Monday, April 16, 2012

Warbler search at Duke Forest

The trouble with spring birding in North Carolina is that once the pollen stops flying a little bit then the weather gets crazy.  Two intrepid birders got bundled up for temperatures in the 30's and headed out to Duke Forest with the intention of finding warblers while they are in the midst of their spring migration.  Our first stop off of Mt. Sinai Rd. yielded a yellow bellied sapsucker and not much else, so we tried the trail on Erwin Rd. where the trees were alive with the sound of music.  We did see warblers, but pretty much your garden variety warblers and nothing we could add to our life lists, but our guys were really quite impressive when you get right down to it.  A nice yellow rumped got our feathers pretty ruffled thinking he was a black and white warbler.  A beauty, but there's yellow on there, so no black and white warbler today.
Eastern Towhee

Palm Warbler--what are you doing here?
Chippies are everywhere, but I do enjoy seeing them although they are always
tricking me into thinking they're something else.

We saw a very noisy hawk sitting atop a huge pine tree and circling about, clearly agitated at what we never saw.  Saw a flash of white under the tail--Cooper's Hawk?  Some noisy towhees, a palm warbler, lots of chippers, and one mystery bird.  I'd love to say we snagged a lost black throated blue warbler, but I'm guessing it's a junco.  Any guesses?  Extra points go to anyone who can identify a bird from a lousy blurry photo!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bluebirds in the Nesting Box

After 3 years, we finally got some residents in the bluebird box! My husband and I had just discussed whether or not we should take the box down and try it in a new location.  Then, lo and behold!  In mid March, this bluebird couple starting scoping out their new digs.  We saw them flying back and forth bringing bits of moss to cushion the inside. We see them everyday doing whatever it is they do to prepare for laying/nesting/hatching.  For all I know, there could be eggs in there now!  Anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby bluebirds!
Here's the male checking out the box

Here's Momma inside.  Everything's fine!