Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Bird Drought Continues

I don't remember things being so slow this time last year. We have visited Tommy Thompson Park a few times, and haven't seen very much. The yellow warbler has been ubiquitous, which is great, but there seems to be a drop in the number of flycatchers and gnatcatchers that we used to see.

In general, we are seeing a lot of baby birds- terns, gulls and cormorant chicks, but not Kingbird, Yellow Warbler, and Baltimore Oriole chicks. Also, the warblers seemed to have moved further north. Of note, we have seen a Western Sandpiper, and Upland Sandpiper.

We went to Carden Alvar, and saw more Upland Sandpipers, and a Wilson's Snipe. The trip was disappointing because we thought that we would see more species. For example, there were supposed to be Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos in great numbers, but we didn't see any. Nor did we get a glimpse of a Loggerhead Shrike.

This evening, we decided to bird the Spit. Right above our heads when we parked the car, were a small group of baby Barn Swallows. It is very unusual to see Barn Swallows at rest. We hung around and tried to capture some shots of one of them getting fed. This proved to be more difficult, than I thought. I could never anticipate which nestling would get fed. At one point, the parent briefly rested on the hydro line, in order to check us out, so I got to get some shots before they all flew off to another spot. I am hoping that, at least, my husband was able to get of shot of one of them being fed. They were awfully cute.

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