Judy and I went to Stoney Creek Metro Park (Inwood Rd. area above the park proper) to see if the Bald Eagle kid had fledged yet. She - the eagle kid - (banders identified her as a a female) was still on the nest and moving around and flapping quite a bit. Another birder - Joan Bonin - said she visited at least once every day to try to catch the day of first flight and expected it would happen very soon. The nest was quite far away and pics are less than desired, but we had reasonable views with binoculars.
From the parking lot, we had good views of the cell tower where the ospreys are raising their brood. Joan told us that she saw two fuzzy heads of the chicks a couple of times. We saw both adults and I did get a few pics of the adults that I might add later.
"Best bird" was the "lifer" Yellow-breasted Chat! It is a large warbler and is rare in these parts. It is always cool when eBird asks me to comment so that my sighting can be verified! Besides knowing it had been sighted here, I was lucky enough to be assisted by a good birder - Scott Gridley. Scott and I chatted :) earlier so I knew he was on the lookout for the Chat. As we were leaving, we stopped to chat with another birder, and I saw Scott waving me back to the Mulberry tree where the Chat had been sighted. Thanks Scott!!! Post haste we backtracked and were able to see the bird in question. I suspect for most birders in this area it might be a "nemesis bird", but my life list (now 184 species) is so short I seem to get many great birds before I get some of the most common ones. Interesting! Anyway, we watched three Chat flights from the Mulberry to other trees and back, and I did get a great look with binoculars. Sadly no pics.
Yes, I know this was "chatty", but tried to use caps where needed. A "Chat/chat" within a "ramble"! Now that is cool - or at least I think so ... ;)
As in all birding expeditions, as Judy and I say "You never know...". So here are two sets of pics of other birds. (Finally the object of the story ...)
Sexy Feisty Flickers Fancifully Flashing Feathers (say that fast three times!):
As we were walking to the viewing area for the eagles, I spied two birds along the road. Wisely this time, I did not use binoculars first but raised my new camera. I lucked out to capture an amorous encounter! (The male is the guy on the left with the "moustache"...)
|Do I have your attention?|
She did seem quite interested ...!
|Check out this tail!|
|How about these "pecs"!!!|
My best ever pics of a "bug-eater"
While observing young Tree Swallows waiting for aerial parents to bring food, I saw a different bird on nearby vegetation. Here are the pics I took. I would appreciate verification of my identification of the bird as an Eastern Wood Peewee. In "the books", I see it could also be a Flycatcher - maybe a Willow Flycatcher. I think the under-tail coverts should be darker in the Peewee?
|"Let's see if your new lens can find me in the weeds..."|
|"OK. Just in case, I will pose for you!"|
(I love the clarity of the new lens!!!)
|"Coming at you! Dare you to shoot me!"|
(Geez! Another lucky shot! I wonder how may people ever shot one of these guys head on!)
Whatever the ID, these are my best shots ever for this set of birds. I just love my new lens! Cool!!!
So ... without rambling further right now ... I just post this addition to my blog now and await feedback.
I hope y'all have a birdy 4th of July!!! I think I had mine a couple of days early.
[BTW, this area is fairly close and is great for birding and we would visit more, but the access road is a very bumpy washboard from the local farmers' machines and the fast-paced drivers, and it shakes the heck out of our car, so we do not do it much. I just want to keep the nuts tightened ...]