I didn’t realize I hadn’t updated my blog since last May! Oh, my! Well, these past two weeks have been great for birders. My husband and I have come across new warblers we hadn’t seen before, the Nashville Warbler and Cape May Warbler. We’ve seen a lot of warblers these past couple of weeks as well as other birds. The list includes:
Palm Warblers (Scott Park and Presque Isle. They were so numerous last week but not so many now.)
Black and White Warblers (lots of them) (Scott Park and Presque Isle)
Magnolia Warblers (Scott Park and Presque Isle)
Canada Warblers (Scott Park)
Hooded Warblers (Scott Park)
Nashville Warbler (Fry’s Landing at Presque Isle)
Cape May Warbler (Thompson Circle at Presque Isle)
Northern Waterthrush (Thompson C at Presque Isle)
Baltimore Orioles (Scott Park and Presque Isle)
Black-throated Green Warbler (Scott Park)
Indigo Buntings (Scott Park and Presque Isle)
Common Yellowthroat (Fry’s Landing at Presque Isle)
Great Crested Flycatcher (Scott Park)
Cedar Waxwings (Scott Park)
Bluebirds (Scott Park)
Last year we saw lots of Black-throated Blue Warblers but we can’t seem to find them this year. I’m hoping we’ll come across some this week before they are gone.
Female Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Chestnut Sided Warbler
Great Crested Flycatcher
Most of my photos are from my camcorder.
My husband and I had a great time on Presque Isle Saturday and Sunday. The warblers are everywhere! We saw two lifer birds, the Black-throated Blue Warbler and the Great Crested Flycatcher. The rest I’ve seen before but I still got excited seeing them again. Most are around such a short time and if you don’t get out there to see them you probably won’t see them again until the following year. They do migrate back in the fall but the colors aren’t nearly as pretty as they are now in their breeding feathers.
Saturday we hung out at Fry’s Landing. That’s where we saw the Yellow-throated Warbler the weekend before. This time it was filled with Palm Warblers. We also spotted some White-throated Sparrows in the bushes and a few Chestnut-sided Warblers. The little Gold-crowned Kinglets were there to greet us. They are so small and bounce around and seem curious. I heard some bird calls that I couldn’t place and recorded them. I’ll try to find out what birds I was hearing. It got a bit chilly with the wind blowing and it sure didn’t seem it was nearly as warm as the forecast had predicted. We left hoping that the forecast for Sunday would be wrong. On the way out we stopped at the parking area for Dead Pond Trail, across from the Thompson Bay parking. The bushes along the parking loop were full of Yellow-rumped Warblers (butter butts.)
The forecast wasn’t wrong, it rained, but there were several hours in the afternoon it stopped or just spitted drops so we went out to look for more warblers. We stopped at the different parking areas on the way at Presque Isle and watched the ducks. Not many left but we still saw two loons out there. We spotted a canvas back, some scaup and small group of ruddys are still around.
We pulled into the Niagara Launch area and walked behind the bathrooms to where they band birds. We didn’t see much except White-throated Sparrows and Palm Warblers. My husband spotted a Rose-breasted Grosbeak but it was gone by the time I got there. A Downy Woodpecker let me get really close to it.
The wind was blowing a pretty good clip. But between the paved path and the road at the entrance to Niagara Launch we spotted Chestnut-sided Warblers and a Black-throated Blue Warbler.
The Black-throated Blue Warbler was a lifer for my husband and I. We just never happened to see one before. So this was exciting to me and they are really handsome birds.
We moved on to Fry’s Landing and spotted a pair of Wood Ducks leaving the area. My camera just started to focus as the male was almost out of sight.
Again the bushes were full of Palm Warblers. We spotted an Osprey in a tree and watched it fly away. We took the little paths around the area. Where we saw the Yellow-throated Warbler the week before,
we didn’t see any birds except for the Gold Crowned Kinglets. The birds must have moved into the more protected areas to get out of the wind. We headed down a path under a canopy of trees and then spotted another Black-throated Blue Warbler. Some bird was calling out and we couldn’t figure out what it was. We finally spotted it and looked it up in our bird book. It was a Great Crested Flycatcher. That was another lifer for us. We’ve probably seen them flying around and but never questioned what they were. It wasn’t shy about making it’s loud call near us. Just as we were getting ready to leave, a most vivid male Redstart bounced on the bushes in front of us. I love Redstarts!
