Monday, April 7, 2014

Mating Eastern Bluebirds at BHCL

It definitely felt like a Monday morning today.  But as soon as I started walking in the cool, fresh air, listening to birdsong and soaking in the sun at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land, my mood improved, and soon I forgot my complaints.  I was serenaded by the constant singing of Red-Winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows and Northern Cardinals, and their songs were occasionally punctuated by the crowing of the local rooster.

Here are the birds I saw:

American Crow
American Goldfinch
American Robin
Blue Jay
Cedar Waxwing
Dark-Eyed Junco
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebird
Great Blue Heron
House Finch
House Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Northern Cardinal
Northern Flicker
Red-Winged Blackbird
Rock Pigeon
Song Sparrow
Tree Swallow

A pair of Eastern bluebirds were mating on the trail very near the three birdhouses on the 2nd hill.  Bluebirds appear to have claimed at least two out of the three birdhouses in this area, but Tree Swallows were also flying around, so they may compete for them.

Today I saw at least 5 Tree Swallows.  Two stopped on a tree branch near me and twittered to each other like they had some very important things to discuss.  They are such a pretty bird, with iridescent blue-green feathers on their backs that shine in the sun.

Cedar Waxwing

I nickname Cedar Waxwings the "Zorro" of birds because of their black eye mask, and here he even wears a cape!  This was just the early morning light against the underside of his wing as he flew to a new branch to access more of this tiny fruit.  It does look like a cape, though, doesn't it?

I walked my lunch hour at Beals Preserve.  The sun had long since departed for the day, but the temperature was nearly 60.  I saw a Red-Breasted Nuthatch again, and again, it refused to cooperate for a photo.  Other birds of note included an Eastern Phoebe, a Golden-Crowned Kinglet and an Eastern Bluebird.  Mallards were on the pond, but I did not see the Wood Ducks this time.

My best sighting of the afternoon walk was of a mammal, rarely seen in these parts and right at the side of the trail!

Wait for it!


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