Monday, August 1, 2016

Road Trips (1): Prattsville NY

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Bobolink, Prattsville NY
not a sparrow

I'm sorry my blogging has been so sparse lately; I'll try to do better. Summer birding has also been pretty sparse, though it's starting to pick up. While it was slow, we went on a couple of nice road trips.

The first was to a friend's summer place in Prattsville NY. We've been up there around the summer solstice the last couple of years, and it's always great.

As before, the highlight was all the nesting Bobolink in the fields at the nearby crossroads. Interestingly, thefemales were very active and I got some wonderful close-up views of them. I'm not sure what was different from previous years--perhaps they got an earlier start with their nesting, since some of them were clearly carrying food.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Bobolink, Prattsville NY
"bug in beak went my love flying..."

I had never seen female Bobolinks so close before, only perching up briefly on power lines. In fact, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what these odd largish sparrows were, until one of the males popped up nearby giving the same contact call as the "sparrows".

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Bobolink, Prattsville NY
3-2-1 contact!

On the farm itself, most of the usual nesters were around--Prairie Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Indigo Bunting, Song Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow--plus one I'd never had there before, a very loud Ovenbird in a stand of trees. The were mostly prety cagey this year, though, and I didn't get a lot of good photos.

One Common Yellowthroat did come out for a visit, bathing freqently in water pooled on the plastic cover of a sandbox in the yard.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Common Yellowthroat bathing, Prattsville NY
making a splash

Also, a gorgeous male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird enjoyed a feeder right off the porch. I spent a couple of hours photographing him as he visited every nine minutes like clockwork. Somehow, I was never able to get a sharp photo with the right angle of light to really show off his throat. I'm pretty happy with this snap, though--oh, those feet.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Prattsville NY
a clockwork Ruby

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