Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Big Week of Birding

Earlier this month, I spent a week at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory's Biggest Week in Birding.  It is a huge festival with lots of birders and a wide variety of birds. The main draw is arguably the warblers. There were few south winds to bring in birds, but the results were still good. Here are a few of the images that I made.

Magnolia Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

Yellow-throated Vireo

While much of the breeding displays are by birds on their way north to Canada, there are local birds that can be observed. This pair of Downy Woodpeckers were among the many woodpeckers seen displaying, breeding and excavating nest holes.

Downy Woodpecker mating

On a nature trail near the hotel, I observed this Downy preparing a cavity.  I am always impressed with how perfectly round they make the hole.

Nest Cavity

Another delightful bird is the Wood Thrush who sings a flute-like melody.

Wood Thrush in song

And, the open marshlands are rich with Red-winged Blackbirds, both male and female.

Male Red-winged Blackbird

Foraging female Red-winged Blackbird

However, warblers are really the biggest show at the festival, and there are some more that I really enjoy finding - Palm, Yellow and Prothonotary.

Palm Warbler

Yellow Warbler

I felt lucky to finally capture that quick leap to the next branch. They are really fast.

Leaping to the next branch

Birders get really excited when a report comes along of a Prothonotary Warbler anywhere in the main marsh. On one marsh trail, there were easily fifty people clustered to see a pair of them.  Seems silly. Surprisingly, the birds are pretty tolerant, perhaps due to the rich food present. 

But, there are quieter places to search out.  On the last morning, we went to a little used nature trail by the hotel, and had this single male Prothonotary pop up into sight.  There were only four people present.

The same nature trail had a great number of nest boxes, and in one there was this little Screech Owl catching some warm sunlight before sunset.

Hope you've enjoyed these images.


No comments:

Post a Comment