Monday, May 16, 2011

Birds of Forestville

My three trips to Forestville State Park last week were primarily for birding. My previous post about wildflowers showed you what was on the ground, but this post is all about the birds I saw. We were hoping to catch warbler migration, but the first two days were a little chilly for much warbler activity. Fortunately, Forestville State Park has lots of other birds to see and enjoy. I knew it was going to be a good day when we spotted these Turkey Vultures perched in the tree at the entrance to the park!
I have Mr. Johnson so well-trained now that he immediately knew to pull the car off to the side of the road so I could get out to take photos. Luckily for me, one of the TVs decided to leave its perch and give me some perfect fly-over shots.

So beautiful in flight! (Hi Lynne!)

Turkey Vulture doing its part for highway clean-up! (sorry about this poor quality photo--thru the windshield)

For the rest of this post, you may want to click on the photos to enlarge them.

Down by the river (where we sometimes see warblers) we found lots of Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, busily scouting among the rocks and tree roots for insects.
I was thrilled to get a couple of shots where you could actually see this tiny bird's ruby "crown!"

A Hermit Thrush was puttering around on the ground near the parking lot. I hoped it would sing for us, but this bird remained silent.

Hello Handsome Thrush!
They're easy to miss when they're lurking on the ground.

Here's a waterthrush I managed to photograph through a break in dense ground cover. Initial hopes were that this was a Louisiana Waterthrush, but upon further review, I think it's a Northern.

Lincoln's Sparrow

Brown Creeper

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Black & White Warbler
Another look at the B&W Warbler, this one reminded us of a tiny woodpecker, scooting in all directions around the tree trunk foraging for insects.

On our second trip to the park, I spotted this raptor perched in a small tree near the park entrance. Can you see it there?

I had no idea what it was, but when I got out of the car to take a better look, it decided to fly away. (I was thrilled with this shot and the fact that I managed to get the camera focused in time to actually capture the bird flying away!)

Luckily for me, the raptor decided to soar directly overhead for several minutes and I was able to get several nice photos that helped to identify it as a Broad-Winged Hawk!

This warbler was busy gleaning insects from a gooseberry bush. Can you give me a better look at yourself, please?
What do you think? I went with Orange-Crowned Warbler on this one based on what my Kaufman field guide says: "Often stays fairly low in leafy thickets.....Very plain.... No wingbars. Dark line through eye, faint broken eye-ring. Blurry streaks on chest."

Got to see my FOY Rose-Breasted Grosbeak on this day. Such a handsome bird!

Last week's third birding trip to Forestville was with my Sissy. Another chilly and overcast morning, but we were optimistic about the weather forecast and hoping for the chance to see some warblers. I did get this nice shot of a male Red-Winged Blackbird showing off for a female perched nearby. Who could resist a handsome guy like him?
Down along the river's edge, I saw this Spotted Sandpiper poking around a few rocks.

A lucky sighting, I think because it blended in really well with its surroundings.

Here's a not-so-good shot of a Blackburnian Warbler we spotted high in the tree top. The flame orange throat is such a dead giveaway to this warbler's ID (even on a cloudy day!)

Northern Waterthrush

Northern Parula (he just wouldn't sit still!)

One more try.......

American Redstart-bottom view

American Redstart-top view!

I think this was a Palm Warbler. If I remember correctly, it had a rusty-colored cap that didn't show up in this photo.

Thanks Sissy for driving on this trip and being a good sport while I had to keep stopping to take photos! Hope we can do this again next spring (or sometime sooner)!


judy said...

Beautiful pictures. Reminds me of being up north at the lake. I like bird watching also. We have a robin's nest just tucked under the deck. Momma robin was smart enough to put it high enough to keep it out of danger from all the wild creatures that room the yard----including the children lol

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Judy! Glad you enjoyed them. Good luck to your Momma Robin!

dAwN said...

Wow! You see a good about of Warblers and birds there~looks like a great spot for birding and flowers :)

Happy Spring!

Anonymous said...

I had a great time! This has been a good year for spotting a lot of different birds. Your new camera takes awesome photos!!

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Dawn. It was my Minnesota version of the New River Birding and Nature Festival (since I couldn't be there with the rest of you!)

Thanks Sissy!

eileeninmd said...

Great bird sightings, the warblers are so colorful this time of year. I enjoyed your post and photos.

Anonymous said...

Good Stuff, Ruthie! I'm impressed
with your detective work getting
the clues you need to ID those
birds. Glad you're having such
good birding.
Hap in New Hope

Anonymous said...

What nice pics of not so common birds, looked at them several times and also enlarged them. The Indigo Buntings at our feeders this afternoon were brilliant.


RuthieJ said...

Thanks Eileen. I wish these nice warbler days would last a little longer.

Thanks Hap for all your help with my bird ID questions too.

Thanks Mom. I'm glad you had a chance to look at them.