Sweet! Sweet! Sweet!

4/26/2021


Another catch-up post. I did not have a lot of photos from the previous weekend, but I still managed not to get them posted. Honestly, things have been a bit hectic. I am hoping things square away for migration.


So, the previous weekend was a bit of a dud, for me. I was ahead on hours; so, I went to Eagle Creek Park Friday morning for a little bit of birding before heading home and wrapping up the work week. Saturday, my brother and I headed south to Bloomington, where we drove right into the rain. Birding was slow and a bit wet. We called it a bit early, and I headed up to Eagle Creek Park for some birding. It was overcast, and I was not ready to give up on the day. As luck would have it, the sun came out right as I arrived at the park. Harsh light and more slow birding quickly drove me back home. Where I was greeted with overcast skies. Determined to make something of the day, I headed back to the other side of town to look for Blue-winged Teal. Of course, the sun came back out. I made the best of it, anyway. I sat in the grass a while and just enjoyed the sunshine and good weather. Sometimes, things just do not work out; no matter how hard you try.

Sunday, I decided to change things up a bit and headed to Ft. Ben. I was hoping to find some Yellow-rumped Warblers along the creek. There were a few, but none that were low enough for a shot. The nice surprise was a very active Brown Creeper nest. I sat back for about 20 minutes and watched the two parents busily collect food and run it to the nearby nest. Definitely the highlight of the weekend.


By the time this last weekend arrived, I really needed some good birding to take my mind off things. Migration has been a bit slow so far. I am assured that I say that every year. This year, I am convinced that it has been slow. Saturday, I headed to Eagle Creek Park. I was sure that the overcast skies and light rain would have dropped some migrants and kept them low in the trees. Perfect for some all-day shooting. In the end, it was a bit too overcast, and the migrants pretty much stayed up in the tops of the trees; rain or no rain. A couple Yellow-rumps saved the morning. I also had a Ruby-crowned Kinglet pop out, preen, and then sing me a song. Most cooperative little kinglet I have ever seen. The oddest birds of the day would have to be a Red-breasted Nuthatch singing and working her way through the trees and a heard-only Northern Waterthrush singing along the bank of the reservoir.

Trying to take advantage of the overcast skies, I headed over to the Crest to look for my favorite sparrow. I had at least 2 and 1 tick. The breeze was keeping the birds down in the grass, but one eventually let me creep up on it and get a mostly clean shot of it singing. The little hiccup song of the Henslow's Sparrow is cute. They put so much effort into it.

Sunday was another Ft. Ben day. I was very confident that there would be some migrants around. Well, I was somewhat right. Oddly, I had zero Yellow-rumped Warblers. There was a Northern Waterthrush that evaded me. I heard both Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos. The highlight was a pair of Prothonotary Warbler chasing each other up the creek. I got lucky a little earlier in the morning and caught one of them as they were working a fallen tree on the other side of the creek. I had heard the "Sweet Sweet Sweet" call ringing along the creek and tracked it down. Some pishing popped him up and on top of the snag for a few seconds before he flew up higher into the trees on the other side of the creek. This bright little guy was the only bird I photographed that day. It is hard to complain about.

I did check the creeper nest, and there was zero activity. I know very little about Brown Creepers and their nesting habits. I do know that they were very active and obviously feeding some hungry mouths. Whether they have fledged already or something happened to them, it is hard for me to say. Maybe they were just gathering food further from the nest and did not return in the 5 minutes I was hanging out nearby.


Thanks for reading,

Mike





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