Saturday, June 1, 2019

Out and About: I Love the Month of May!!!

I really do love the month of May. There's so much to see and do. Migratory birds come back to the area and wildflowers pop up in the woods and along trails. It's time to play in the dirt and plant vegetables and flowers. Although temperatures were up and down, many days were rainy and cloudy, and there was some thunder and hail, I still had to get out to see what and who was around. Besides Baltimore Orioles coming to my feeders, I also had a pair of Indigo Bunting for the very first time visit my yard. I didn't run for my camera because I just wanted to watch them and see what they were doing. The male disappeared in the garden while the female stayed on the honeysuckle bush. He probably was looking for insects to eat. After a few minutes they left together. A little later I saw a male Indigo in Pat's field at the end of Cleveland Avenue. The field is a good spot to see Eastern Bluebirds and catch Red-tailed Hawks perched up in tree tops. I saw a first of the season sighting of a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the evening of May fourth. Two males have been fighting over exclusive rights to the porch feeder most of the month. One chases after the other and then puppy guards the feeder by watching from a close by apple tree branch. In our parks, woods, and trails, we  have many warblers and woodland birds. I have heard and/or seen, Wood Thrushes, Ovenbirds, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Northern Catbirds, Veery Thrushes, Eastern Wood Pewees, Common Yellow-throat Warblers, Great-crested Flycatchers, and Red-eyed Vireos. Many wildflowers are also around in the Peck Avenue woods and trail edges such as, Wild Geranium, Woodland Phlox, Trout Lilies, Red Trilliums, Jack-in-the-Pulpits, May Apples, and False Soloman's Seal.
I got back to the Ballston Creek Preserve on May eleventh and there were still just three Great Blue Heron nests. One heron was sitting in a nest. Two were standing together in a nest, while the third nest was empty. Two herons stood in trees near the nests. I will go back again to check on this now small colony. It is the smallest I've seen here.
I made a first time visit to Coldspring Preserve in Northumberland. It's a Saratoga Plan Preserve. There were a lot of wildflowers at the trail's beginning and a Hermit Thrush back in the woods. I was hoping to see a Blanding's Turtle which is a threatened species in the area but didn't come across one.
A return trip to OK Slip Falls in Indian Lake was wonderful. The falls were twice as big as when I saw them four years ago. Painted Trilliums lined the trail along with flowering Hobblebushes. We followed moose tracks on the way out for over a mile but no sighting. Enjoy the rest of Spring!
Yellow-rumped Warbler in South Lawn

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Bill Cleaning

Puppy Guarding the Feeder

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on my Apple Tree

Northern Catbird Mimics Other Bird Songs

Gaywings at Coldbrook Preserve

A Hermit Thrush at Coldspring Preserve Serenaded me with its Lovely Song

Flowering Hobblebush on the OK Slip Fall Trail

OK Slip Falls Indian Lake

Painted Trillium on OK Slip Falls Trail

Moose Track on OK Slip Trail

Meeting of the Jacks in Peck Avenue Woods


False Soloman's Seal Peck Avenue Woods

Wild Geranium on Zim-Smith Trail

Woodland Phlox

Woodland Phlox on Zim-Smith Trail