Due to the virus… I’ve been pretty much sticking to the same wildlife refuge and parks, but I try to look for birds each time I get out…
Here are a couple of the birds that I’ve seen lately…
This is the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. I’ve seen him a few times this fall. They will winter in South America, so I guess they will be leaving soon…
This one is often stays out of sight…
This is the Swamp Sparrow. They tend to hide away in the marshes or thickets, but you can often hear them. They will sometimes come out to investigate a birder who makes squeaking sounds, so if you think one is around and you want to see it, give a little squeak and see what happens. (Just make sure that there are only other birders around you, otherwise people might think you are a bit “off”), lol.
So, the birds have been migrating through my area, but I haven’t seen too many of them…
Each season has its challenges when it comes to birding, the fall is full of birds heading south, but the trees are still full of leaves and the birds are quiet, they aren’t singing to attract a mate…
That being said, it is still great to get outside and enjoy walking through the woods even if you don’t find any new species!
So far for the month of October I did manage to find 3 new species that I hadn’t seen yet this year…
Here is the first one. Not the greatest photo, due to the leaves and the fact that it is a Warbler (most of them enjoy being high up in the trees)…
It’s the Black-throated Blue Warbler. I know the photo is crappy, but you can see the very bold white wing patch and white belly.
They will move about the leaves, hopping around in one area for minutes at a time, foraging for insects, instead of zipping through the trees like a lot of warblers do. This makes it easier to find them, if you bend your neck back (the warbler neck) and wait to see one up in the trees.
The next bird I saw in October happened to be in the same tree as the Black-throated Blue Warbler, so my neck was killing me by the time I was done watching them!
It was the Red-breasted Nuthatch. I used to see them up in New England all of the time, the are common up there for all seasons. Now down in the Southeast, I only see them every few years if I’m lucky.
They will winter down in the Southeast. Often seen foraging for insects or seeds by going up and down tree trunks and branches.
Here is the latest bird that I saw in October. This one decided to come to my feeder to make it easy on me. 🙂
This is the Pine Siskin. There were 3 of them eating the seeds at my feeder the other day.
They breed up in Alaska and Canada, then winter throughout the US. Their migration is very erratic, some years they come southward in huge numbers, while other years they can be very scarce!
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve visited a few different parks or wildlife refuges.
Of course I was looking for birds, but there are still lots of leaves on the trees, which makes it difficult to get good photos of them…
I did want to show you some of the creatures that I did manage to see while out in the fresh air.
This is a marbled orb-weaver or pumpkin spider. They can be found in 19 states in the US and are most often seen in the fall.
This is a green frog, not to be mistaken to the green tree frog, this one was found swimming in the swamp!
I tried, I really tried, but I couldn’t figure out just which caterpillar this is! I don’t know if it will become a moth or a butterfly!!! After looking a hundreds of caterpillars on line, my best guess is the Great Ash Sphinx. It’s a moth that is found throughout most of the US… let me know if you have a better guess.
The Northern Cardinal is the only red bird with a crest in North America. The female is a lot duller almost tan compared to the male. They don’t migrate, so if you see them in the spring they should be around your area in the winter too.
The Carolina Chickadee is also a permanent resident and will not migrate. They look almost identical to the Black-capped Chickadee and the only true way to properly identify them is by the location of where you see them.
Their range goes up to central New Jersey across the US to Texas and south through the southeast states.
The Black-capped Chickadee’s range is from northern New Jersey across the US to Oregon and north up into most of Canada.
Last week we found a new park to go to near our home. Birders had posted seeing several bird species there recently that I hadn’t seen at all this year.
Mostly I was looking for the migrating warblers. I packed my binoculars and camera along with our lunch and some frisbees for disc golf, since there is a course at this park.
We got there, it was a bit hot and humid, but I was excited about seeing some birds!
First thing my husband wants to do is play disc golf! Oh well, I can still find some birds while playing in the woods…
I have my camera in a backpack stuck to my sweaty back, binoculars swinging around my neck as I take each of my shots for all of the 18 holes!
Let’s just say that it wasn’t one of my better games… I did really bad and I never did see any birds…
This week we decided to go over to the park again. This time I told my husband that I would walk through the woods along the course with him, but I was only looking for birds.
That actually worked out better for both of us, I got to look at birds and he was able to have a good game of disc golf without having to wait for me to shoot 2 or 3 shots for every one of his…
I never did see any new species, but I saw a lot of birds. When we got to the 18th hole, up ahead of us I saw a large brown bird fly towards me and land on a branch above my head.
It was a Barred Owl. It’s funny how I don’t know if I had ever seen one in the wild during my whole life and now I not only see one very close as it checks me out during my walk in the woods, but I have them living in my neighborhood and hear them a few times a week.
I tried not to take too many photos of this one since I have way too many photos of the one that keeps flying into my backyard!
Recently I posted about the poor squirrel in my backyard that has the botfly larvae in its neck…
Well the other day I saw a new squirrel that had come into my backyard for a visit.
This is a fox squirrel or eastern fox squirrel. They are the largest species of tree squirrel native to North America.
I’ve seen them before around the southeastern US. They are only active during the day and they spend more time on the ground than other types of squirrels.
They are great jumpers and can easily go fifteen feet in a horizontal leap. They have no problem jumping down twenty feet or more to another limb or the ground.
Let’s hope that this one doesn’t discover my roof and attic! It took a lot of time and money to cut down all or the trees and limbs that were too close to the roof and have all the squirrel holes patched up last year!!! I don’t want another squirrel getting into my house!