Sunday, March 28, 2010

First Hummingbird

I spent 3 and half hours birding the neighborhood this morning. I was hoping that the north wind that came in last night would have stopped some north-bound migrating birds here. There were a few around, but no more than I would have expected without the wind. The changing seasons are still evident in our year-round and winter-resident birds as well. The Red-shouldered Hawk nest on Chesterforest had a hawk sitting on it when I walked by. I got this photo, and you can just see the parent hawk's tail on the left side of the nest.

Along Meadowheath the Common Grackles have taken up residence again. I estimated there were at least 20 between Stillforest and the Town and Country playing fields. At the end of Meadowheath I was pleased to hear a few Chipping Sparrows singing. They are about to leave our neighborhood for the summer and it was neat to hear a few before they go. I got this photo of one of the singing birds.

Near the footbridge I heard the raspy call of a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, one of the earlier birds to migrate north through our neighborhood. It turned out to be a brilliant male, sporting fresh breeding plumage (including that dark line over his eyes and across his forehead). I was able to get this photo of him.

I ran into Barry Noret on the trail and we were excited to see the first hummingbird either of us has seen this year. It was in the woods near the end of Braeburn Glen. It was a male but it was back-lit, so we could not tell if it was a Black-chinned or Ruby-throated. In past summers I've seen a male Black-chinned in this area, so that would be my guess. I suppose I better put my feeder up!

A few other interesting birds we found were a pair of male and female Spotted Towhees, a single White-eyed Vireo singing, Purple Martins and Barn Swallows in the sky, and a Swamp Sparrow by the creek.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see my first hummingbird!