Monday, March 9, 2015

Tagging Up

 Birding around St. John's takes on something of a Winter pattern. By now, all birders know where our unusual birds are. In fact, they have become more like our Winter pets than vagrant birds. Making a visit to see these birds like this Pine Warbler, the Red-winged Blackbird (pictured below) and the Brown Thrasher has become a birding routine. You can't go to Cape Spear everyday...
 Today while visiting the Bowring Park mixed flock, I got a rare bonus. Pippin (the Pine Warbler) has made a lot of friends who come to his buffet regularly. (I have showcased many of little ones in a previous post.)
 The latest addition to the gang is a terrific, peanut butter-loving Brown Creeper. It showed up shortly after I arrived at the viewing station, which has actually become quite slippery from all of the viewers standing for long periods of time.
 There it was in full view! Who gets to look at a creeper like this? I am used to tracking them through thick cover all around and up and down a tree, never really getting a good chance to look at it.
 This bark-colored bird didn't mind four of us standing nearby. It was savoring every morsel of peanut butter it could lick off the tree.
 He was so happy he squealed!
 Having an "eye" that has a predisposition to horizontal rather than vertical, I have rotated two images to be able to study the pattern of this bird in a more familiar position.
 The longer he ate, the bigger the chunks of peanut butter he took.
 Grabbing a large piece for "take-out," it flew off toward the washrooms, leaving four birders very happy for the visit.
 Continuing my "tagging up," I headed to Cochrane Pond to have a look at the Red-winged Blackbird that has wintered there. It was in the same area, except on the opposite side of the road. Seeds had been spread there, and it seemed like a safer, more protected location.
 What do our Winter birds have in common? They eat... a lot. They have to in order to stave off the cold winter temperatures and winds. All of our visitors have received a lot of help from local birders to survive the harsh conditions to which they are unaccustomed.
Leaving Goulds, I headed to Long Pond to see the Brown Thrasher. I didn't stay very long. As a result, I didn't see it today, but it has been seen by others and seems to be thriving.  And it goes...the need to see woodland birds has been fulfilled...for a while at least.

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