Bobolinks and Snipes

The fog was just lifting this morning when the dog and I launched out on a wet birding adventure at the Sparrow Farm trail.  I was looking for Bobolinks since I had yet to see one in the county this year — and no sooner had we left the truck when I heard and saw several in the large unmowed hayfield before us.  They were fun to follow with the binoculars and were very actively flying, courting, and calling.  Taking photos of them was a challenge: they were up and then back down in the grass before I could focus on them.  They were pretty heavy for the wet stalks and sort of drooped down out of sight.  Here’s one just to prove I was there.

I logged six into eBird but think that probably a dozen were there.  It was encouraging to see, given their challenges due to the lack of grassland.

I logged six into eBird but think that probably a dozen were there. It was encouraging to see, given their challenges due to the lack of grassland.

I also heard Wilson’s Snipes winnowing – something I had heard before there.  Today, they were flying, high in the sky like remote controlled model planes, winnowing as they zoomed and dove.  I tried some flight shots — what a joke?   They were fast and quite a ways up there.  Here are a couple of lame photos.

You'll probably have to take my word that this is a high-flying snipe.  It is an amazing flier,

You’ll probably have to take my word that this is a high-flying snipe. It is an amazing flier,

 

I tried to get this one coming in for a landing.  In retrospect, I probably should have tried the video option since they were calling the whole time.

I tried to get this one coming in for a landing. In retrospect, I probably should have tried the video option since they were calling the whole time.

We had a nice walk through the marshy area into the woods and picked up, by ear and site, about 28 other species.  As we finished, the high pitched call of Cedar Waxwings alerted me to a couple just behind me on a low tree.  Here’s one of them.

It's hard to beat Cedar Waxwings for looks - they are cool characters.

It’s hard to beat Cedar Waxwings for looks – they are cool characters.

And then, in a birding bonus, a young woodchuck posed for us.  The dog was on her leash and never saw it — fortunately for my arm muscles.

 

"I know I'm just a rodent but I am pretty cute."

“I know I’m just a rodent but I am pretty cute.”

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