I took so many pictures yesterday, including flowers and landscapes, I’ve decided to just concentrate on some of my “birding” pictures. Right now, on the East Coast of the U.S., in the mid-Atlantic states, we are having what is known as “the warbler migration.” The wood-warblers, family Parulidae, are small song birds many of whom winter in the Caribbean, southern Florida and eastern Mexico. Central Park, as it happens, is a great place to look for birds. There is a lake in the park, and immediately to the north of the lake is a wooded area known as “the Ramble.” This is the prime place to go to look for warblers. I’m new to this, and I only saw a few species, and got photos of fewer.
Lately, I’ve given up on the possibility of meeting anyone who can actually tolerate me, but for a decade, starting from the age of thirty five, I had profiles up on dating sites. Whenever I’d fill out those profiles, I’d feel really self-conscious about my hobbies and interests, all solitary and sedentary. So, I’d add hiking. Now, my idea of hiking is essentially a long walk. If it requires buying equipment at REI or EMS, well call the EMT because I’m about to start hyperventilating. But I do like a nice walk in the woods, so in order to not sound like a lump on a log, I put down hiking as an interest on dating sites.
About seven years ago, through one of those dating sites, I met a boyfriend who was a serious birder. This means waking up at the crack of dawn to go tramping through a swamp until sunset. Sorry folks, coming home and checking each other for ticks is not my idea of foreplay. I want lunch. I like to take a break and sit once every four or five hours. This is why I call myself a lazy birder. I’m probably an embarrassment to real birders like my ex-boyfriend.
Here’s my list from our weekend trip to western Maryland. New birds are in bold.
- Northern Cardinal (we saw a male feeding a female, which is a courtship gesture)
- White Crowned Sparrow
- White-breasted Nuthatch
- Black Capped Chickadee
- Red-breasted Nuthatch
- Tufted Titmous
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird
- Purple Finch
- Song Sparrow
- Chipping Sparrow
- Green Heron
- Downy Woodpecker
- Baltimore Oriole
- Eastern Towhee
- Red-winged Blackbird
- Wild Turkey
- Eastern Bluebird
- Scarlet Tanager
- Rose-breasted Grosbeak
- American Robin
- Yellow Rumped Warbler
And, after we left the state park and headed off to dinner, a Pileated Woodpecker!
Photos for those who are interested Read More
Last night I was at my sister’s house and early this morning I glanced out the window at the bird feeder. I saw a small brown sparrow with a pale gray breast and prominent, white “eyebrows.” I thought to myself, “That’s odd, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a White-Throated Sparrow at the feeder. They prefer to be on the ground.” I watched for a minute longer while the sparrow walked around the perch that surrounds the feeder. The morning sun hit the top of his head and suddenly I could see the rusty cap. It was a Chipping Sparrow. I’ve seen Chipping Sparrows in New York, but this is the first I’ve seen in Maryland and the first at our feeder.
Later that day, I saw the ever-present, ground feeding White Throated Sparrow.
Later in the day, I sat near the feeder with my camera to see if I could get a shot. After a few profiles, the Chipping Sparrow was kind enough to give me a good angle on that head.
In keeping with my self-described designation as the world’s laziest birder, I spotted a little bird outside the window when I was visiting my sister. I said, “Hey, what’s that there.” My sister said, “It’s just one of those annoying house sparrows.” I said, “No, to the right, under the azalea.” I went and got my camera. As I came back, the little brown bird hopped out onto the patio and into the sunlight.
I have tentatively identified it as a Hermit Thrush. There are a few very similar thrushes, so if a more knowledgeable person has a better id, let me know. We saw him scratching at the ground under some bushes that border the patio. He’s a little bit bigger than the House Sparrows.
Sorry, to the non-birders out there for the incredibly unexciting picture taken through a window. For the rest of you, here’s a fun macro shot I took on Saturday.
Clicking on the photo above takes you to a gallery of my macro photos.