Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bird Migration is On!

When the different warblers start showing up, I know migration has begun and I start looking around the trees to see who's visiting.

I didn't get great shots of this Northern Parula, but I'm excited to have any at all, since this is the first one I've seen.  They're not a rare bird, I just haven't come across one before.  They sure are cute.

Talking about cute - this little Blue-grey Gnatcatcher is adorable!  

They're so little and they flit around really fast and it's definitely a challenge to photograph them.

There's a lot of trees around the area, so it was hard to get a clean shot without lots of leaves.  

This Yellow-throated Warbler was zooming around the pines too.

Here's a shot from last year that shows how beautiful these birds are.  He was very nice and posed for me out in the open.

This is a terrible pic, but this Bluejay has been hanging around the yard and I have never seen one with this light grey colorization on his back and head before.  I'm not sure what's going on, if you know, please let me know - thanks! 

I came across some mentions of a south Florida version that sounded kind of like this guy - but I'm just not sure.  Then I thought maybe he was leucistic (a partial loss of pigmentation), but I'm not sure about that either.  I'll have to consult an expert.  I do like how the leaves make a cheery garland along the bottom of the branch :)

Just for comparison - this is what the Bluejays around here usually look like.

The moon has been gorgeous this week!  Here's a shot I took of it early in the week in its waxing gibbous stage at 90%.

Before it got dark, I noticed way, way up some Nighthawks gliding around.  One thing that indicates that they're Nighthawks is the white bars on the underside of the wings.

Recognizing some of the bird silhouettes helps too.  The long pointed wings, large looking head on the smaller body and the notched tail along with the white bars helped to ID them.  They fly in big looping patterns in the mornings and evenings. They were just too far up to get any decent photos.  At least with my equipment!

I read in an article put out by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology how to make a drip water feature for your birdbath.  Since moving water is well known to attract birds, they said you could set up a pail with a hole in it to drip water into your birdbath.  Well, what a great idea.  And I didn't have to spend any money.  

I did have to patch up the hole and redo it smaller so the drip is slower.  This little bucket has a plastic liner and I am a bit concerned about any toxins I might be leaking to the birds from the paint on this bucket - so I will be looking for a better bucket solution.  I was excited to try it and best of all - it worked!  Of course, a Cardinal went in it when I didn't have the camera...

I did have the camera when this little guy was about.  I'm not the best at identifying frogs and toads, so I'm giving a tentative ID of Florida Gopher Frog on this guy.  He was so itty bitty - really cute.  I've seen three of them lately.  Once again, don't be shy to correct me please! 

And this Two-striped Walking Stick came to visit on the lanai screen. He stayed for two days and then went about his way.  

I'm preparing the feeding stations in the yard in hopes of attracting the Holy Grail of American songbirds - the Painted Bunting.  Last year they showed up in September, but they were regulars in my yard by then.  I'm putting out some good vibes their way (and white millet), hoping they'll find our new place. 

Of course, I welcome all the birds to the yard - even the ones lots of people don't like or think of as a nuisance.  This Grackle looks determined to stay no matter what.  It's okay by me.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What fantastic photos! The Grackle in the last picture looks like he's giving the 'evil eye'. :-)

I totally love that dripping bucket idea.

Have a nice Sat. evening and a wonderful Sunday ~ FlowerLady

Janice said...

Hi Lynn! I love all your critter photos! The toad is so cute - what a neat pattern he's clothed in. I always look forward to seeing what our Florida blogger's are doing. I guess I need to get out and take some photos myself, I'm waiting for inspiration (ha-ha). Have a great week! _Janice

Susan said...

Hi Lynn, It looks like you have chosen a good bird area in which to live. What beautiful little birds you have found. How exciting when they begin to migrate south for the winter. Please post more as they show up. The blue jay is quite interesting. I have never seen nor heard of one with so much gray. Hope you find out more. Keep bird watching and posting!

Elizabeth said...

Heelllooo Lynn . . . it's been almost a month since you're last post. I know you've been seeing some birds and what not. Don't leave us! Your photos are just beautiful. However, the Grackle looks plain grumpy. Call it determined if you want! ;-)