Friday, March 21, 2014

Meadowlark Morning

A friend went to Long Run Park yesterday, and posted beautiful photos of a Wood Duck pair he found, so this morning Dick and I headed for eastern Jefferson County in the bright spring sunshine to look for Wood Ducks. Although we scanned every inch of shoreline, particularly the small protected coves, we did not find any Wood Ducks. All our hours of listening to bird calls on tape came into good use though, since all the birds were singing loudly!
I love the sound of Meadowlarks, and they were everywhere this morning. One flew across the road before us, so we got out and played their call on my phone app to see if we could get a good look at him. He dashed out of the grass, over our heads, and into a tall tree where he could get a good look around for competitors.
 We casually walked his way, still playing the call from time to time. He eyed us from above, and eventually flew down, circled once, then dropped back into the grass. No fooling this guy! He knew exactly where that sound was coming from. Once he was sure we were no threat he got back down to whatever business was on hand for this morning. It was a real thrill for us to see him gleaming in the sun though!
Lots of other birds were enjoying the sunshine too. We saw more Blue Jays than any other bird I think, both calling "Jay Jay" and chasing each other around. I don't remember seeing so many of them at once, and thought they might be migrating, but the field guide said they are year-round residents in Kentucky. Someone had put a pile of dog food kibble on the ground and both Jays and Red-bellied Woodpeckers were taking advantage of the gift.
Cardinals chipped back and forth...
...while Grackles gave us the evil eye from overhead...
...and Red-winged Blackbirds called from almost every branch it seemed.
A pair of Red-shouldered Hawks circled each other, calling "Keer Keer", followed by a silent but majestic young Red-tailed Hawk up among the Turkey and Black Vultures.
Then a very unusual bird caught our attention. Instead of a "mottled" duck, this looked like a "model" duck - otherwise known as a model airplane with pontoons. The engine was quiet enough to not disturb the birds and we had fun watching it fly around. Tomorrow the temperatures should drop again, so I'm glad we got out there while the gettin' was good!

1 comment:

Grampy said...

Wonderful photos of the meadowlarks. I saw them as I was leaving but it was still too poor a light to photograph them. I did not see them the previous two days. Sorry I missed ya'll. When I saw the wood ducks they were flying out early. They will be back. Usually several pairs hang around there spring through fall.