Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cat Bird in the Garden

Every year brings surprises in Whites Creek Gorge. It is most likely that we just notice things anew that have been here all along, but bird behavior is a volatile thing, adjusts for weather conditions from year to year. I saw my first black throated blue warbler yesterday, comfirmed by a friend who also saw her first in her yard a few miles away. I had no chance for a picture of the black throated blue nor the black throated green warbler I saw a bit later. The yellow throats are regulars at the suet feeder along with the pine warblers. Habitat means everything to a bird species. New this year are the brown thrashers and the cat bird. It's not that they are uncommon elsewhere but that they tend toward scrub thickets and transitional areas. They don't hang out in deep forest all that much and that's what we have around the house. A pair f thrashers seems to have taken up in the brush pile that didn't get burned by our small field and a cat bird has discovered the raised beds in the garden.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yellow Throated Warbler (Update)

I think this is the most beautiful bird in the gorge. This one is fluffed up a bit, but when they slick everything back and display for the girls it can be amazing. I watched one collect dandelion fluff for the nest. Indescribable and awesome!

A good friend came over to take a bird walk yesterday, but they chose to be nearly silent during our hike. We sat by the creek and listened to some obvious old friends, kingfisher, cardinal, and finally a black throated green warbler. As we were heading back we heard a call that was familiar to me but that I had no idea of its source. I have been refering to it as the "chewy-chewy" bird because the last two bits of the call sound like "chewy-chewy" to me. Guess what? Click here to listen! Scroll down to see the song button. Does that sound like the chewy-chewy bird to you?

Monday, April 14, 2014

False Rue Anemone

I wish the folks who named this pretty little wildflower had thought it worthy of having it's own name. I've noticed the small patch for several springs but somehow never got around to looking it up to see what it is. Rue anemone is certainly the more ubiquitous wildflower and is popping out in all its glory all over our woods. As far as I have been able to see, the false rue is limited to one small wetland patch beside a hemlock grove. It is listed as endangered in Florida but seems to be hanging on in most of the Eastern USA. It isn't rare but it isn't everywhere, either. It's listed as "occasional", whatever that means. Our camera died at the exact instant I tred to photograph it so here's the shot from the USDA: Here's the link Go for a walk and look aroound. This is a beautiful time.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring at Whites Creek Journal Global Headquarters

Violet and redbud blossom salad...thinking of Rikki Hall.

There's plenty of redbud blossoms left for the zebra swallowtails and an amazing array of little bee and wasps. ( on that image for a decent picture.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Baby Play in the Gorge

We had three juvenile bald eagles romping in the air in front of my window just now. The adults are busy hauling food to the chick(s) and seem to be flying all times of the day. That's a good sign. The nest has been made much larger this year and is almost to its former glory. Let's hope we don't get the strong storms we had last year that blew it out of the tree. The good news is that the chicks may have fledged earlier than we thought last year and survived the blow down. There's no other explanation for there being three of them right now, since they only keep their juvenile feather for two to three years. I wasn;t ready with the camera when they twirled right up close to me. This is one of them about to land on the far side of the gorge. (Yes, Santa, I really need that 600mm nikon lens.)