Graeme and I went to Shenandoah NP yesterday to look for birds, and, hopefully a bear.
Birding was a lot slower than we had hoped, and the bears eluded us.
On the insect front, we had hoped to find some butterflies, but they they, too were scarce.
Hard at work in the Big Meadow.
The view from Skyline Drive. `
We were surprised to find this Dark Eyed Junco, who must be at the southern end of his range.
Chipping Sparrows were abundant.
We found a flock of Goldfinches in the Big Meadow, where we spent most of our time.
We saw thousands of Sand Flies, which were appreciated by the many Flycatchers.
Cedar Waxwings were taking advantage of the flies also.
Bluebirds and Sparrows were the dominant species.
This Yellow Rumped Warbler was the only warbler we found.
I went back to Governor Bridge this morning, but there’s still no large influx of migrants. I did find a few birds, and the oriole was the first I’ve seen in a while.
A couple hours looking for bugs was only moderately successful.
This young Common Yellowthroat was probably born at Governor Bridge.
I watched this Great Egret fish for half an hour, but he didn’t catch anything.
This Flycatcher watched me watching the egret.
This juvenile Indigo Bunting will be heading south soon.
The colors of a Baltimore Oriole are astonishing.
I read about some good birds at Terrapin yesterday, so I decided to give it a try. I found a few, but it was no bonanza. The park rangers have taken to patrolling in motorized carts, and they scare away the birds on every pass, and they come through all too frequently.
I managed to find a few bugs as well.
This Chestnut Sided Warbler will winter in Central or South America.
I saw several Eastern Kingbirds in the park.
The American Redstart is one of my favorite warblers.
With another perfect day and last night’s North winds, I anticipated an influx of migrants, but it just didn’t happen. Birds were scarce in general, and not a migrant was in sight.
I did see a few bugs, and more spiders than usual.
Blue Gray Gnatcatchers were the most active birds this morning.
This Great Blue Heron was fishing i the small pond near the parking lot.
Yet another juvenile Indigo Bunting.
This Nursery Web Spider is guarding her egg sac.
This spider is new to me.
A few months ago, I started using my Nikkor 55mm with a 12mm extension tube for macro shots. I had been using a Nikon 55mm micro with a TC-2 converter, but the manual focus was difficult for my 70 year old eyes. I was getting some good shots, but i had a lot of blurry shots to delete, as well. Results were much better with AF. I then read ab out the DCR 250 on a FB Macro group, and I ordered one. Graeme was skeptical at the time, and I wasn’t sure if it was worth the $70.00 cost. Well, we’re both sold now, and Graeme is now using it as well.
Examples of close ups with the DCR 250
Graeme has just made a video with a detailed explanation of the gear and techniques.
This is a nice variety compared to recent days.[/caption]It was in the low 60s this morning, so I was wearing a light jacket when I arrived around 6:30.
Plenty of birds were active, and I got some good shots almost immediately.
I was going to walk the upper trail, but I got distracted by some good bugs.
This Common Yellowthroat was deep in a small bush, and It took a while to get a decent shot.
Flycatchers are hard to ID, and I’m not sure which this is.
This Indigo Bunting appears to be molting.
This American Redstart is a juvenile.
This Red Winged Blackbird posed to well to pass up.
This Northern Cardinal is probably defending his turf.
It’s hard to get a good look at a Belted Kingfisher, but this one landed quite near me.
The migrants are finally arriving. There was a NE wind last night, and a few birds showed up this morning. A good omen for the next few weeks.
I got a little more cooperation from the bugs, also.
This American Redstart was very shy.
The Wood Thrush lives around here in the Summer, but I haven’t seen many.
Yet another juvenile Indigo Bunting.
The images I got today weren’t very good, so I’m including this one from last year.
The lack of birds continued today. No migrants at all, and no photos worth posting.
I did find a worthwhile spider and a few other bugs.
This Wolf Spider is very handsome.
Fall migration seems to be slow this year. I didn’t see any migrants today, and damn few in the last few days. Hopefully, we’ll get some action soon.
Bug hunting was slow, and I quit early in the heat and humidity.
This is a first year White Eyed Vireo.
This Catbird is molting.
A small flock of Song Sparrows was foraging on the path.
Many Common Yellowthroats breed at Wooton.
This Eastern Phoebe posed very nicely.