The new birder probably saw alot of birds with her friends and new binoculars. Roxy and I saw a good number but nothing out of the ordinary except the Winter Wren that sat up and chattered at us by the bird blind on Bloomfield Rd. I thought it was strange that this very secretive birds was so upset by me and Roxy. Then I found out why this little guy was so upset - a Cooper's Hawk came screaming by us in hot pursuit of another little bird. The two of them weaved in and out of tree branches. The little bird flying for it's life and the Cooper's Hawk hoping to get a meal. I didn't see the ending. I have no idea which bird was successful. The Winter Wren disappeared back into the bushes without another sound. And without being photographed.
I wandered over to the creek by the Pine Road parking area to count Mallards which was quite boring until I noticed a Wood Duck hanging around too. Here is the female:
|Female Wood Duck|
Here is the male. This is arguably one of the most stunning ducks anywhere. These guys are flamboyant to say the least.
|Male Wood Duck|
These ducks figured out what the Mallards have known for years - hanging out at the parking lot gets you free handouts. I got this shot of the male and female Wood Ducks by pretending to throw food into the creek (cheating, I know).
Here is the happy couple swimming together. There was another Wood Duck hanging around but this guy would not let it close to his gal.
I was treated to a nice view of a Fox Sparrow at the bird blind near the Environmental Center. This is the best photo that I have of a Fox Sparrow ever. You can tell why they are called Fox sparrows by the color.
There were no shortage of woodpeckers on this year's count. I had a total of 7 Downy and 4 Hairy Woodpeckers. Here are a few shots of female Hairy Woodecker that sat on that branch for awhile sunning herself. You can tell it's a female since she has no red on the back of her head.
|Female Hairy Woodpecker|
We also got a great look at everyone's favorite, this Pileated Woodpecker that flew in to the Environmental Center area just before I was ready to leave. Click on the photo to enlarge it. Check out the hole he is chiseling in that tree! You can tell that this is a male by the red "mustache".