour show!
One of the older regular birders drove by and asked me what was around and I told him about this and he replied, "So nothing worth mentioning then."
I hope I never lose my feeling of awe like some have.

I find those Eastern Phoebes so damn cute.

Lovely photos, Jenna.

Funkysandman said...

Good job! at least you didn't let the weather stop you. I was a home-body today and 'birded' from my front porch.

ummm...if you're a beginner than I'm the ultra n00b.

Looks like the balt. oriole and the blackburnian warbler are competing for coolest orange bird award.

ps. I hear shower caps make things water proofish