I went out on Saturday to see what I could before heading up to Fort Wayne for the weekend. Though there wasn’t a whole lot going on, I did get a lifer (Least Flycatcher) and some decent photos of common birds I hadn’t previously spent much time trying to photograph. I ended the morning with 30 species, which are documented on eBird.
This Least Flycatcher was performing some impressive aerial acrobatics. Luckily, he kept returning to the same perch so I was ready with my camera. These birds are one of the genus Empidonax, which consists of approximately 900 billion species of flycatchers that all look exactly alike. I have complained about this before on this blog, but these birds in particular look EXACTLY ALIKE. I was only able to identify this one because I had such a close look at it (to see that it’s grayness was more gray than the similarly gray Willow, Alder, Acadian, and Yellow-Bellied Flycatchers), and its habitat matched that of the Least as described in Peterson, plus they are apparently the most common of the eastern flycatchers.
After being infuriated by the flycatcher ID’s, I was able to calm down with some very, very easy birds. Take for instance this very inaccurately named Red-Bellied Woodpecker.
And this Hairy Woodpecker. It can be distinguished from its very similar cousin the Downy Woodpecker by the fact that it actually has a beak and not just a tiny nub.
I like nuthatches, like this White-Breasted Nuthatch, a lot because they behave so ridiculously and have really goofy calls that sound like the Martians from Mars Attacks.
There were about 30 billion American Goldfinches swooping around the park, and all of them had shed their yellow for their basic plumage. But this one let me get close!
Speaking of basic plumage, the reason this Yellow-Rumped Warbler is not sporting his is because this photo is actually from the spring of 2007. I did see a Yellow-Rumped this past weekend, but I found this picture on my computer and want an excuse to post it because it’s way better than the one I got on Saturday.