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May 24, 2014 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Early Morning Walk

A Snowy Egret has been sighted along the river where I monitor birds for the forest preserve, so I have spent more than a few hours trying to see this bird. While not a rare bird, it’s unusual to find one this far north. I did not find the bird this morning either, but it is a beautiful day and there was a lot of nature to appreciate.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

The Great White Egrets are gorgeous in their breeding plumage. Both males and females grow long, delicate and flowing plumes on their back that curl over the tail. Unfortunately this bird was not interested in displaying the feathers – he or she was hunting for fish – but you can see them if you look closely near the tail.

Young Buck

Young Male Deer

A young deer emerged briefly from the forest to see what I was doing there so early in the morning. The best time to see birds and other wildlife is shortly after sunrise. I’m not a morning person, but I force myself to get to the woods between 7 and 8am.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

A male Barn Swallow practically landed on me while I was standing on the bridge over his river and then began singing.

Great Crested Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher

It’s always a pleasure to see a Great Crested Flycatcher sitting out in the open. They are migratory birds and breed in the Eastern US during the summer. They live in the open woodlands and prefer to stay high in the trees, making them difficult to see among the leaves.

Flock of Geese

Canada Geese

A small flock of Canada Geese were having breakfast. About a half hour later, they began honking and fighting. One of them flew into a tree. First time I’ve ever seen a Canada Goose land in a tree.

More to come

Although I never did find the Snowy Egret I was searching for, I was able to photograph a couple of birds that were not previously in my collection – Scarlet Tanager and Herring Gull.

 


Saturday Snapshot was originated by Alyce at At Home With Books. It is now hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

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22 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. irene / May 24 2014 2:47 pm

    Oh that is so early to get to the woods, but thank you, you give us a great little glimpse of wild life.

    Like

    • Leslie / May 24 2014 6:28 pm

      I aim for 7am but usually get there closer to 8. The birds are most active when they wake up at sunsrise because they are hungry.

      Like

  2. laurelrainsnow / May 24 2014 4:06 pm

    Your woodsy walks make me envious! Mine are so boring, with houses and shops! LOL

    Like

    • Leslie / May 24 2014 6:27 pm

      The forest preserve is only a five minute drive so I go there for walks a few times a week when the weather is nice.

      Like

  3. Beth Hoffman / May 24 2014 5:13 pm

    Thanks you for sharing these wonderful photos!

    Like

  4. Ginny / May 24 2014 6:05 pm

    My favourite is the barn swallow. Although it is not uncommon to see swallows in flight I hardly ever see them close up.

    Like

    • Leslie / May 24 2014 6:25 pm

      I don’t see them perch very often either. I think this guy was trying to impress a nearby female.

      Like

  5. Brona / May 24 2014 6:29 pm

    I do love your North American bird photos, but the deer pic has captured my heart!

    The only deer in Australia are on farms; we will never see one just suddenly pop out of the woods like that – beautiful – you’re very fortunate 🙂

    Like

    • Leslie / May 25 2014 1:15 am

      Thanks. They’re quite common and I see them often but usually not out in the open like that.

      Like

  6. BermudaOnion / May 24 2014 7:06 pm

    I wish I could walk with you. A pair of Canada Geese nest in our neighborhood. They had 3 goslings this year and are down to 1 now. They just lost one recently and it was pretty big. 😦

    Like

    • Leslie / May 25 2014 1:06 am

      That happens a lot. I monitored a goose nest a few years ago and they lost all four goslings. Same happened with one of my robin’s nests – all four youngsters stolen from the nest. I think it was more traumatic for me than for the birds!

      Like

  7. Louise / May 24 2014 7:45 pm

    Like Brona the deer is my favourite too. Perhaps because these birds are all quite familiar- we have egrets that look very, very similar to that one, we have swallows, and “Canada” geese seem to be found the world over- I’ve now seen them in Canada/Wales and New Zealand! But that deer is special. It is a hardship getting up so early, but the benefits are tangible.

    Like

    • Leslie / May 25 2014 1:30 am

      The birds are hungry in the morning and very active so if I want to see them I have to follow their schedule. I didn’t realize there were no wild deer in Australia.

      Like

  8. Mary / May 24 2014 7:51 pm

    Love your photos (as always), Leslie!

    Like

  9. Paulita / May 24 2014 9:26 pm

    Your bird pics are always amazing. Here’s Mine

    Like

  10. Suko / May 24 2014 10:17 pm

    What lovely photos! I often see egrets, and the sight of them is always welcome. I think that Barn Swallow really wanted your attention. 🙂

    Like

  11. Arti / May 24 2014 10:30 pm

    The Snowy Egret is out of this world. It looks magical, no, mythical. I love the other photos too, and notice you have a Scarlet Tanager… while I discovered my Western Tanager. 😉

    Like

    • Leslie / May 25 2014 1:26 am

      That egret has been in the same spot for over a week now. I don’t see a nest anywhere, but where he/she is standing is in front of a small island, so anything is possible. And of course I’ll be watching.

      The tanager was a tough one to photograph. They are usually too high in the tree for my 250mm zoom or else behind the leaves. And while I didn’t get a great shot, it’s good enough to see the bird!

      Like

Trackbacks

  1. Weekend Birding: Herring Gull | Under My Apple Tree
  2. Weekend Birding: Scarlet Tanager | Under My Apple Tree
  3. Weekend Birding: Eastern Phoebe | Under My Apple Tree

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