Saturday, May 21, 2016

Morning Birds at BHCL

I walked from 7-8:30 this morning at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land.  I wasn't expecting it to be such a beautiful day today.  Thought rain was predicted.  All in all, it was a pleasant surprise for the weather, birds and butterflies!

American Goldfinches (males)

Just after I took a series of photos of these two, they flew up in the air, squabbling with each other as they swirled upward.  I assume they were fighting over territory.

Gray Catbird

Yellow Warbler

Eastern Kingbird

Cedar Waxwing

There was a small flock of Cedar Waxwings, flying back and forth between the wetland area and the apple trees.  This one became obsessed with the remains of last year's Baltimore Oriole nest and plucked and picked at the strings, trying to "clean up" this branch!

While I was watching the OCD Cedar Waxwing, Mr. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak flew into the tree above me to say good  morning.  He later flew back into the apple trees.  Maybe I'll be seeing him more often this year!

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Baltimore Oriole (male)

Baltimore Oriole (female)

Magnolia Warbler 
(sigh, what a beauty!)

Warbing Vireo
(Does this poor drab bird feel badly about itself when the Magnolia Warbler is near?)

Common Ringlet

The Common Ringlet is a pretty drab butterfly, speaking of drab.  But, when it hangs from a grass stalk in the early morning light, it is redeemed!

Black-Billed Cuckoo
(see its identifying feature, the red eye ring)

Silvery Blue

And again, showing off its "silvery blue" wings

Black Aronia

Northern Cloudywing on Spotted Cranesbill

These flowers are GORGEOUS in all types of conditions!

Grapevines are starting to put forth leaves

(not sure whether house or purple)

Red-Winged Blackbird (female)
"Stay away from my nest area please!"

When I arrived, I noticed Barn Swallows for the first time this year.  They were on the freshly plowed community gardens.  I assumed they'd be looking for mud for nest building, so on my way home, I stopped at the regular parking lot and waited to see if they showed up.  I didn't even have time to get out of the car before....

I wonder what they do to get that muddy taste out of their mouths?  Or if it even bothers them?  Seems like this would be a very unsavory nest-building task, which they have to repeat over and over again.

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