Catching up with the birds

May 25, 2010
It’s been a while, I know. I meant to post a story about my trip to Prince Edward Point a week ago, but things just got ahead of me. :)
I certainly did have a great day of birding that day. It was the last day of the Prince Edward County Birding Festival. As a small anecdote that kind of sums up how excited I was, when I first arrived and was parking my car I saw a Northern Parula in a bush behind the parking area and I almost busted a rib as I twisted and turned to get a picture of it through the back window of my car. My ribs are still sore! :) But that was just the beginning of a day that was packed full of great sightings. During the 5 hours I was there I saw 14 different warblers, including a Golden-winged, Orange-crowned, Blackburnian, Palm, and this Chestnut-sided.

I also saw a Black-billed Cuckoo, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, some Kingbirds, Towhees, Grosbeaks, Orioles, Catbirds, Swallows, Sparrows, and much much more – just fantastic! Next year I am going to try to get a week off work so that I can spend more time at the Point during this amazing time of year.
Back home in our garden it has also been a special couple of weeks. We have a pair of Cardinals nesting in our hedge. Their chicks have hatched, and it’s been fun to watch the parents tending the nest and chasing away undesirables. The Cardinals seem to tollerate House Finches, Goldfinches, Doves, Sparrows, and most of the blackbirds, but they will not let a Blue Jay in the yard. The moment one shows up the male Cardinal attacks and chases them off. I have seen the same happen with the Grackles if they make the mistake of getting too close to the nest. Quite amazing to watch. We’ve also had baby Starlings and baby Grackles in the garden. What fun it is to watch them dog their parents all over the┬áplace begging for food. Just like human parents, these adult birds get no rest. :)
The other big treat lately has been the arrival of the Hummingbirds. I had seen one or two this past week, but today we had a female coming regularly, about every 15 minutes to feed on the nector of various flowers and flowering shrubs like the Honeysuckles, and of course also visiting the two feeders full of sugar-water. Sitting in the gazebo taking in all this wonderful activity is a pleasure I highly recommend. There’s never a dull moment and yet it is the epitome of feeling peaceful. Talk again soon, Garry –

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