Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When "cute" comes up and knocks you on the head…

…you take a picture or two! Matty and I saw this little guy on Monday just off the trail and decided he's one of the cutest things we'd ever seen. We promptly named him Harry Jr.

Harry Jr. was stretched out on a tree snag right in front of 
us. His coloring was beautiful and he seemed so at ease. He 
was by himself and eventually slipped back into the snag.

It was very warm and Harry Jr. was lazing in the heat. 
Eventually he turned towards us. “Hello you two,” 
he seemed to be thinking. “Do you want to play?”

Today I decided to risk the rain at lunch and head over to the Little Miami Bike Trail to see if I could find another migrant, so at 11:30 I hit the trail and almost immediately saw two Prothonotary Warblers flitting around…a male and a female!

The male has that beautiful face and pure 
yellow-orange color I love. I wish this were 
a fabulous photo, but it's more of an ID shot.

The female just isn’t quite as bright as the male, 
but still gorgeous.

While photographing the Prothonotaries, I heard the first silvery liquid tones of a Wood Thrush! He was singing in the same place he claimed last year. I’ve never been able to catch a glimpse of him because he stays deep in the woods on the hill, but he’s a hearty singer and hearing his flutey song is enough for me. Of course, omnipresent through all of this were the Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. I’m convinced we must have more of them per square inch than any county in the nation! Our woods around the Little Miami River are thick with them, and their buzzy, chatty song is nonstop along the entire trail. Sometimes you really have to concentrate to hear over them, and I was very excited when I heard a Pine Warbler. I watched for movement and soon I saw him.

Ack! Do you need a magnifying glass to see this one?

The lack of sunshine did nothing to lessen the beauty of the woodland trail, and a fine mist hung in the air, lighting each new green spring leaf with a freshness that would have been missed on a bright sunny day. As I continued to walk the trail I heard nonstop warbler song. Many songs I didn’t yet recognize. I’m working hard to learn how to bird by ear, but my brain doesn’t seem to be working quite as hard as my desire. I can listen to the same song 20 times and not be able to 100% place it in the field; however, some songs I have down, so I’m making progress. The songs of Prothonotary Warblers, Pine Warblers, Red-eyed Vireos, Northern Parulas, just to name a few, are all as well known to me now as Chickadees and Goldfinch…now I only have 600+ more calls to learn.  ;-)

The Little Miami Bike Trail in mist.


Laure Ferlita said...

What a beautiful walk in the woods! Love Harry Jr! And the size of his feet - wow!

Rene said...

Harry Jr. is SO cute. He looks very young. I know exactly what you mean about learning to bird by ear. Even though I was a musician, I'm not very good at identifying birds by song yet. I think I have the California Towhee and Black Phoebe down, but not much else except Geese, Egrets and Avocets, which don't really "sing".

Shellmo said...

There is something so sweet about Harry jrs expression on his face! I do have a soft heart for squirrels!

Nature As Is said...

I need to pull out my British Columbia Bird book! By George I don't think we get those birds here....I need to resurch. Lovely shots....It didn't matter about the one that needed a spy glass to see, you can still see how beautiful he/she is. Love Harry Jr. We definatley don't get that variety of squirrel here. We have the Gray and the Black squirrel here on the Island.

Kelly said...

Thanks, Laure....he definitely has some big feet to grow into!

Rene...He was definitely a baby. We didn't see any siblings or parents around...just his cute little face!

Shelley...the camera really did not capture just how cute this fellow looked either, but there is a special look there.

Christa...I mostly see grey squirrels here too, but red squirrels do pop up, and there are pockets of albinos here and there too!

E said...

Beatiful Harry, all the pics are very lovely, thanks for sharing your happy moments, Kelly, hugs.

Nick S said...

A lovely walk in the woods Kelly ! The Raccons the next post down are wonderful.
So nice to see a video of them !

Ramadhani said...

beautiful bird... nice shot.. very lovely picture.. thank`s for share..


Jayne said...

LOL Kelly... I've probably got 601+ to learn. I am horrible at birdsong ID. Your warblers are simply gorgeous. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Chris said...

Hi Kelly.
harry Jr is really really cute and it looks like it played with you. You got nice shots of him. Congrats!!

holdingmoments said...

Most enjoyable walk Kelly.
I struggle with the 200+ birds over here, to ID by sound; and can get only a few of those. 600+ would be impossible for me I think :)
I love seeing all the types you have there though, and that Prothonotary Warbler is stunning.

Montanagirl said...

That's a very nice walk indeed! Such a variety of birds for you to enjoy! Thank you for sharing.

