Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A Little Bird for a Grey Day

     While the weather has been gloomy and grey, the birds have been out and in numbers. Of course, I've missed some of the better days, but let's be real any day with birds in it is a good day. Last Friday, I went out with Kestrel, which I am learning I need to really do in the morning because that day and another day we went in the afternoon and she just wasn't having it. She was fighting the urge to nap and I suppose is just more of a morning person. A true birder.

    We traveled to Green-Wood Cemetery and in the afternoon because I wanted to pick up my favorite dumplings to bring home and cook for dinner (highly recommend this dumpling shop!) and some bubble tea (our neighborhood lacks in these culinary comforts). I also was hoping for some pine siskins and purple finches in my life (well, year). A few bonus bird happened too like Lincoln's sparrow (year bird), sharp-shinned hawk (year bird), and grasses crawling with additional sparrows and a young indigo bunting.

    A trip that included the biggest in-the-out-of-doors poopie diaper, an anti-nap tantrum that maybe made some visitors question what I was doing to this poor child, and the snuggle sesh that a red-tailed hawk watched way too keenly (no, baby is not for noms!), despite these, we had a successful outing and still an enjoyable time. We even got to find my maternal grandmother (her great-grandmother's) grave and have a little visit with her before leaving for the afternoon.

If it has seeds, it has siskins.
Pine siskins are having a heck of a distribution this migration, people are reporting them in places far south of here. Normally, in the winter there is a small sprinkling of them in our area, but this is something else! Due to the seed output (or lack thereof) in the North, we are finding winter finches moving further south than usual. So we are all hoping for some good sights this winter!

At first glance, many think these to be young goldfinch. While very similar, their streaky bodies with that yellow blaze on their primary feathers is a great way to know they are not goldfinch.

At the Dell Water, the long grasses are productive with seed and brimming with birds. The young indigo bunting shoes some blue hues through its brown feathers. I also spotted a Lincoln's Sparrow and chipping sparrow among song sparrows and, you guessed it...

Pine siskins.
And at this exciting moment of grasses laden with birds, the baby began to put up Phase 1 of her fuss, the poopie diaper. We bid these little buddies farewell as a different kind of nature called.

Now that poopie diaper trauma was over, we moved into phase 2 of the tantrum, the nap fight. , just as we walked right up to (unbeknownst to us) this red tailed hawk.

We stopped in our tracks and observed. Like any good urban hawk, a baby crying was just another background noise.

So unfazed, it didn't even put its foot down and break away from its resting stance. It did though watch us intently as we found a seat further away to have a bottle and a few snuggles.

I did get to see two purple finches when baby finally settled into a nap... but so did this sharp-shinned hawk. All the little birds sought refuge as this little hawk remained persistent.

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