Wood Lake Birding

This pair of house finches appeared to be on a date while bathing together in a puddle on the roof across of an apartment building next to mine.

The romantic atmosphere was interrupted when some house sparrows joined the pair.

After I finished my shift at The Raptor Center (nothing exciting to report there, I spent most of the morning scrubbing out travel crates, turf, and stuffing envelopes) I went over to Wood Lake Nature Center to look for birds. All the young Canada geese are out and about. Ah, the cute age that lasts about a week when they are tiny and puffy.

Wood Lake was covered in orioles. They didn't really have any oriole feeders at their feeding station so I had to try and get a photo old school style with them feeding on insects in the trees. Not as easy or as fun. I'll get better oriole photos at Mr Neil's when I check the bees on Thursday.

There's a wood duck box on the dock right outside the nature center. I was standing on the dock, scanning a lake when a hen from inside the box decided to fly out and cool off in the water. That's not a female wood duck, that's a female hooded merganser. Sweet.

I hung out near the shoreline, lots of birds were on the edge trying to bathe and lots of sparrows were lurking in the brush, flipping dried leaves looking for bugs. One bird was wildly flipping the leaves and I almost thought it was a brown thrasher, but I finally saw that it was a female towhee. I tried to aim the spotting scope in anticipation of where I thought she would be to get a photo. I didn't get the towhee, but I did get an obscured common yellowthroat instead.

Common yellowthroats are so pishable, I thought I'd get a photo of it. Alas, the pishing worked too well. The common yellowthroat kept staying way too close to get a photo, I couldn't get the scope to focus on it.

But while I was focusing on the yellowthroat, a green heron flew in overhead. I backed up, got it in the scope and took a photo.

I was only at Wood Lake for about an hour, but I got see some great birds. I love this time of year. Birds that are common in the summer are here as new arrivals and exciting to see. Pretty much anywhere you go will reveal warblers and even if you only have an hour to kill, you can see something exciting. I can't wait for banding this Friday!