Friday, May 8, 2015

How many can you see?

It is fantastic!  The weather is great.  The birds are great!  Even flowers have started blooming.  This is the best time of year to be at West Campus in my opinion; every morning brings a new sight or sound to welcome me to work.
House Wren
House Wren house!

The last of the winter birds are finally heading north and our summer breeders are showing up and moving through.  Over the last few weeks we've gone from seeing twenty odd species of birds in a week to now approaching forty.  

Yellow Warbler- breeds on campus!

The other morning I came in a bit early, camera in hand, and tried to capture some of the wonderful sights that are awakening with the spring.  The photographs can't even do justice to how alive it felt and sounded the other morning.  The very first bird I heard was one that I just learned the song of the other day while in West Virginia.  A Worm-eating Warbler ( a new bird for West Campus) popped out into view before quickly flying north.  (I was super excited because this was only the 2nd time I had ever seen one at all).  
Trout Lilly

The rest of the bird chorus, I quickly started to go through in my mind.  Numerous American Robin's singing, Yellow Warblers chipping and singing as they fought over females, House Wrens setting up territories and claiming nest boxes, Red-winged Blackbirds in the distance, a Common Yellowthroat singing in the Phragmites reeds, a Warbling Vireo singing from inside a flower laden tree, and Gray Catbirds 'meowing' in the underbrush.  But one of the best surprises came when I was walking around later that day at lunch. 

How many birds do you see?

Here's another shot zoomed in a bit....

Baby Killdeer!!!  I've heard Killdeer on campus for over a month now and I know that in the past they have nested on rooftops of several buildings on campus.  This is the first time I have ever seen the babies.  This family is using a service road on campus as their 'pebbly beach' to nest on.  It's a tough life as the parents have to watch out for cars, other birds who want to eat the little ones, and even ground hogs (woodchucks). I made sure that I kept my distance from the family as I didn't want to stress out the family too much.  As I walked farther away I turned to take a shot photo of the overall area they were in when I noticed the parents making a lot of noise. Two groundhogs were walking on the road near the babies and the parents were trying to keep them away.  One adult was flying at one of the ground hogs and the other Killdeer was doing the broken wing dance to lure the other away from the young.  It seemed to have worked.  

6 is the correct answer!

Here's hoping the babies continue to grow!

Distant looks at a Scarlet Tanager

1 comment:

  1. Your photos are gorgeous. I notice you enjoy reading books by Jane Austen. Check out my blog as soon as you get the chance; I just posted a pic of one of my favorite quotes of hers, as well as a link to more quotes.
    A Path to Create, Not Find


    - Audra