Roundup of a few more fall migrants in the park

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet on the lawn.

Looking for birds on my lunch hour, which I tried to take as late as possible. Birds are more likely to forage later in the afternoon than midday, and the light was more indirect. I was also trying to avoid the crowds of people, which only got worse as the warm weather persisted toward the end of the week.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglets were abundant all week. You rarely see the ruby crown for which this bird is named (it looks like a little dab of bright red nail polish on top of the head, and the bird has control over whether he shows it or not). Sometimes they’re in the grass, but more often they are nervously flitting about in the trees with a distinctive flutter of the wings. Sometimes they’re as curious to see me as I am to see them.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

There were Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers flying quickly from tree to tree, landing upright. These trees are popular with the sapsuckers, as you can tell from all the holes in their bark. Sometimes the sapsuckers whine like little kittens, and I can whine back to them. This bird was silent but undeterred by my picture-taking.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Also fond of trees are the Brown Creepers, who fly to the bottom of the tree and start creeping up, looking for insects. Then they fly down to the bottom of the next tree.

Brown Creeper

They might seem like little “nothing” birds – nothing flashy, small, unassuming – which is to their advantage, I’m sure. They go unnoticed as they blend in with the bark. I like them because they seem very focused, which is a quality I’d like to cultivate.

Brown Creeper

In the middle of the park as I sat on a bench waiting for sparrows to show up, a juvenile White-Crowned Sparrow flew into the yews.

Juvenile White-Crowned Sparrow

There was a Palm Warbler down in the gutter by one of the tennis courts, characteristically bobbing its tail. This was a hot spot for sparrows for a few days, and it’s where I first saw the Black-Throated Blue Warbler from my last post before he moved to the less-photography-friendly location where I took his picture. But the cement background doesn’t do much for this bird either.

Palm Warbler

2 thoughts on “Roundup of a few more fall migrants in the park

  1. Thanks, Katie! That’s a great compliment coming from somebody who knows what she’s doing: your photographs are breathtaking (and you’re in Santa Fe, where I lost my heart a long time ago).

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