Tuesday, September 30, 2014

First Post...

Here is my second attempt at starting and maintaining a blog. Let's see how it goes. I'm probably going to be really bad with pictures though, since I have no quick access to uploading pictures. Anyways, I've been itching to write, so let's talk about the last two days.

Sunday, September 28th. 

 Sunday was a bright sunny, but decently cool day. I wasn't feeling that great but hopefully, in an attempt to clear my sinuses, I went for a walk to my neighborhood patch. I went a different way, across the soccer field.

Before we start there, let's talk about the copperhead. There was a dead copperhead on the side of the road. Its front half had been smushed but its tail was still plump. It was interesting to see a copperhead around there but not uncommon; a neighbor of mine had seen one in her garden once, and they are apparently in my 'backyard' creek. I have yet to see one, though.

Across from the fields of soccer was a path following the power lines. This path was mainly field and brush, home to towhees, house finches and sparrows (thanks to someone's feeder), field sparrows, yellowthroats, and apparently indigo buntings in the summer, but I have yet to see one there. Many butterflies were seen dancing among the goldenrods and other yellow flowers.

The path forks into two; one is the 'greenway', which is basically a path of grass cut through a forest, and the other way continued alongside the power lines. The greenway is where I had seen my lifer Yellow-billed Cuckoos before; on all my other walks to the nature path, I had always neglected the greenway. Anyways, I decided to follow the path into the field. In the deepest part I found Asiatic Dayflowers, the largest clump I've ever seen. I tried taking one and putting it in my notebook but it didn't turn out well. At least I know where to get more!

The path was mainly quiet, with a few house finches and crows. As I walked, it forked off again- one leading downhill and one leading towards a road. I took the downhill path, since it seemed like a better idea. By this time I could hear a Red-bellied Woodpecker calling angrily in the small patch of forest down below, and I saw willows, indicating there was swampy land. I started downhill, stopping in my tracks. I had seen movement up ahead. I saw the tail of a Black Rat Snake. Not wanting to bother it, I hummed and stomped on the ground a few times to warn it I was there. I guess I had caught the attention of a female Common Yellowthroat, who perched in the golden flowers.

 I walked down the red-clay path, picking up titmice, chickadees, and that same Red-bellied. Overhead a Red-headed Woodpecker, molting some of its secondaries, flopped overhead like some weird bat. The trail (once again) split, one leading to the neighborhood and one overgrown one. I, of course, followed the overgrown one. It led me to a steep creek with small pools of water. Dogwoods were ripe with their red berries. I hadn't known it before, but I found bird paradise. The first bird I noticed was a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a new bird for the 'hood. Next were Gray Catbirds, eating the berries, along with their cousins the Brown Thrashers. A White-eyed Vireo sang weakly nearby. Cardinals ticked and crows cawed. I'm certain a few thrushes were in there too.

I crossed the deep ditch and continued walking. The same American Crow was perched high on a tree, bobbing his head and calling. I was following another trail again, similar to the greenway trail. I heard Carolina Wrens scolding and catbirds mewling. Another Dogwood was fruiting. Anyways, this trail led me back to the original Cuckoo-Greenway (maybe that's what I'll call it). There, I picked up two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, first of the season, robins, and the first real migrants I've ever seen there! The forest was filled with them, the Halloween Warblers- redstarts, mainly female, (but I did see a male), a very pretty Chestnut-sided Warbler, a Black-and-White Warbler, female, and more grosbeaks, alongside some empids, a Least Flycatcher, and an Eastern Wood-Pewee. All of these except the pewee were new!

Around 1:45 pm activity died down, so I made my way back home. I saw a very handsome Red-tailed Hawk on the power lines, but nothing new. I checked the soccer fields for bluebirds for my list but I couldn't find the usual family that is there, only some mockingbirds. It was a very rewarding walk and hopefully next time I can catch more migrants! Onto the next day:

Saturday, September 29th 

Yesterday I stayed home from school, still recovering. I guess I timed it well, for I found a redstart in my yard! A female as usual, she fanned her tail. I didn't have my binocs or camera but I was elated! This was just a small side note.

Alright, hopefully I didn't bore any of my nonexistent readers to death, but I did really want to write. Anyways, happy birding!

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