Friday, December 17, 2010

Kelly's Brook

Kelly's Brook, accessible off Carpasian Road, offers a small, protected, and abundant respite for many birds. This is one of those places that seems to attract vagrant birds (warblers) during the winter. There is a good mix of deciduous and coniferous trees and plenty of insects to go around.

Last year a Yellow-rumped Warbler took up winter residency at this location. This year, there is a Yellow Warbler (winter plumage pictured left) and a Wilson's Warbler residing there. I found this Yellow Warbler in a yard at the parking lot of the baseball field, near Kelly's Brook. It soon flew back to the brook. I was watching two yellow warblers that were located a different ends of the brook. I'm sure one of those was the Wilson's Warbler, but I didn't get pictures.

It was on December 7 when we experienced a particularly balmy day of about 11 degrees C. Insects were everywhere and so were birds. In addition to the warblers, the Green-winged Teal and the Eurasian Teal that are usually found in this spot, a Belted Kingfisher was feeding.

 The Belted Kingfisher is a particularly loud bird. It would fly in chattering and fly off chattering. This went on most of the morning, but it is very difficult to get close to them. I was really enjoying all of the activity at the brook when in flew this Sharp-shinned Hawk and disrupted all of it.  The little birds took off and hid away in the trees.

This hawk didn't stay very long but had a long-lasting effect on the activity at the brook. It took the little birds i.e. Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees, Boreal Chickadees, warblers and Golden-crowned Kinglets a long time to venture out of their hiding places.

Sharp-shinned Hawks seem to be everywhere these days. I have seen four within the last two weeks. They get hungry, too, I guess.

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