Sunday, March 30, 2008

Birding on a cloudy Sunday

It was an exciting morning at Blandford Nature Center. Before leaving the driveway at home, the male hawk I've been trying to identify landed in a tree across the road; I walked to the area where I'd seen the pair and now have positively identified them as Northern Harriers. OK, birders, maybe pretty commonplace to you, but very exciting to me. I had seen the smaller gray male with yellow eyes, but the female was very different--larger, brown with a cream breast; their calls didn't seem to match up with the bird CD. Finally I could see the white rump patch when they flew. I could see 3 large nests in almost adjacent trees (no, not squirrel nests) but apparently the harriers nest on wetland ground. Also positively identified a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers (I had only seen the female previously at our feeder; today saw the male as well in the park), a male Golden-crowned Kinglet, & American Tree Sparrows. Also there were bluebirds, catbirds, house sparrows, house finches, juncos, chickadees, cardinals, robins, etc. We have loved seeing the red-breasted nuthatches this year along with the white-breasted at our feeders. Yesterday I heard phoebes & yellow-throated vireos in Aman Park--the vireos always remind me of whistling for the dog. Also heard the bird which says (in my mind anyway), "hurdy-gurdy-gurdy', hurdy-gurdy-gurdy'" (emphasis on the last syllable)...if you can point me in the right direction to identify the bird from its call, let me know.

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