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Tag Archives: song sparrow

Whether dog walking, paddling my boat or sitting around camp, I enjoy watching and listening for birds. Sometimes they are only heard and not seen and I don’t always know the songs or calls but I keep trying to remember them. Maybe that’s a good thing for an aging brain?

From the tiniest Yellow Warbler to the fearsome Bald Eagle, they are all interesting. I am especially happy with the image of the Ring-necked Ducks. You can actually see the ring, if you look close, on the male. And the spotted goose is probably a leucistic Canada Goose. The Song Sparrow and the Yellow Warblers sang from morning til evening, but not quite as persistently as the American Robins. I frequently heard the Spotted Sandpipers call as they flew along the lake’s edge. They are fun to watch as they bob their tail up and down when they are searching for food.

I have found that birds are easier to view when I am in my kayak than when I am walking around. The birds don’t perceive a person in a boat to be as big a threat as a person on the ground. The kayak provides a good point of view for some of the smaller songbirds which often elude me, leaving me to guess their species by a call or a song. I struggle with birding by ear, especially the warblers and Empidonax flycatchers. Except Willow Flycatchers. They have a distinctive call that sounds like ‘fitzbuuu’.

The Pileated Woodpecker was seen from our campsite. The Yellow-rumped Warbler darted back and forth catching bugs above the water. There were baby Song Sparrows along the lakeshore and adults singing and calling from the shrubs above. Red-winged Blackbirds NEVER perch still for me to get a photo. Never. An Empidonax flycatcher waited for insects in between its frequent ‘fitzbuuu’ calls. See the crack in that snag? In the next photo, look carefully for the departing Tree Swallow. They are fast. I waited and waited to get that one image. I have several of the bird’s tail feathers flying away. The Yellow Warbler was lovely in the green alder leaves. Coots were elusive in the marshy area of the lake, quickly gathering their bright orange chicks and moving them into cover. An Eastern Kingbird gracefully hurled a pellet while I was making its photo. I came across the Killdeer family while on a drive about.

Of course, there were loons. And another highlight, not photographed, was a Sora with babies!

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