Wings Set Me Free

Hi River Roaders,

A change of pace this week with a focus on the birds that frequent our grounds. The pools formed by our springs are a real attraction, especially during the warmer weather. There is a new bench on a trail where you can sit and watch the birds taking baths. It’s not unusual to have birds lined up to take their turn in the pool. 

American robin in the pool. We have many robin pairs in the conservation area.

Catbird in the pool. We have at least two pairs in the conservation area. Catbirds are “mimic thrushes” like mockingbirds. They string together many different bird songs without repeating them in a phrase.

Took some time to get this one. I had been hearing Cedar Waxwings all week – around home, by the river, and here at RRUUC. They move around in flocks, feeding on berries and seeds, I’ve seen large flocks here in the winter also.

Cedar Waxwings always amaze me.

Blue jay getting ready to take a bath, perched on a young ash tree.

The big guy. Pileated woodpecker. Those of us of a certain age remember “Woody the Woodpecker”. This guy.

OK birders, I think this a Swainson’s thrush. It didn’t vocalize. No warm tones on the back. Eye ring. Let me know what you think. This is a very cool bird that is moving thru on migration. Their call is ethereal.

Carolina wren on the fence in the playground.

Lets go out with a favorite. For the last couple of years we have had a pair of Rufus-Sided Towhees (year round) on our grounds. You can see them pretty reliably when you visit – they feed on the ground, scratching in the leaves. They have a distinctive “Drink your tee” call.

I was hoping to include some warbler photos, but they remained elusive. I was pretty close to getting American Redstart and Northern Parula Warblers, but they never cleared the leaves for a good shot.

That’s all for this week. Next week should still be great birding. Stop by, sit on the bench, and watch the pool!