We left Fry’s Landing and parked over by Thompson Bay again. It was spitting light rain drops but we decided to take a walk in on the trail to see what we could spot. The Yellow-rumped Warblers were all over the bushes again near the parking loop and some White-crowned Sparrows eating some cracked corn someone had piled on the side of the parking area. We didn’t spot much along the trail except for an Eastern Towhee. We headed home but I can’t wait for a day without rain to go again.
My husband and I ran around Presque Isle today during the sunshine break between rainstorms. It was warm and awesome on the peninsula. The loons were still seen on the bay and there are still some red-breasted mergansers and ruddy ducks to entertain people.
We drove back to Fry’s Landing and walked the little trails back where they bird band. After several minutes the birds started moving around again in the trees and bushes and we spotted the cute golden crowned kinglets. We saw one yellow-rumped warbler and later spotted a yellow-throated warbler. I was able to get a few photos. I’m just loving that the warblers are starting to come through the area in their migration. Though the yellow-throated warbler is a bit far north of its normal summer territory.
Each year about this time we see loons in Presque Isle Bay. We saw 7 of them (one was in juvenile plumage) last Sunday. It was pretty cloudy and gloomy so I didn’t get the best video. I should have brought my still camera with me. The Red-breasted Mergansers in the background were so much fun to watch. It is like watching cartoons. This video was taken last Sunday. I sure hope they are still there tomorrow.
I don’t think I’ve been happier than these past few days. I find myself giggling all the time even when I’m alone. I don’t think my husband knows what to make of it.
We had the most wonderful vacation this past fall and I can’t seem to get my photos sorted and resized to post because I get lost in reliving the dream-like days of our vacation whenever I go through the folders. But I decided that will be OK because when I do post the scenic photos and videos it will be when we are waist deep in snow and the promise of next year’s scenic sights and sounds will still be a long time coming. It will be a welcome change to seeing snow everywhere.
Winter coming is normally a real downer for me, just depressing. This year is different. I have the biggest part of my restoration of the main level of my old house (see This Old Erie House) done and now the finishing touches will be added. That’s a huge weight off my back, still a lot of work ahead but not so much tedious woodwork. And now I can take my time in finishing the rest. I’m already starting to plan our next national-park vacation in Mt. Rainier National Park. That always makes me happy.
My last post had a short video of Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park. The road started out in a burned area which was very stark and dark. We reached an area where more light came through and new growth was abundant but still very young.
On the way we stopped to get some scenery shots and look at some scat on the dirt road. It looked like elk scat. We were the only ones on this long, narrow dirt road for quite a long time when a truck pulled up and the guy started talking to us. He lived not far from the border of Glacier NP. He directed us to where we may see some wolves. He also told us how his wife was hanging some clothes when a big grizzly came near and she ran for the house. I saw wolves up near Bowman Lake on a Youtube video. I was sure hoping we’d see some. We didn’t, but the scenery sure looked like a pack could come out of the woods at any moment.
There was a light snowfall the evening before we went on our day trip to Bowman Lake. Along the road we spotted an osprey nest in a burned out area of the park. As sad as the burns are, the new growth is so vigorous. A bald eagle greeted us at the turn from one dirt road to another where it head up the mountain side to Bowman Lake.
When we got into some thick evergreen trees toward the top of the mountain a Spruce Grouse wouldn’t get out of the road. This was our first time seeing a Spruce Grouse. They are beautiful birds.
After all the wonderful sights we saw on the way up, nothing compared to turning the corner and seeing this.
No wonder so many people take their camping gear and hike for a week into those mountains in Glacier National Park.
On the edge of true wilderness is Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park. It takes a good long drive up a bumpy, narrow dirt road to get to Bowman. Others hike across the wilderness from other locations and make Bowman their destination. It is beautiful. We happened to be there when no one else but two hikers were around. We saw a car or two back in the parking lot of people probably out on hiking trips. This really was getting away from it all.