Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Nice Day

Sunday, I visited Tower Grove Park, and, later, Forest Park. At Tower Grove, in and around the Gaddy Bird Garden, quite a few species were observed. They were as follows: Indigo bunting, white-throated sparrow, white-eyed vireo, gray catbird, field sparrow, cooper's hawk, swainson's thrush, american goldfinch, rose-breasted grosbeak, yellow-rumped warbler, ovenbird, eastern towhee, coopers hawk, gray catbird, and, the highlight of the trip, a Cape May Warbler. In the Cypress Circle area, we saw chipping sparrows, ruby-crowned kinglets, a warbling vireo, and a possible gray-cheeked thrush. Moving on to the Kennedy Forest in Forest Park, we saw blue-gray gnatcatchers, nashville warblers, palm warblers, a northern parula, a tennessee warbler, yellow-rumped warblers, a red-bellied woodpecker, and a 1st spring summer tanager. Of course there were also numerous robins at all locations.
This turtle was right next to the path leading towards the Bird Garden.
This cooper's hawk flew away with something in it's talons, presumably a meal.
This gray catbird was on the edge of the Bird Garden
I hope no one was using this nest!
The molting look suggests that this is the tanagers first spring

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Warblers At Last

On Saturday, I went to Kennedy Forest in Forest Park to see what migrants I could find. After seeing some yellow-rumps and a northern parula, we met with another birder who told us where he had seen most of his birds. Going down to a little creek, and there meeting another birder, we saw Indigo Buntings, a swainson's thrush, and tennessee warblers. Meeting the first two birders with yet another, we saw a nashville warbler, and, going off with the second one, saw a rose-breasted grosbeak and a cardinal, both eating from the same tree. I should mention at this point how amazing these birders were at identifying birds by sound. The one we were with heard a white-eyed vireo, and sure enough, after searching a while, there one was. We birded a little while longer, but it had gotten very hot by that point, so we went back to the car after quite a successful trip!
I apologise for the blurriness, but warblers are fast!(A tennessee)
A rose-breasted grosbeak

This is a tree growing in another tree. I believe it has something to do with the Osage.I hope your spring migration is going well!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Owls And Others

Tower Grove Park on 4/18. Many species were seen, with the highlight being three Great Horned Owls. Also seen were white-throated sparrows, eastern towhees, hermit thrushes, winter wrens, a probable white-eyed vireo, brown thrashers, a yellow-bellied sapsucker, a pine warbler, and possibly others.

Hermit Thrush
A winter wren The hermit thrushes were enjoying these berries
The Gaddy Wild Bird Garden
A Great Horned Owl
Female Eastern Towhee

Lots of Robins were bathing in the creek
The Stables
For a warbler, he was pretty cooperative
Entrance to the Gaddy Bird Garden
After seeing them all day, I was glad to finally get a decent picture of a brown thrasher at the end. This weekend, I went to Forest Park twice and Tower Grove Park once, so expect a springy post full of warblers soon!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Prelude to Migration

Last Saturday, I went fishing at Lone Elk Park, and when there were no fish to be caught there, August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area. At Lone Elk Park, there were yellow-rumped warblers (this was the first time I had seen them in their breeding plumage), eastern phoebes, including one that flew right among an elk herd, a blue winged teal, mallards, barn swallows, and an unidentified sparrow. At August A. Busch, there were barn swallows, chipping sparrows, goldfinches, field sparrows, bluebirds, dark-eyed juncos, downy woodpeckers, mallards, mourning doves, unidentified hawks, a winter wren, probably some other birds, and, the highlight of the trip, an osprey that dove completely into the water to catch a fish This is a picture taken using a camera with 4x zoom, but believe me, it is an osprey.
Also, on Sunday, a quick trip to the Kennedy Forest in Forest Park led to a nice list: yellow-rumped warbler, yellow-bellied sapsucker, northern cardinal, northern flicker, hermit thrush, white-throated sparrows, a carolina wren, and possibly a few others.Soon, I will have a post full of great pictures that I took on yesterday's trip to Tower Grove Park. It has given me a new target species for this spring: a white-eyed vireo. I am sure I saw one yesterday, but it was such a short glimpse that I don't want to add it to my life list. Oh well, I'll try to see one when migration is in full swing, which, according to my Missouri Department of Conservation calender, is today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lots Of Lifers

On Saturday, I went on the Forest Park Forever Beginner Birdwalk. On it, I saw three new birds: a pied-billed grebe, a barn swallow, and a purple martin. Also, there were mockingbirds, mallards, a sapsucker, song sparrows, a brown creeper, tree swallows, wood ducks, starlings, grackles, and killdeer. On the Friday before last, I went to Shaw Nature Reserve, which is an extension of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, although they are about forty minutes apart. It has a variety of different habitats, and twenty-one or so birds were seen, with two others heard, and a possible winter wren seen. Two new birds for me there were a red-shouldered hawk and an eastern towhee.

I realize that this picture is kind of blurry, but it was so sunny that I could hardly see through my viewfinder.

A red-shouldered hawk. We had hiked quite a ways to the wetlands, and although except for two canadian geese, there were no birds traditionally associated with wetlands, it was nice to see this hawk.
It dropped down to walk by this puddle. Perhaps it was looking for frogs?
There were brown creepers everywhere. They're such adorable little birds!
There were several eastern phoebes around.
The bluebirds were looking spectacular, especially against the brown background

There were lots of bluebird houses. Perhaps this one will be occupied later in the season!
I took this picture of a white-throated sparrow while searching for the eastern towhee.
There were lots of white-breasted nuthatches around, along with many tufted titmice.
I took another picture just like this one when we were here a few years ago. In this area, the noise of the spring peepers is deafening. I will be going to Lone Elk Park next Saturday, primarily for fishing, but since it yielded a solitary sandpiper last fall, you never know.