Monday, October 04, 2004

Marsh Wren

Got a new bird for my yard today - Marsh Wren. I found it down at the pond, just before dusk, on a little island of emergent vegetation. It's not a species that I would have given a high probability of finding here. The pond has some weedy margins, but otherwise offers little appropriate habitat. Of course I made sure to scope it from inside my fence so it would be a legitimate addition to the yard list. Other migrants seen here today included Chimney Swifts, a couple of Northern Parulas, and a pair of Summer Tanagers.

This afternoon I walked around the Garden Center in Tyrrell Park. While following a little passerine flock I spotted a Barred Owl perched against the trunk of a tree. A Northern Waterthrush and an Indigo Bunting were the only neotropical migrants seen there.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Arachnophobia At Sabine Woods

Thursday afternoon I drove out to Sabine Woods to take my mind off work (and the big troubles I'm having there). The lantana and turk's cap were still blooming, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were abundant. Dragonflies were also swarming over the sanctuary, and I saw an unfortunate few caught in the webs of giant garden spiders. These spiders were HUGE. Their webs were everywhere, and multiple spiders clung to some of them. It was no place for someone with arachnophobia.

There were plenty of passerine migrants around. Because of all the spiders and mosquitoes I didn't go into the woods, and only birded from the roadside and the large clearing near the entrance. I saw 3-4 White-eyed Vireos, a Brown Thrasher, an American Redstart, a Northern Parula, 2 Summer Tanagers, a Blue Grosbeak, and several Indigo Buntings. A Great Kiskadee was heard but remained unseen near the entrance to the sanctuary - probably the same one reported here off and on since July.

The weather has been pleasantly warm and dry in recent weeks. The remnants of Tropial Storm Ivan (formerly Hurricane Ivan) dropped a little rain on us, but not as much as predicted.