Steve B said...

Nice warblers!

Heather said...

Harry Jr. is one cute squirrel (although I don't think I've ever seen a squirrel that WASN'T cute!). Nice shots of the Prothonotary - they are just SO yellow, aren't they?

Caythlin said...

Ohhhhh... ich LIEBE Eichhörnchen! Es sind tolle Fotos!

Dein Deutsch ist besser als mein Englisch - leider kann ich es so gut wie gar nicht :-(

Einen lieben Gruß aus Deutschland

Dagmar :-)

Kelly said...

Buenos dias, Enita! Besitos y abrazo

Nick...thank you. I hope they show back up for another video.

Thanks, Ramadhani!

Jayne...there is no hope for me I'm sure. I just want to the learn the most popular warblers so I can walk the woods and know what's there when the leaves are out!!

Chris....thank you. He was so sweet and not afraid of us. It was such a surprise.

Keith....if you look up at what I wrote to Jayne, you'll see I'm horrible at song. I really just want to know the top 20 or 30.

Montanagirl and Steve...thank you!!

Heather...yes...they are so yellow. I hope to get a really nice shot one of these days, but I'm not holding my breath!

Wilkommen Dagmar! ...und einen lieben Gruß aus die USA auch. Ich brauche übung mit grammatik, deshalb mein schreibliche Deutsch is schlimm, aber das ist okay (wirklich macht es nichts). Ja, Ich liebe Eichhörnchen auch. Sie haben so ein süßes Gesicht!

Roy said...

Wow Kelly that Warbler, what and amazing yellow.

Mary said...

Awwwww....I love Harry Jr.! I never understand why with all the squirrels I have that I never see young ones. I saw one of those warblers at the wetlands but got a horrible photo. They are so bright!

Warren Baker said...

Now thats one warbler that would be hard to miss! What a beauty.
That trail sounds like a great place to have a patch.

PS I'm glad you saw the arty side of the goldfinch photo on my blog. I though it showed beauty and the beast! I wasn't going to put it on at all, thinking it was too irrelevent!

Steve said...

Looks like a great place for a lunch-time stroll. Great Squirrel picture and the warblers as well, so colourful.

Ginnymo said...

Awww. Little harry is so cute. I wish I'd be seeing the young ones soon. I love their little faces. Maybe there isn't any this year to see. It seems they should have been coming around by this time. Beautiful photos of that pretty little bird that I've never heard of..Ha!

Andor Marton said...

Harry Jr. is so handsome and has a sweet expression on his face. He's probably a youngster.

The Early Birder said...

Great just to listen to the spring orchestra even if you can't ID everything. I am hoping (weather permitting) to listen to the Dawn Chorus this weekend (4 am start!) & hopefully tell you about it sometime soon. Lol FAB

Leedra said...

Harry Jr sure is cute. Like the last photo.

Leedra’s Photos For FunLeedra’s Greeting CardsPhotography By Leedra

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly.
Nice picture's, nice blog. Love your Squirrel so cute, although personally I don't think they are as sweet as our own Red Squirrel's.

Kelly said...

Roy and Mary...the Prothonotaries are very bright, aren't they? Probably my favorite yellow warbler... is a great part of my's like your Migrant Alley. Thank goodness you included that photo, because it was truly Beauty and the Beast...a fragile bird surrounded by the barbs of the fence. It was a beautiful photo.'s only 5 minutes from the office, and is a great escape!

Ginny...I haven't seen any baby squirrels in my yard yet. Yours may still be on the way!!

Andor...thanks for dropping by! We thought he was a youngster. He was too tame to be an adult, and so sweet looking.

Frank....4:00 a.m.! Sometimes I'm just going to bed at 3:00 a.m., but for birding, being the Early Birder is best (as you well know!!). You are so right. It doesn't matter if I recognize the calls or not, just listening to the beautiful music is all that's important. Morning birdsong is without compare...

Leedra...thank you for stopping by! The squirrels can be mischievous, but their sweet faces make up for any damage! are so right. Squirrel Nutkin, as drawn by Beatrix Potter is the quintessentially cute squirrel!!

Uncommon Depth said...

What a beautiful series of images. I really like the delicate look of the female Warbler.

Kelly said...

...thank you, Uncommon. I know what you mean...she isn't as bright, but has that gentle look to her.

Tim Rucci said...

Love the squirrel shots! I've always had a soft spot for baby animals... they are so cute. Sometimes it's great to just get outdoors and stay quiet, and notice the things of nature we miss so easily every day.

Kelly said... are so right. Just watch, listen and relax!

alex216 said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.