This is the first of two short posts from recent visits to McGinnis Slough. I visited the slough the past two Sunday mornings. The 29th of August was cloudy as reflected in these photos. Just as I was about to leave, it started to rain, thus the rainbow farther down the page.
There were not many birds to photograph. The Wood Ducks were visible through the vegetation that has taken over much of the slough.
The Common Green Darner below is a marvelous dragonfly. This is the female of the species.
A brief visit from a Red-tailed Hawk…
A few Great Blue Herons remain on site.
These berries caught my eye – but I bet they’re all gone by now.
I don’t know why I try to capture swallows in flight, but sometimes I almost do. Barn Swallow below.
When I sat down on the picnic table at the north end, I inadvertently disturbed an American Toad that was sitting underneath it.
Milkweed beetles, chicory flowers and a Monarch Butterfly.
One more of the Great Egret that’s also at the top of this post.
I came home to a cloudy situation in the yard, not many birds available, but sort of captured this female House Finch leaving.
I’ve been busy birding every morning and now I have to keep up with all the photographs as fall migration kicks off.
I’ll be back with another brief stop at McGinnis from yesterday and some different birds.
Too many birds, too many pictures and not enough time. How can that be? I give up, at least for the moment. Yesterday’s summery sunshiny weather produced some wonderful encounters with birds that simply cannot wait. Pushing all my other planned posts, aside, here we go!
Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers have arrived in abundance and were generally the first to distract me. They are notoriously difficult to photograph but yesterday was the exception. In the sequence below this perched bird, I happened upon a Blue-Gray at waist-level, focused on obtaining web filaments for its nest.
It was a treat to see this Swainson’s Thrush, however briefly..
Another skulker I don’t think I’ve ever seen here before was the Northern Waterthrush below. I was sitting down on a rock-like seat that looks over the water and noticed something moving.
Every year when I hear House Wrens I have to refigure them out, I don’t know why. And then they just sing ad infinitum before I ever see one. I managed to glimpse this one way up high in a treetop.
Not that I’m lacking for pictures, but this Tree Swallow didn’t make it into the last post and is here to represent the ones I saw yesterday but did not get a chance to photograph.
So now we come to the highlight of my day. It had been a sort of slow morning, actually, compared to the day before – which I hope to get around to in a not-too-distant future post – and I was a bit disappointed that I was seeing hardly any warblers. I speculated maybe the warm and calm winds on Saturday night were favorable to migrants continuing their voyages north and they weren’t stopping if they didn’t have to. So as I walked slowly back down the trail from where I’d seen the Waterthrush, I stopped when I heard a call that might be described as a sneezy trill followed by raspberries. It had been so long since I studied warbler calls, I wasn’t sure, so I checked the Sibley app on my phone as quietly as possible, and sure enough, I was in the presence of a Blue-Winged Warbler. I haven’t seen more than an unsatisfying glimpse of a Blue-Winged in years. So when two of them showed up in front of me, I was temporarily transported to bliss, away from the extra weight of being human lately. I could almost hear them saying “Hey, lady, nice Portage you got here.”
Among the other creatures coming back to life at the Portage, turtles and frogs.
There was this Chorus Frog American Toad crossing the trail. He sang for me. I have placed a brief recording of his song below him. Unfortunately, there’s a slow-moving freight train in the background. – Thanks to my friend Leslie, I have been corrected. I thought he looked more like a toad but I didn’t know toads sing!
In the sparrow department, a Chipping Sparrow, one of several elusive but very vocal Song Sparrows and a couple somewhat backlit photos of a Swamp Sparrow.
Most numerous at the moment are probably the White-Throated Sparrows but they’re just passing through.
Warbling Vireos are back in force. I heard more on Saturday than I did yesterday but I managed to slightly photograph this one.
A Great Blue Heron flew right over my head.
Two common species of butterfly have been around this week, the Painted Lady and the Red Admiral.
Baltimore Orioles have arrived. I wonder if they’re possibly the same ones that visited my yard for the last time on Friday (I had three at once).
I was almost at the parking lot when I heard, and then saw, three Indigo Buntings – on the paved trail. They must have just arrived – getting their bearings, so to speak, because I have never seen them so tame. I’m sure I’ll be struggling to get any pictures of them the rest of the breeding season.
Here’s another Indigo Bunting I saw a bit earlier.
Ruby-Crowned Kinglets are still around, although I think these must be the females as I haven’t seen a red crown patch on any individuals for a week or more. But this one sure is a cutie.
A few views of the landscape.
The Portage is starting to green up. Pretty soon the water will be entirely green with duck weed.
Maybe you can tell I’ve been writing this post in fits and starts. It’s a bit disorganized because I inadvertently clicked on the “group” feature which seems to have cemented some unintended parts together, but I’m too lazy to start over again.
We have dropped thirty degrees back into cooler temperatures, and I guess that’s okay for Monday, but I want to hold onto the beauty of this past weekend as long as possible. I am thankful for spring migration and for my indoor birds, making it easier to get out of bed in the morning – albeit earlier and earlier as the days get longer!