Well it’s probably over, but we were basking in unseasonably warm weather and we could still stay above freezing for a while. The past weekend afforded two pleasantly warm days without rain, so I took advantage of them both and went birding. These pictures are all from Saturday morning at the Portage. In spite of the pleasant weather, there weren’t too many people on the trails early, so I had the opportunity to stand still and observe some birds without disruption. Below, a group of European Starlings hanging out, their antics and expressions which I found entertaining. If you click on one of the images you can scroll through them.
I expected to see sparrows and was not disappointed. The usual suspects were available. Below is a Song Sparrow I saw early on.
The return of Dark-eyed Juncos…
One White-throated Sparrow sat for more than a second. He was just far enough away.
The Downy Woodpecker below volunteered for a photo shoot – you can scroll through…
Then there’s always a fascination with cavities…
Last week there were Golden-Crowned Kinglets available, this week i had more luck with a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.
I rounded a corner such as it was on the trail and encountered a young deer, who was then joined by two others and they took off gamboling through the woods.
It was nice to see some Canada Geese in the water.
There were a few Mallards is the water too – and in the air.
Below, White-breasted Nuthatches…
I was surprised by a noisily chattering Carolina Wren and managed to grab a couple photos as it flew up into the tree.
Below, a little melange of Portage characters.
Then there were Purple Finches and House Finches – together – making identification a bit confusing. The only Purple Finch I managed to get pictures of is below, and it’s likely a juvenile female.
Some of the House Finches below look a bit on the purple or raspberry side of the spectrum but they still appear to be House Finches.
Always nice to see a Red-Tailed Hawk, however briefly.
So the last bird I photographed was the Hermit Thrush at the top of the post and below. I first saw it in the woods far from the trail, but in true Hermit Thrush fashion, it responded to my attention and came and sat on a branch directly in front of me so we could exchange thoughts.
If I can manage it I will be back with a post from the Portage in April – looking a bit like it did on Saturday, with no leaves on the trees yet. I found a plethora of photographs I had never managed to develop and it will be an interesting contrast of early spring versus late fall.