Sunday, October 5, 2014

Weekend Birding

This weekend I had the pleasure of birding the same spot both Saturday and Sunday morning! The location was Six-mile Creek Greenway, a paved greenway weaving through lowland forest.

Saturday, October 4th

This trip was a Carolina Young Birder's Walk, so of course I had to go. Matt, Ginger, a beginner birder who I met before at other walks, Michael, a younger birder, and his mother and I started walking around 9, later to be joined by four more birders later on. It was rather quiet in the beginning, with Magnolia Warblers and redstarts in the turning trees. Four Wood Ducks flew over, not an unusual sight there, but for the beginning it was quiet.

Then we hit a flock.

It started with me pointing out a small yellow bird. I saw it jumping around in the bare branches of a tree, the first confusing bird of the day. Matt said Philadelphia cautiously, with good reason. I managed to get some shots of the bird, which confirmed its ID. It was a Philadelphia Vireo! It was a bright adult, with a pretty bright yellow throat, heavier bill, and white lores, along with an eye stripe. It was a lifer for both of us.

A few feet up the trail the rest of the flock revealed themselves. More Magnolias, which we saw many of, along with redstarts, and Black-and-White Warbler, and Matt found a Chestnut-sided I didn't get to see. That was about it in terms of the warbler flock.

Farther down the trail we pointed out plants such as cucumber tree, jewelweed, smartweed (my guide was wrong, calling it pink knotweed. Matt got it right) cardinal flower, and some invasive species such as the privet that dominated much of the trailside.

Later we were delighted with views of a beautiful male Scarlet Tanager, Yellow-throated Vireos, and, again, Maggies! 

The day was decent, and the younger kids left, leaving Ginger, Matt, and I. We found a Canada Warbler however, the second highlight of the walk, and another lifer! I only got to see the rump/back and didn't see the face too well, but I heard it call and I'll take that. Overall, a good day!

Sunday, October 5th

Today I started out on another walk, a Beginner's Bird Walk (I'm not a beginner, but still) at the same Six-mile! A cold front had pushed through, dropping the temps overnight to the low 30's and causing the first frost of the season. I worked today, so we had to leave a bit early, but it was still much better!

We started out with flickers and Red-bellieds and a handsome Black-throated Blue Warbler, a male. He was still very pretty and blue!

We saw many more warblers, with my lifer Bay-breasted high in a sycamore. We saw more Bay-breasteds, Cape Mays, Black-and-whites, Maggies, redstarts, Chestnut-sideds, Blackburnians (very pretty!), swifts and empids! I really think the empids were Leasts, but didn't put that on the checklist in fear of 'oh no, those were ___,'. Oh well, eBird will survive.

I had to leave early for work- I'm sure no one knows where I work at, so here it is! I work at the Wild Birds Unlimited in Charlotte. Anyways, at work, one of my coworkers (and arguably the nicest person there) Ailsa reported a dead bird found in front of the store one morning. She had pictures of it- it was a Swainson's Thrush. I asked if the Walmart across the parking lot kept their lights on at night, and they did. I believe this migrant was stalled by the cold front, and, flying low, got disoriented by the bright glare of the parking lot lights. Tired, it smacked into the glass windows of our store. We don't have problems with window collisions normally- during the day we have decals and such and a feeder less than three feet from the windows. Poor little guy, but I'd assume it was one of thousand of night migrants who are killed by building strikes. Mecklenburg Audubon does Lights Out Charlotte and helps them! I wish I could volunteer for them.

Well, happy birding and may a rarity blow of course to you!

No comments:

Post a Comment