12 March 2009

Thursday Morning Birds

Shhh . . don't tell anyone. I took the morning off of work today to go birding. I should be ashamed of myself, what with all of those last minute requests and changes I needed to be making at the office. Meh, they can wait.

March isn't all that exciting in the birding world. None of the really interesting neotropical migrants have arrived in the Central Piedmont yet, and many of our winter resident birds have already started to depart. Some nests are active by now (I saw some Canada Goose babies on a local lake yesterday), but in general it's considered the calm before the April/May storm of Spring migration. The only month I'm less interested in birding is August, and that's because it's just too damned hot to be outside.

Today I went with a group from the local Audubon Society to Four Mile Creek Greenway, in South Charlotte. We got a ho-hum 43 species, highlighted by some Wood Ducks, an adult male Cooper's Hawk, a Rusty Blackbird, and a Pileated Woodpecker. A few of the birds were considerate enough to pose for pictures.

Mr. Mallard. There were probably 2 dozen or so in various places. One pair was seen, ahem, fighting in a marsh. At least that's how my birding friends described it.

This squirrel was giving one of the field trip leaders the stink eye. "You'll pry this acorn from my cold dead hands mister!"

Probably the crappiest picture I've ever posted . . but it at least offers proof of the Pileated Woodpecker.

There were more than enough Northern Cardinals to go around. She had her choice of 4 or 5 males that were all singing from different perches.

There were Yellow-rumped Warblers galore, as well. This little guy was happy to pose for a few snaps.
And while it's not the greatest shot of one, this picture really shows off the golden crown on this Golden-crowned Kinglet. He, too, was happy to pose for the camera.

It was undoubtedly a nice break from office life. The drive down there was BRUTAL . . I can't stand morning-drive traffic on I-485 going Southbound. But in the end, well worth the time spent.


Wendy said...

Sounds like a great day...love the photos! We used to call those mental health days when you were in school!

Carolyn said...

The Mallard is so pretty, but my favorite is the squirrel...not sure why I like those guys so much, but I do!

mandik said...

Im so glad you enjoyed some time to yourself- you deserve it.

Sharon said...

I, too, am waiting for the birds. We have several feeders in our back yard and are itching to put the hummingbird feeders up .... another couple of weeks, ya think?

Enjoyed reading your blog .... recommended by Ashley! I have a blog also!!

Cute kids too!


Mary said...

Hey, we all need a day like that - sneaky and planned to perfection. You got some great birds, to boot! A Pileated Woodpecker would knock me right over. Awesome, Corey.