Closer Blue-winged Teal and a Yellow-rump: Late April 2021

A few days ago, I photographed some distant Blue-winged Teal here at Col. Sam Smith Park.

Blue-winged Teal

Today I arrived at dawn once again, and was surprised to see that a Teal was still here and, apparently growing accustomed to human presence, was coming much closer.

Blue-winged Teal (male)
Blue-winged Teal (male)
Blue-winged Teal (male)
Blue-winged Teal (male)
Blue-winged Teal (male)
Blue-winged Teal (male)

I was also able to photograph another “bluish” bird – a male Yellow-rumped Warbler:

Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)

MYSTERY BIRD

At the end of the post, I will identify it.

Here is what my grandfather, ornithologist Dr. J. Murray Speirs said about Red-breasted Mergansers: They always strike me as a high-spirited fowl, “having a ball”, diving, chasing, flying to a new fishing area, “necking”, and having great fun. “Anthropomorphism” you may object, but just watch them and see for yourself.

A small group were doing just that this morning:

Red-breasted Merganser (male)
Red-breasted Merganser (male)
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers

Other birds:

Double-crested Cormorants
Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Brown-headed Cowbird (female)
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Red-tailed Hawk
Common Grackle
Buffleheads
Brown-headed Cowbird (female)
Brown-headed Cowbird (male)
Song Sparrow
American Robin
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Mourning Dove
Brown-headed Cowbird (male)
Red-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebes
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Brown-headed Cowbirds (female)
Mourning Doves
American Goldfinch (male)
Double-crested Cormorant

There is always some competition between House Sparrows and Tree Swallows for the boxes which are put up in parks:

House Sparrow (female)
Tree Swallows
Tree Swallow
Tree Swallows

Someone apparently has begun putting bird seed on top of a few boxes. Probably done with good intentions, Tree Swallows are insect not seed eaters. This sign has appeared:

I have never heard of a Tree Swallow being killed by a House Sparrow though House Sparrows can nest in many places and, in a perfect world, would leave the boxes for the swallows.

MYSTERY BIRD

The dark wings and white eye patch make this a female Long-tailed Duck in summer plumage.

Long-tailed Duck (female)

NATURE POETRY

This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
And so do I;
When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,
And nestlings fly.                                                      – Thomas Hardy

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Closer Blue-winged Teal and a Yellow-rump: Late April 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Well, I suspected it was moulting, anyway. I remember getting excited about what I thought was a new, exotic variety of duck on one of the walks, only to learn that it was, in fact, a moulting Long-tailed Duck. I was so embarrassed! But it was certainly worth it, to learn something I never forgot (the moulting effect). The Blue-winged Teal pictures are wonderful, as are all the other pictures of ducks and birds, cavorting or otherwise. So much delight and beauty! Even with the dread of those Tree Swallow-killing House Sparrows hovering in the air (in a manner of speaking). Red in feather and claw. Who knew? Thanks, Miles!

    Reply
  2. Gloria James

    Thank you for the photos. This summer my goal is to identify the ducks on
    Paudash Lake (near Bancroft). I’m curious about how the cowbirds got their name?

    Reply

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