Friday, July 31, 2009

Robert H. Long Park - A Kingfisher Day!

2009-07-31 10:00am - 12:00 pm Robert H. Long Park

Every day is different! Today Judy and I went to Robert Long Park, and were immediately rewarded with the sighting of a fishing Belted Kingfisher as we left the parking lot! In our prior experience the Kingfisher is one of spookiest and most difficult birds to photograph, so we were overjoyed! As it turns out, we heard and saw them all day. I think there were several because we heard and saw them in several places, but at least there were two that we saw feeding together at once. A truly "Kingfisher Day"! We got our best shots ever!

And, it turned out to be a "Wood Duck Day" as well. In the same "Outcast Corner" where we had previously seen at most two Wood Ducks, we saw at least eight! A whole bunch of kids (really "teens"). Yes (WRT my prior birder's memo), this is my former "ring-cheeked duck".

We caught a couple of new "peeps" (sandpiper things), but I have yet to process the pics.

The confirmed species list follows, and as I play with the pics, I will change a thing or two.

Belted Kingfishers
Killdeer (lots)
Ring-Billed Gulls (locally lots)
Lesser Yellowlegs (one)
Barn Swallows (several - some still feeding nested kids at bridge)
Red-Winged Blackbirds
Pied-Billed Grebe (at least two)
Great Egret (a few)
Double-crested Cormorant ( a couple - normally they are far off on stumps - today I shot them feeding and flying much closer)
Mute Swans (several - as usual)
Cedar Waxwings (occasional)
Wood Ducks (maybe 10-12 - where were they before?)
Canada Geese (lots - of course)
Great Blue Heron (we saw only one - unusual to not see more)
American Goldfinch (uncommon)
Eastern Kingbird (uncommon)
Mourning Dove
Chickadee (three - only seen in forest beyond bridge - but friendly and seemed expectant for feeding)
House Sparrow - Common near entrance (trash birds), but seen actually "working" in other places so I count them
House Wren (heard only - same place as usual just past bridge)
Two new "peeps" (sandpiper things) yet to be determined
Two swimming mammals (muskrat and?)
And a new dragonfly (I put it here especially for "Stylurus" to ID - he has lots of records of new D'flies from there and was kind enough to respond to my "Long blog" previously). Hey! I do not know about anyone else, but when I am looking for birds, any of those "fluttering things" grab my attention! I guess I will just have to walk thru the open door and learn about B'files and D'flies in the process! They are so beautiful!

Disappointingly, the guy (mentioned before in my blog) training his unleashed bird dog was back and active. I thought we might have made a difference! "Not!" I asked him if there were another site where he could do this that was not a nature park, and he replied "Not really". (I know Kensington is only about 10 minutes away...). I guess we had not made a difference after all! He threw his training "baits" into the water at minimally three primary sites we use for birding and flushed all local birds in the process. It is a good dog - it is the owner who needs training. As with most "evaders", he leashes his dog at and near the parking lot where some enforcement person might see him. I say he is another "Big proud macho man" and other unrepeatable things I have learned over the years... At our first encounter today, the unleashed dog ran up to us while we sat on a bench and (fortunately) only slimed Judy's upper forearm (but I was certainly unsure and weaponless other than my camera that I was willing to sacrifice!) at the time! (Photos of dog, owner, and truck license available on request...). Oh, well...

Anyway, it was a great "Kingfisher Day", and a "Wood Duck Day" besides.

No Red-Head today that we saw. And, we met no other birders - hey, it's Friday! Short lunch hour so leaving early is an option!

Yes, we love this place! And, it is so cool that birders frequent it! We got at least 23 species, and undoubtedly missed many more! We heard at least a half-dozen unknown birds sounds.


Stylurus said...

The dragonfly is a Blue Dasher.
On 7/31, I saw 7 peeps (6 Least Sandpipers and 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper). There was also 1 Solitary Sandpiper.

Regarding the man training his dog, I'd suggest writing to Commerce Township about the various issues. As more of us do this, maybe someone will enforce the rules. People are generally acting improperly such as letting their dogs loose, feeding the birds (ducks, geese, gulls), not picking up after this dogs poop, etc. Here's a website with an email. www.commercetwp/parks_long

Janet said...

Hi Dr. Bob,

I am so pleased to hear of your wonderful adventures at Long Park. I am a Commerce resident and go birding at the park quite often. Perhaps I will run into you and your wife out there sometime.

The park offers something interesting for the birder all year long.