Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Wandering for spring migrants

Ever been followed through the woods by a nuthatch? This little guy followed along, tree to tree, flew directly at our heads, as if he thought there might be peanuts in our pockets. Funny! Especially hilarious is that Mike at 10,000 birds had the same experience last year! Have to wonder if this isn't the same crazy bird. There were some 23 species of warblers at Garret Mountain on Saturday, but all I got was this lousy pic of a cute nuthatch... story of my life. Garret is generally a magical place on a spring day and I've never had a bad visit. The only disappointment this time was with the weather... gray and rainy and foggy... but the birds were dripping from the trees. We could easily have chosen any oak tree at random and spent the day beneath it. As it was, it was difficult to know where to focus the binoculars... difficult to focus on any one birdsong... difficult to not be distracted by what might be ahead in that other oak tree.
Focusing the camera lens was just as difficult. The good birds were too high up in that awful diffused light of a foggy day and were too busy feeding and flying about and chasing one another for any pics. This Canada Goose with its goslings was forced into a photo op... hissing all the way.

Most frustrating were the warbling vireos singing everywhere, none willing to come into view. It felt silly to chase such a plain-looking bird, but that song was maddening. Spring Beauties made a pretty carpet on the forest floor, dogwoods were blooming, and this maple had its keys hung out on display. Anyone have a guess at which maple this is?


Forest Green said...

I think that might be a Red Maple. You can see a similar photograph that I took of a Sugar Maple here:


A useful identifying characteristic is the angle between the wings in a pair of fruits. I just love the colour in these.

bobbie said...

Followed tree to tree by a nuthatch - there's got to be a really funny line there somewhere, but I can't come up with it.

And "birds dripping from trees" - I love it! It must have been a rather frustrating day for you, but I think I'd have enjoyed it. Meantime, I was lazing around through a warm, sunny day here. I few miles down the road can make such a difference.

Mike said...

You know, Laura, that looks suspiciously like the same bird...

Dr. Know said...

Nuthatches are comical little guys - but this one may be a crazed stalker. Better not take chances on him being just overly curious...

I found this in the Camellias yesterday:
Robin Chicks - while working on this garden path. (Yes, I'm working in the dark...)

I dare not try to take pictures of the Bluebird chicks however, lest they become upset.

dguzman said...

My guess is red maple too. They're shockingly pink.

I had a flock of orioles following me around the other day; it was awesome!

Susan Gets Native said...

That looks just like the whirlies on our red maples.

I remember that dude in the picture! He was at the bird walk at Higbee that day we were all there.

Rabbits' Guy said...

My mother liked butterflies. She is dead now. Sometimes a butterfly follows me ....

any dead relatives liked nuthatches???

LauraHinNJ said...

Forest green: Yes.. the color combo is pretty unique.

Bobbie: Not really frustrating, no. Turned out to be just beautiful in the end.


Mike: Yeah... I bet it does.


Dr. Know: Thanks for sharing those pics - excellent find! And that path looks lovely.

Delia: A flock of orioles? Jeesh!

Are there different types of red maples? I looked at the keys on one today and they weren't two-toned like these?

Susan: Yep.. that's Pete from SHBO.

Rabbit's Guy: Thanks for the laugh!