Monday, April 27, 2009

The Little Miami Bike Trail and Red-eyed Vireos

When Matty got home from school today, we decided to head over to the Little Miami River to see if we could catch any spring migrants. The weather was warm (mid 80s) and the sun was shining. The weather report said today would be the last of the summer-like warmth and the rains were moving in, so we thought we had better get out to bird while the getting was good! As soon as we hit the trail, we found Blue-gray Gnatcatchers all around us singing, chatting, scolding and basically being cute, but soon our attention was diverted by the song of a Red-eyed Vireo. Matty used the bird's non-stop singing to hone in on its location and then watched for movement. He seemed to have a sixth sense for Red-eyes today, logging four sightings by the end of the walk. We also saw a Black and White Warbler, a Prothonotary Warbler, a Black-throated Green Warbler (another of Matty's finds found through his "bird" sense), a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Hummingbird, and two Northern Rough-winged Swallows (Life Birds for us), plus all the usual woodland suspects, including a Pileated Woodpecker...and three deer!

The two lone Northern Rough-winged Swallows 
were playing just beyond Matty. They chased each 
other and were feeding low over the water, much 
too fast and small to be photographed.

As we watched the swallows, two Canada Geese came honking in, flying wing to wing down the corridor and seeming to announce to all the woodland creatures that, "We have arrived, so please, everyone, look at us. We are here, and we are loud. Yes, we are important. Again, we say, look at us!" It was fun to watch them fly past us at eye level, honking and so close that we could almost feel the breeze from their wings as they flapped past.



"Mabel" and "Floyd" on the wing continued 
to honk all the way up the river...

Matty spotted the second Red-eye from the river bank shortly after the clatter and ruckus of the geese faded away, so we climbed up the hill to get closer and actually got a fairly decent shot.

Look at that lovely red eye...

...and it's red on the other side too!

...yes, you are a gorgeous bird with a very pretty song!

We were starting to get hungry, so we headed for home. As we walked along, we heard the unmistakeable crunch, crunch, crunch of leaves and sticks underfoot and started looking for deer. There were three, and they didn't seem to mind us, so we stayed and watched for a while until they decided to move on.

See you later little deer!

24 comments:

Kallen305 said...

Awesome shots of the Vireo Kelly. Such a lovely bird.

Roy said...

Love the little Deer Kelly and nice Canada flight shots.

Jayne said...

Wow, what great photos of the vireo!! Lucky you two!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Lovely shots Kelly especially those of the geese flying.

T and S said...

Beautiful images. The flight shots are so sharp. Well done

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
It looks like it was a good idea to walk around this river. You got very nice shot of the red-eyes vireo, it really has red-eyes, it reminds me of our breeding birds such as the great northern diver, which has really red-eyes when breeding! Great tour and nice pictures.

Tutta la Storia said...

I dn't htink I have ver seen a Vireo. Yet another bird you have introduced me to! Yes, I echo another commenter about the geese flying shot. Extraordinary!

Ginnymo said...

Awesome walk you had!! Those geese are beautiful and you captured them perfect. I love them in flight. So pretty! Love your little "red eye" too. And what a beautiful shot of the deer!!! Looks like you had a great day!!

Laure Ferlita said...

Such gorgeous shots of the geese and the Vireo, but I really love that photo of the deer! So gentle looking, peeking out through the trees.

And it sounds like Matty is turning into a 1st class birder. I've always admired folks that can hear those songs and then find the birds just by sound - great job Matty!

Montanagirl said...

Great series of Geese photos! The deer photo has nice composition. You see such a variety of birds that we don't see here. Such a treat to follow your blog!

Philip said...

Kelly those shots of the geese are great in flight shots well done :) I am very surprized that the deers didnt run away from you those are good shots too !

E said...

Woww...great timing, great pics, I wish to see so many beauties one day, that deer is lovely. Congrats and hugs.

Nick S said...

This means the Vireos are not far from us then :-)
Great series Kelly.

Roy said...

Heh, heh! 'Tis the season for lots of little birds.

Nature As Is said...

Kelly Great shots of the Canada Geese! Simply beautiful

Shellmo said...

Loved seeing Mabel & Floyd in sync together when they were flying! Lovely photos today!

Steve said...

Great afternoons walk you two had Kelly. Nice shots of the Vireo and you had Gnatcatchers again. My new favorite bird, even though I've never seen one (I like the name).

holdingmoments said...

Apart from the Canada Geese, I've never seen any of those birds before, so it was really interesting for me to read about them. The Red-eyed Vireo looks a stunner, and a great picture too.

Mary said...

Wonderful shots of the geese flying! That Red-eyed vireo is great...you really captured that eye well. I love the deer....so beautiful and gentle looking.

Folklore said...

awesome..
beautiful images..

Kelly said...

Thank you, everyone for your lovely comments. I have to get up really early tomorrow morning and need to get to bed, so I don't have time to answer them individually. When the rain stops, we hope to get back out on that trail. Warbler mania is going to set in soon!!

Matt Latham said...

I love Red Eyed Vireo's - only ever seen a few in the UK. Great images Kelly.

Heather said...

Good for Matty in finding those vireos! Those geese shots are great, and I can just hear them honking and squawking. I wish I could get some vireo shots like that.

Kelly said...

Hi Matty and Heather! The vireos flew in very close, which made it easy. Heather, I still can't get over the fact you have Cerulian Warblers in your backyard...wow!