Monday, April 6, 2009

East Fork Lake Birds

Yesterday Rick, Matty and I went to Rick’s parent’s house to celebrate an early Easter. They live in a wooded area near East Fork Lake, so while they were cooking, I grabbed the camera and slipped out the back door! As soon as I walked into the woods I heard that sweet call of an Eastern Phoebe and was able to fire off a quick shot before he flew deeper into the woods.

He was very patient, and I was able to get fairly close.

Then about 15 feet to the northeast I heard that cute little song of a Golden-crowned Kinglet. He was very busy in the tree, constantly moving and foraging and singing. He was a lot of fun to watch, and stayed around for quite a while!

I was happy the camera was able to pick up his little yellow crown!

He was very cute zipping all over the place with nonstop singing!

The kinglet was soon replaced by what I originally thought was a Savannah sparrow because of the short, notched tail and markings, but as I watched her I realized (or at least thought) she was a female Purple Finch. She was not singing at all (another clue), so I didn’t have a call to help with ID. She was very intent on devouring all the leaf buds. I didn’t have my binocs with me, so I couldn’t zoom in close enough to really see the details and the shape of the bill. I don’t get to see Purple Finches very often and when I do, I’m usually focused on the colorful males. After getting home and cropping the photos down, we can confirm this is a female Purple Finch.

She seems to have the striping on the face
of a female purple finch, but is it dark enough?

She seems to lack the stickpin of a Savannah Sparrow.

...and was really enjoying the buds!

I went back in and found I had 18 more minutes to bird, so this time, Matty went with me and we ducked out the front door and across the street to a pond where we found Ring-necked Ducks and then saw (and heard!) these two Wood Ducks flying away.

Someone on the other side of the pond had
flushed these two, so we were able to hear
that cry of theirs as they zoomed off!

...and a nice Mockingbird greeted us on our return.


Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
The Golden-crowned Kinglet is an amzaing bird. Well for an early eastern feast, you got to see a lot of nice birds and species I did not know and have never seen. Thanks for showing them up to us. I'm learning more and more about your fauna. Nice, then if they migrate to Iceland I'll recognize them :-)

RuthieJ said...

Lucky you to even capture a moment of the golden-crowned kinglet sitting still enough to take a picture! Looks like you had a really nice day for birding Kelly.

Eric Ripma said...

Cool photos of the Kinglet. The last three pics are female Purple Finch.

Shellmo said...

Your bud eating bird does look like a female purple finch to me! I had one this morning that was stuck to my thistle feeder like glue - LOL! I loved the flight photo of the wood duck. Can't get enough of that bird and am always excited when others post photos of them. HOpefully I get to see one this spring.

Laure Ferlita said...

What a great day you had birding! The mockingbird and the wood ducks are the only two I recognize, and it seems you have a purple finch on your hands!
Thanks for sharing!

Kallen305 said...

You saw some awesome birds! I love your golden crowned pictures. I miss the kinglets so much and can't wait to see some myself. LOVE your wood duck photo!!

Sounds like you have a great day!

Steve B said...

Bunch of cool birds!

Vickie said...

Nice collection of photos. Can't believe you got that great flight shot of the wood ducks! Nice. Your sparrow-like bird is a female purple finch. Good eye.

Dave Lewis said...

Wow, you have buds on your trees AND great photos!
We have snow again up here. Spring should be here soon...

Mary said...

You had a good day with your birding! Love that kinglet! Very pretty! We are having snow flurries and very cold.

Nick S said...

Congrats on getting the Kinglet. They are VERY fast ! :-)
Lovely new images.

Jayne said...

Love that Kinglet! I've never seen one. What a great day!

Kelly said...

Thanks, everyone for confirming the female Purple Finch, and thanks for the kind comments too. I hope I get to see more Wood Ducks...and the spring preview was FAKE! It's snowing right now.... Oh well, that's spring in Cincy!

Ginnymo said...

You got some great photos on your little walk. You sure know your birds. I hear a lot of different ones but can only pick out a few. I recently started listening to sounds of birds on the web and downloading them so I can learn more about them. Since I've been looking at yours and other's blogs on here I've become more interested. I love looking at all your photos!! I hope I got a good shot of a Nuthatch today. If so, then it will be on soon.

Heather said...

Wow, can't believe the Kinglet held still long enough for some photos! And of course I love your Phoebe photo. That big chunky beak is a dead giveaway for the female Purple Finch (although I'm not familiar with the Savannah Sparrow for comparison). Did you get any accumulating snow? We've had some flurries so far this morning, but we didn't get any snow last night as far as I can tell.

Chuck Dilmore said...

oh, Kelly!
anything that starts with wings and ends with a Mockingbird is exquisite to me!

your photographs are just perfect! thank you so much - beautiful site!


Warren Baker said...

Well done on all those species kelly! looks like I have a rival!

Teri C said...

Thanks for the visit and now I have found you. Your bird photos are just fabulous!!

andrea said...

lly. Thanks for visiting my blog and what a great blog you have here! As a new birder it's a wealth of pictures and info.

andrea said...

That was supposed to say "Hi Kelly" but got eaten. Oops.

Steve said...

Nice photos Kelly. That Kinglet looks a bit like our Goldcrest, it has the same sort of head markings. Have a nice week y'hear.

Kelly said... the past couple of years, I've started working more and more on birding by ear. It really helps you zoom in on a bird when you recognize its call.

Heather...the snow did not accumulate. It's still flurrying now, but not sticking. I'm ready for spring. I think it's supposed to be in the 60s next week.

Warren....ha! You see more bird in one hour than I see in a month. Between you an FAB, I am always amazed at your counts.

Chuck, Teri, Andrea...glad you stopped by. I'm also glad Laure recommended we check out your blogs. I really enjoyed them. definitely looks like your Goldcrest! It's always fun to find the similarities.