Monday, May 30, 2016

Early Nesting Activity

In the last week and a half I have seen lots of breeding evidence, with a few opportunities to photograph this activity.

When Vermont did the breeding bird atlas (2003-2007), June 1 was the safe date for many species, particularily for neo-tropical migrants. "Possible" and "Probable" designation were not acceptable. Breeding had to be confirmed. Of course, there were earlier safe dates, depending on the species.Those "safe dates" were pushed earlier for nearly all species during the course of the atlas survey.

Ten years later, I don't remember how that applied to different species, but my sense it that breeding is generally becoming earlier as Spring becomes earlier.

On May 15, I posted a photo of a Baltimore Oriole nest whose construction was nearly complete. The female was working on the nest (but not when I had my camera aimed, alas).

Here are a few more "Confirmed" breeding photos ...

American Redstart, female, May 21, Hinsdale setbacks, checking size, shape, and fit of the nest she was building ...

American Redstart
Eastern Phoebe, May 21, Hinsdale setbacks, carrying food to nest ...

Eastern Phoebe
Brown Thrasher, May 21, Hinsdale setbacks, carrying food to nest ...

Brown Thrasher
Black-throated Blue Warbler, female, May 23, West Dover, gathering nesting material (birch bark) while her mate kept an eye on me ...

Black-throated Blue Warbler, female
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler, female, May 21, West Dover, gathering nesting material ...

Yellow-rumped Warbler, female
And finally ... no birds. Just one of the many beaver ponds scattered throughout the Green Mountains and creating open space, edge, wetlands, and assorted nesting places for many species, and a tranquil scene for an early morning wanderer ...

Good birding!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Red-winged Blackbird

There is always a temptation to overlook the common birds, especially when there are so many new arrivals filling the airwaves with song and wing.

But ... when I am birding with my camera I am also looking for the esthetic, the arresting, trying to grab a composition which fleets in and out of view.

Such happened with this Red-winged Blackbird a few days ago ...

Good Birding!!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Backyard Birding

The backyard has been very busy in the last couple of weeks. This is just a sample, beginning with the four pair of Evening Grosbeaks and three pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks ...

Evening Grosbeak (male)

Evening Grosbeak (male)
Evening Grosbeak (male) with Brown-headed Cowbird (male)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male) and Evening Grosbeak (male)
If the Blue Jay was a rare bird, we would fall over ourselves in admiration of its beauty, but they are common, noisy, and perceived as bullies - though in actuality, no worse than any of the other birds at the feeders who will chase off other birds to get their favored seeds. I love the jays - raucous rogues that they are ...

Blue Jay
Year round birds accustomed to our presence and almost pets, are the Tufted Titmouse and Black-capped Chickadee. This one came to the rock five feet from where I was sitting to grab a hunk of suet that had fallen from the eave feeder ...

Tufted Titmouse

Black-capped Chickadee
The Red-bellied Woodpecker has been in the neighborhood for about seven years. Unlike the Downy and Hairy which wait for me to put out the suet in the morning, the Red-bellies are still wary and shy, but eagerly come to the suet and feeders and always provide stunning entertainment ...

Red-bellied Woodpecker (male)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (male)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ooops! But Still Good Birding

Ooops! I forgot to bring the feeders in two nights ago, and the bear took down the suet and destroyed the tube feeder. Blame it on the little gray cells getting older and forgetful.

The birds noticed the absence and were feeding in different places, but I am confident getting every bit as much seed as before, while the squirrels perhaps got less.

Highlight of the day was the Indigo Bunting. Not a new yard bird, but one that does not visit the yard or feeders every year. This year he has been here and what a treat! ...

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting
Also, a rare treat was the female Baltimore Oriole which came briefly to the (replacement) suet feeder. Only once several years ago have I succeeded in attracting the orioles to the feeders. BTW, the oranges in the previous photo were put out in hopes they would draw the oriole. No luck there. The oriole did not cooperate on photos, so this is the only documentation I have ...

Baltimore Oriole (female)

With the absence of the tube feeder in the yard, the grosbeaks came to the window feeder right by the kitchen table - up close and personal with these gorgeous, if voracious, birds ...

Evening Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female)

And while I am on the grosbeaks, this is the first time I have seen a Rose-breasted Grosbeak visit the suet feeder ... just visible on the back side of the feeder ...

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Finally ... just because ... at least two pair of Gray Catbirds have been in the yard and visiting the suet feeder, along with Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, represented by the Downy below ...

Gray Catbird

Downy Woodpecker

Hinsdale Setbacks

I made two morning trips to the Hinsdale setbacks south of Brattleboro along the Connecticut River. Highlight was the Red-necked Grebe seen this morning.

Red-necked Grebe

Rec-necked Grebe
 Migrants are still moving through, such as the White-crowned Sparrow seen Thursday, but not on Saturday ...

White-crowned Sparrow
Residents are well into their nesting season with territorial singing and defense, courtship displays, nest building, and even feeding young ...

Common Yellowthroat

American Redstart

House Wren

Warbling Vireo

Baltimore Oriole

Yellow Warbler

Yellow-throated Vireo

Northern Rough-winged Swallow
 As we walked along the old railroad bed, we saw a pair of thrasher in the road and shrubbery. When we reached that point, we lingered to watch an oriole constructing her nest, then realized that the thrasher was waiting for us to move on so it could carry food to its young in the nest. We moved on ...

Brown Thrasher
Baltimore Oriole nest
 By late morning, the sun had warmed the world, and one of the first butterflies I've seen for the season made an appearance, the tiny Eastern Tailed-Blue.

Eastern Tailed-Blue
Good Birding!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hooded Merganser

I've finally been able to get out for some birding and photography, plus some "serious" research in the back yard.

I'll begin with a trip to Wilson Wetlands in Putney, and the pair of Hooded Mergansers - plus a Spotted Sandpiper in fresh, spotted, breeding plumage ...

Good Birding!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails