Tuesday, May 20, 2014

History repeating (#308-309)

This long weekend was the perfect opportunity to finally get out and do some serious birding. I hadn't really had a chance to check out the migrants, but we have enjoyed watching the bluebirds and swallows that nest nearby.

*Erratum: Bird below is tree swallow, not sparrow. Clearly I was snoozing when photo editing :) Sorry about that!

On Saturday morning I headed to Mud Lake. I was there early (for me) but there were so many cars! I seemed to get there at just the right time because the trees were seemingly just drizzled with birds.

I never imagined that I'd get not one, but TWO lifers, on home turf especially!

Now I wouldn't be surprised if I'd seen this bird before, but I definitely haven't counted. In the past I had a hard time photographing vireos, and never had a definitive shot of a red-eyed. I underexposed this (of course, the same day I told some one "I never shoot RAW, waste of space, totally unnecessary," and it came back to bite me!) Anyways, I managed to pull something out of the shot, but do scroll down for WICKED shot of a red-eyed vireo the next day.

#308: Red-Eyed Vireo; Mud Lake, Ottawa; May 2014 
And many warbling vireos as well, doing that thing for which they get their name. I searched my own blog to see when else I posted about warblng vireos, and I think it's hilarious that three years ago, I was in the exact same place (Mud Lake) on the exact same day (May 17) and sightings were very similar.

Again, this is not a tack sharp, but it's the best shot I have of a Black-Throated Blue and a huge improvement over the last one. I've seen these twice before...my first, also at Mud Lake, was a female and I didn't even know what it was for the longest time, and my first male was just a fleeting glimpse in the thick of the brush.  Come one, how AWESOME is this bird? He has got a mask on!
There were so many redstarts around. I forgot they are quite tiny (warbler size....I seem to recall them being bigger) but they are so joyful! And I love that almost neon orange on his sides...he's wearing the uniform of the early 90s! (was it the 90s? I don't know, I was only like 4 at the time...)
I spotted this awkward baby cardinal hiding in the bus, and mom flitting around nearby. Not one I found by hearing the song....definitely trying to go unnoticed.
As usual, many many yellow warblers were about. I believe this is an immature (no streaks on breast), according to my National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (my absolute favourite guide, by the way).
East of the ridge, in the evergreens there were a ton of Cape May warblers and yellow-rumped warblers. The Cape Mays are a special treat...my first Cape May was in Mexico!

I walked past a man standing close to the water treatment plant and he waved me over and pointed out a blackpoll warbler. I didn't realize that I hadn't seen one, and I definitely would have brushed it off as a chickadee or a black-and-white-warbler! So, a lifer, just because this nice man pointed it out to me!

#309: Blackpoll Warbler; Mud Lake, Ottawa; May 2014

It was such a great day that I got that addicted adrenaline buzz and had to head back again the next day, this time one hour earlier. Worth it? I think so!
Much better shots of the red-eyeds...uh....yeah.
I'm quite certain about this warbler, although I didn't get a great view, just one quick moment and it was gone..
There were so many yellow-rumped warblers. I assumed the one below is a female, but is it normal for them to have a yellow eyebrow?
Many catbirds could be heard singing their uneven warbled song.
More adorable redstarts everywhere.

I didn't see nearly as many species as are being reported but I certainly had an amazing day. I didn't make a list, but saw (I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch):
- ooodles and oodles and oodles of cedar waxwings (so many this year),
- lots of yellow-rumped warblers
- cape may warblers
- warbling vireos
- red-eyed vireos
- 1 black-and-white warbler
- at least one blackpoll warbler
- several American redstarts
- many yellow warblers
- red-winged blackbirds
- 1 black-crowned nightheron
- 1 magnolia warbler
- tree swallows
- mallards
- gray catbirds
- downy woodpeckers
- great egret (overhead)

You may have noticed I've started putting text on my images, because I've noticed an increase in photo downloads and also some images popping up around the web (Pinterest...). That's great - it means people are seeing my stuff and that's really exciting, but want to make sure there is some reference back to the blog :)

This last shot I just adore...a cedar waxwing was totally silhouetted and the light play is totally fantastic.  I may even print this one up...I think it's just magical. Nice to bring a little art to my birds shots!

Until the next one,


Art G said...

Nice haul, especially Blackpoll. they are through here so fast I missed them the last few years. I don't think that is a yellow-rumped, as you point out, it does NOT have a yellow eyebrow, but the female black-throated Green does. The other candidate, Palm Warbler, has that rusty cap and a very distinct form. Lovely photo of the Tree Swallow (not Sparrow!). I have to get to Mud Lake again. Art

deepdowndawn said...

Thanks! I think I corrected myself when I named the file but not the text in the photo! I'll correct when I can! And I'll investigate the female black-throated green too. Thanks for your input :)

dwaynejava said...

Jenna, great birding! I think the one bird you had not labeled was a Magnolia Warbler. Red eyed vireos are beautiful birds and are pretty widespread... They even breed in Windsor! :-) They have a great call as well. It sounds like: "Here I am, where are you?" repeated from the tree tops. Great photos!