Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Birds at Bernheim

Dick and I spent the "weekstart" (the opposite of "weekend," of course, being Monday and Tuesday instead of Saturday and Sunday) at Bernheim Forest, our favorite nature place in the area. Dick spends so much time there volunteering, that we enjoy a chance to get out and explore for our own fun. Although birding wasn't the primary focus of our ramblings, I can't resist taking bird photos whenever the opportunity presents itself. Vultures are always good subjects when they fly slowly overhead. If you look carefully at this Vulture though, you can see that it looks as if it is being chased by a dragonfly! I love these serendipitous shots!
Bernheim is working on a project to restock the quail population on the property. They hatch the eggs, and feed them till they are ready for release. We ran across one of the workers on the project who let us take a look at them. Sometimes raccoons find the cage, and chase the babies around till the partner raccoon can grab it through the fence. Apparently they like to eat the heads.
Last weekend artists designed bird houses, which they hung along a trail. This is my favorite - a true sign of the times.
As the sun crept down, we spied this Green Heron perched on a rock in the shallow end of Lake Nevin. The profile of this heron is so distinctive, you don't have to have a close look to know what it is. The weather has been so dry here in Kentucky, that all the creeks and lakes levels are down quite a bit.
As I waited in the car for Dick to return the lodge key, I heard something singing sweetly in the branches above, and thought I better look for it. We had seen a Redstart flying through the branches, lots of LBJ's (Little Brown Jobs - otherwise unidentifiable to us), and scads of migrating Blue Jays. I hoped for a warbler I could get a good look at, and this time I lucked out. I think this is an immature Magnolia Warbler. (I later asked a good birder friend, who said she thought this was a Pine Warbler instead.)
What a sweet little thing it is! Yes, I'm stretching it a bit to call this a bird, but it is an Eastern Pond "Hawk," one of the hundreds of dragoflies hunting over the Great Prairie. I expect to see them around water, and am surprised to see them over dry land as often as we do.
Click on the photo for a larger version, and sit in awe of the delicacy and strength of these transparent window pane wings! They look like a work of art in glass to me.


Carol Mattingly said...

I haven't been to Bernheim in about a month. I need to get out there. Things looking pretty nice. Lovely images. Carol

Mary Beth-the Daughter said...

Mom can you e-mail that last dragonfly image? I think i'll use it as an example of an 11x14 poster at work. Of course this is assuming that you don't mind me using your work. I was going to ask you for a hawk photo but I think I like this dragonfly as well. Thanks