Since pretty much every day this week has cracked triple digits on the thermometer, I have stayed indoors as much as possible. I imagine that even if I were to head out to one of the local parks, I wouldn’t see much. So here are some random photos from around town that I took earlier this year that haven’t been blogged yet:
This Yellow-Throated Warbler was singing its heart out at the Broad Ripple Art Center back in April.
So was this much more conspicuous Carolina Wren.
This Chipping Sparrow was hanging out in Holcomb Gardens at Butler University back in April, too.
Great Blue Heron
Back in October, Jaime and I were at the 100-Acre Wilderness of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and saw this Great Blue Heron.
We got a pretty good look at a usually reclusive Swainson’s Thrush that day, too.
I had never heard of Skiles Test Nature Park until recently, and I have now gone there on consecutive weekends. My first trip yielded two lifers (Common Yellowthroat and Field Sparrow) but no photos. My trip yesterday yielded no lifers, but some decent shots of the things I saw the first time. A fair trade-off.
The Common Yellowthroat is a new world warbler that is common and has a yellow throat. They were everywhere at Skiles. I would hear them whistling from deep inside of a bush or behind 15 feet of leaves and branches, only to see them as they flew to the inside of another tree at approximately 700 miles per hour. This resulted in two things on my first trip: no photograph, and a frustrated determination to go back and wait as long as necessary to get a good shot. On trip number two, I only had to wait about 5 minutes before one showed itself out in the open. This is actually the only photo that I got, and thankfully it is clear enough that I am now satisfied.
The Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher is an old world warbler that is blue-gray and catches gnats. Much like the Common Yellowthroat, they also fly around at 9,000 miles per hour but don’t mind being out in the open as much, so thankfully I got an okay photograph.
The Field Sparrow is a sparrow that lives in fields. It was also probably the most common bird I had never seen before this past week.
The Cedar Waxwing does not live in cedar trees and does not have wax on its wings. I know I put up a picture of one recently, but since they are the best bird ever, here’s another.
Here is everything I saw:
1.) Brown-Headed Cowbird
2.) Red-Winged Blackbird
3.) American Goldfinch
4.) White-Breasted Nuthatch (vocalization only)
5.) American Robin
6.) Carolina Wren
7.) Red-Eyed Vireo (vocalization only)
8.) Eastern Towhee (vocalization only)
9.) Northern Cardinal
10.) Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
11.) Gray Catbird
12.) Downy Woodpecker
13.) Mourning Dove
14.) Carolina Chickadee
15.) Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
16.) Cedar Waxwing
17.) Chimney Swift
18.) Common Yellowthroat
19.) Great Blue Heron
20.) Willow Flycatcher
21.) Field Sparrow
22.) Barn Swallow
23.) Tufted Titmouse (vocalization only)
24.) Indigo Bunting
25.) Eastern Wood Pewee (vocalization only)
26.) Baltimore Oriole
Since I haven’t seen much of note lately, I will share some birds I’ve seen in various travels over the past couple of years.
While in San Francisco in the summer of 2010, I came across one of the more famous established populations of introduced parrots in the United States (there’s a movie about it if you don’t believe me, and yes, Jaime and I have watched it). They call them Cherry-Headed Conures in the movie, but the generally accepted birding name is Red-Masked Parakeet.
The Brewer’s Blackbird is about as common as the European Starling in San Francisco, but I had never seen one before the trip.
The Great Egret can be found in Indiana, but I got a pretty good photo op of this guy while in San Francisco, too.
I discovered this Pygmy Nuthatch while biking the Front Range of the Rockies in Golden, Colorado in spring of 2010.
This Worm-Eating Warbler was sunning itself on a mountainside in the Shenandoah National Forest in Front Royal, VA when I lived close by in the summer of 2007.
The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is another Indiana resident, but this one was photographed at my parents’ house in Apex, NC in the spring of 2008.
And ditto for this Brown Thrasher.
Migration season is over, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have a productive birding outing. I went back to Eagle Creek Park today to see what I could come up with. I ended up with 38 species seen (I was able to visually identify every bird that I heard!), including one lifer:
The Willow Flycatcher was my lone lifer of the day. It is one of several nearly visually indistinguishable species within the genus Empidonax, but I was able to listen to this one singing long enough to commit the song to memory and look it up when I got home for a positive ID.
Warblers are tricky to ID and even more difficult to photograph, but not the Yellow Warbler. The obvious plumage and sheer number of these at Eagle Creek allowed me to get a decent shot.
The Cedar Waxwing is my all-time favorite bird. This one is participating in one of my all-time favorite activities.
This is a Song Sparrow.
And in an encore performance from last weekend, another Northern Cardinal, just because it was there.
Full list (in order of appearance):
2.) Canada Goose
3.) Carolina Wren
4.) Brown-Headed Cowbird
5.) Northern Cardinal
6.) Downy Woodpecker
7.) White-Breasted Nuthatch
8.) American Crow
9.) Blue Jay
10.) Red-Bellied Woodpecker
11.) Indigo Bunting
12.) Cedar Waxwing
13.) Carolina Chickadee
14.) Mourning Dove
15.) American Goldfinch
16.) Gray Catbird
17.) Yellow Warbler
18.) Rock Dove
19.) Common Grackle
20.) Barn Swallow
21.) Song Sparrow
22.) Double-Crested Cormorant
23.) Red-Winged Blackbird
24.) Willow Flycatcher (lifer!)
25.) Chimney Swift
26.) Baltimore Oriole
27.) American Robin
28.) Wood Duck
29.) Brown Thrasher
30.) Tree Swallow
31.) Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
32.) Red-Eyed Vireo
33.) Tufted Titmouse
34.) Great Blue Heron
35.) Hairy Woodpecker
36.) Eastern Wood Pewee
37.) House Wren
38.) Prothonotary Warbler