Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Birding in the 'Burbs

A cold front came through last evening with heavy rain, gusty winds and much cooler more pleasant temperatures. When we got up this morning the clear blue sky called, and off we went birding at some nearby St. Matthews city parks. Didn't find anything exotic, although you never can tell, but we enjoyed the birds we did find.
Canada Geese are year round residents in Kentucky these days. None of this tiring migrating stuff for our birds. The weather ususally isn't too bad in winter, and there are plenty of places to stay and things to eat. Why should they leave? The first park runs along Beargrass Creek, and the geese were out in force. We saw at least 25 adults, and about the same number of goslings in various sizes. It looked like three families decided to come to the park for a picnic with their 15 youngsters!
We were very careful to be respectful of the parents, since they can take a chunk out of you real fast. Aren't these babies cute little fuzz balls?
Mama Mallard and her fuzzy ducklings dabbled in the shallow water for goodies. Looks like the ducklings know just how to do it.
I'm getting better with eBird. It's much easier to do on the phone app than to wait and use the laptop when I get home. I can now find existing hotspots, such as Draut Park, with no problem. I set up my own personal spot for another small park and saved it. Is there a way to name some of these?
It's funny that we saw no hawks at all over the weekend in rural Western Kentucky. A Red-shouldered Hawk circled the park, landed briefly, then took off again, chased by both a Mockingbird and Robin. Poor guys. It's tough to be persecuted.
I love the iridescent feathers and bright yellow eye of the Common Grackle.
Mississippi Kite
To finish off our morning of birding in St. Matthews, we headed for the residential area where the Mississippi Kites have returned for their 3rd year (I think)! I'm always amazed that they would choose a neighborhood filled with houses and cars to nest in. There must be enough insects nearby to satisfy them, but I could have thought a more open area would have provided easier hunting. There are two pairs that have been coming back. Even our friend who lives on that street isn't positive where their nest actually is.

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