Migrating birds, critters, past 3 wks
When fall migration started, we decided to drop by Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, near Cave Run Lake, once a week to check out the fish breeding pools
7-26-09, 9:54 a.m.
The Giant Canada Geese goslings were almost adults by then
7-26-09, 10:09 a.m.
I saw a white tern flitting over the four largest breeding ponds and while walking that way encountered a large crawdad in the road
Bingo! Our first migrant..a Forster's Tern! Last saw these guys on the Florida beaches this past New Year's weekend.
A dive-bombing Barn Swallow did its best to discourage the tern
Other creatures besides birds take advantage of the fish hatchery habitat
7-26-09, Licking River lagoon, Chicken Turtle
7-26-09, Licking River Lagoon, used for Muskellunge fish breeding
A wild turkey hen vanished into the brush on the bank
When hiking around a large property always helpful to have a spouse willing to double as camera assistant/equipment sherpa. Though not a birder, he has better eyesight than I have (former airline pilot) and often spots migrating species for me.
I made his camo outfit out of material left over from making my own
7-26-09, fish hatchery lagoon, juvenile Eastern Wood Peewee
Two juvenile Broad-winged Hawks kept evading me, so we used the car as a blind to even get this close
7-26-09, empty fish breeding pond, migrating Least Sandpiper, 12:40 p.m. Not as close as the pics I got during spring migration
Juvenile Great Blue Heron
The same evening I saw a hapless Song Sparrow feeding a giant Cowbird chick
7-26-09, Tulip Poplar by deck, 5:15 p.m.
7-26-09, our farm, juvenile male White-breasted Nuthatch, not yet able to grasp wire firmly
Another favorite birding spot is the 1400 acre Poppy Mnt property where we go almost daily to swim. A mixed herd of mules, donkeys, ponies, and horses wanders the back 500 acre section.
8-14-09, Poppy Mnt top, horse herd, 7:39 p.m. Red Poppy Mnt barn seen on distant hill
7-28-09, Poppy Mnt, stair-step horses in a row, drinking from "pay lake." 4:20 p.m.
We often see deer as well
7-30-09, Poppy Mnt pay lake, fledgling Green Herons, 4:29 p.m. I previously posted photos of them, and they left the Willow tree a few days after this photo
A quick drive-around at the fish hatchery one evening netted us a serendipity
8-1-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, adult Bald Eagle, 5:10 p.m.
8-1-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, Spotted Sandpiper, 5:27 p.m.
Our pond cam was still picking up the Wood Ducks at that time (they're gone now)
8-5-09, Cuddeback game cam, male and female juvenile Wood Ducks and mother, 3:20 p.m.
8-5-09, male and female juvenile Wood Ducks, 3:22 p.m.
On another fish hatchery trip we drive slowly past emptied fish breeding pools to see if any migrating shore birds were feeding in the muck
8-16-09, Lesser Yellowlegs, 9:16 a.m.
8-16-09, Least Sandpiper, 9:31 a.m.
8-16-09, juvenile Sanderlings, 9:37 p.m.
Juvenile Least Sandpiper, 9:40 a.m.
8-16-09, another view of Licking River lagoon used for Muskellunge fish breeding, 10:09 a.m.
Another distant shot of the juvenile Broad-winged Hawk, 10:12 a.m.
The next evening we went swimming on Poppy Mnt and on the way back I noticed a
8-17-09, flock of turkey hens, poults, crossing road far ahead of us
8-17-09, Poppy Mnt, Dad Barn Swallow feeding son, 7:28 p.m.
The past few nights coming back from swimming we encountered what appear to be yearling twin deer. They ignore the car or approach, curious about the camera shutter sounds. The little doe will then spook, buck and run like crazy in a circle, then return to her brother(?). Once he even lay down near the car and she came and stood by him.
It's been too dark for the Canon 40D to get a clear photo, however. Time for a Canon EOS 50D, or at least to replace the broken flash extender
8-18-09, Poppy Mnt hayfield, yearling spike buck, 8:19 p.m.
Despite seeing migrating shore birds at the fish hatchery, we've yet to see any migrating birds locally and most of the locals have left. When we're swimming on Poppy Mnt the surrounding woods are eerily silent..no fledgling cries, or wailing Red-tailed Hawks. Of course the hay fields are full of Goldfinches and Barn Swallows, but song birds have mostly disappeared.