Saturday, September 1, 2007

Orioles and Warblers

I had a very long and very fun morning of birding in the neighborhood today. Fall migration is here. I counted 18 Baltimore Orioles on Stillforest and on the flood plain property. The bright orange and black males are so fun to see. (If you enjoy feeding birds, put some orange halves out and maybe you can attract a few.) I saw my first Cooper's Hawk of the season -- a juvenile getting harassed by 3 crows. And I saw 5 Mississippi Kites passing through the area. On the flood plain property I found 5 species of warblers:
The Blue-winged was most exciting since it is very rare to see in the Austin area in the fall. Plus it's a beautiful bird, and I got great looks at it. I've only ever seen this bird in the neighborhood twice before during spring migration. And both times were fleeting glimpses. I even got this picture -- it's pretty poor but I think it's good enough to identify the bird.

Something crazy happened while out this morning. A bird landed on my head! I was standing in the bed of the smaller tributary creek that joins Lake Creek at the end of Meadowheath. I was being very still and watching an Eastern Wood-Pewee when I heard fluttering very close to my left ear. It stopped and I felt something on top of my baseball cap. I moved my head, heard the fluttering again, and I saw an Empidonax flycatcher land in a tree nearby. This small active bird must have been distracted by a bug and mistook me for a good temporary perch. That was a first for me!

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