Sunday, March 9, 2008

Vermilion Flycatcher

I spent about 3 and a half hours birding the Town and Country playing fields and the greenbelt area downstream of these fields today. I was returning at about 11:45 AM when I saw this male Vermilion Flycatcher by the creek. I've never seen this bird in the neighborhood before and it brings my neighborhood list to 172 species. Unfortunately I had promised to meet some old friends for lunch at noon, so I didn't have time to try and get closer to the bird for a better picture. But at least this picture is identifiable and shows the brilliant color. I was very excited to find this bird in the neighborhood. I've been hoping to see one ever since Andrea Hopkins told me she had one in her backyard several years ago.

It was a fun morning otherwise as well -- I found 55 species of birds. Starting out at about 8:30 AM I saw the Green Heron that has spent the winter on the creek. And I had a tantalizing glimpse of 2 ducks flying overhead that just might have been Wood Ducks but I couldn't be sure. I was happy to see 3 species of ducks on the creek just downstream of the first dam. There were Blue-winged Teal, American Wigeon, and a single Gadwall. I saw 13 Lincoln's Sparrows and 5 Song Sparrows -- more than I usually see of these species. And I found 2 Marsh Wrens and 2 Swamp Sparrows in a marshy area near the Parmer Bridge. As I was returning from the bridge I watched an Osprey over the creek near the last dam dive and reappear with a fish in it talons. I got this picture as it flew over me, heading downstream.

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