Monday, June 24, 2013

Why I bird...

I haven't been able to get out as much as I had hoped during the end of May/early June, as I have recently had two cameras and a spotting scope stolen from my home.  This had left me without any camera for a short time.  I rely  on my camera as my secondary (only to memories) way to capture my birding experiences.  However, it is my primary and best way to share them with others.

So, it was to be expected that I would purchase another camera and return to my birding norm.  Although, it was an unexpected and very depressing financial blow.  So, to get things off my mind, I decided to go for a long walk in some very deep woods that I have never been in before.  The canopy was so thick in spots, that  it seemed as if it was twilight when in fact it was close to noon.  The woods was very quite as it was kind of warm out.  As I proceeded to walk deeper in the woods, I could hear Pileated Woodpeckers chattering like mad.  I figured that they must have a nest just outside of the park property.  The leaves were so thick, that I could not see much ahead of me.  Then, out of nowhere, the pair of Pileated Woodpeckers started flying towards me.  Then a loud unknown squawk was heard, as a Cooper's Hawk came crashing down almost on top of my head.  The Pileateds were in hot pursuit.  The hawk hit the ground, and then saw me and panicked.  Then the woods came alive in bird song and alarm notes.  I was quickly reminded of why I bird, as I forgot about all the worries I had from the robbery.

Everything happened so quick, pictures were impossible to obtain of the encounter.  Here is the male Pileated, just seconds after it all.

Pileated Woodpecker

The rawkus agitated a pair of Ovenbirds that were apparently nesting in the area that the hawk came down in.  The male began to sing and the female was rolling on the ground flailing her wings.  It was very dark down under the canopy.




After my long walk in the woods, I decided to check the beach since it was still early for the large amounts of swimmers of the summer.  

The only bird on the beach was this Semipalmated Plover.  I would of not spotted it, but it was being chased by a little girl.  It was also calling, which I have never heard before.  It was like it was yelling HELP!


I quickly found out why I think it was calling.  It was hopping on one leg.  The bird finally had enough of the little girl's chasing and flew away.  As I was walking towards my car, I noticed the bird was standing almost beneath it.  I then noticed that the bird obviously had an injured leg.  

Semipalmated Plover

I then thought about my problems in relation to this bird.  There is no way to tell where or when this bird injured its leg, but it most likely had to migrate with it in that condition.  For it to be able to avoid predators and keep on flying is just amazing.  This is why I bird.

Semipalmated Plover

The bird was actively feeding, so I think it will survive to its breeding grounds.   

Semipalmated Plover

There has been an explosion of Blue Grosbeaks it seems at East Fork.  I have seen 4 males and one female, with all 4 males quite a distance from the next.  Recently, I was able to obtain a quick shot of one.

Blue Grosbeak

Since the bird was at quite a distance and in harsh light I returned the next day to get this shot out the car window.

Male Blue Grosbeak

Such a beautiful bird! I could watch them all day I think.  To see such gorgeous birds as this, this is why I bird.

As always, take time out to enjoy nature and try to take a child out birding as well.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Donald! Glad you were able to have such great experiences with all these amazing birds. Your photos are excellent; the Grosbeak is stunning!