I went for a nature walk in the Dykeman Spring Nature Park again this morning. We're in the midst of yet another stretch of overcast, damp, misty, drizzly, and slightly cooler than normal weather, yet the greening and blooming is going full blast. So are the bird migrations. The Orioles are back; several were singing away high in the forest canopy, and I saw a couple here and there flitting around outside camera range. The migrating Warblers are also here, heard but mostly unseen; they're small birds and hard to see when the foliage is full. I heard a couple of Yellow Warblers, plus several indistinguishable Warbler calls, and one Black and White Warbler who landed on a branch next to me but took off again before I could raise the camera.
I did manage to capture three birds. The Brown Thrasher is in the Mockingbird family, but where the Mockingbird repeats each song it imitates three times, the Thrasher only repeats it twice. And the two Sandpipers were very interesting. The Spotted Sandpiper is native to the area, and even though Sandpipers are mostly identified with the seashore, there are inland Sandpipers, and this is one of them. The Solitary Sandpiper is a different story, though. It, too is an inland, freshwater bird, but it winters in Central America and summers in the Arctic tundra. Right now they're migrating north and can often be seen resting by streams and pools; this is one of them, making it a rare sighting. Whee!
|A Brown Thrasher singing away by the Dykeman Walking Trail|
|Dame's Rocket growing along the Dykeman Walking Trail|
|The forest floor along the Dykeman Walking Trail|
|Philadelphia Fleabane in the Dykeman Spring wetland|
|A Solitary Sandpiper on the creek in the Dykeman Spring wetland|
|A Spotted Sandpiper by the north duck pond|
© 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger