Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bonanza Day

It seemed like old times today with birds flitting in and out of the Hercules Club. Since all the herbicide spraying at Carpenter's Woods I've limited my fall birdwatching to the Wissahickon and Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, excluding John Heinz NWR which seems to lack Hercules Club.

I've seen robins most days I've been out but not much else other than a few Black-throated Blues. Today was also quiet for the first hour. Only a Hairy Woodpecker added any excitement to the day.

But after about an hour a flock of American Robins came through, flitting here and there, bathing in the stream, and often crashing into the Hercules Clubs to gorge themselves. As I watched through my binoculars I began to pick up other smaller birds.

One was the prototypical warbler of the Walkingstick: the Black-throated Blue Warbler. He's almost THE picture of fall. But I also saw other birds, some about the same size, and another a bit larger. Eventually I identified a couple of small ones as Northern Parulas, a warbler I've often seen on Hercules Club.

But the larger one was a surprise and I think the first I've seen feeding on the fruit: a Scarlet Tanager, in the yellow colors of post-breeding. There was at least one and possibly more.

One other bird also made an appearance nearby: a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, the first I've seen this fall. I saw it in near proximity of Hercules Club but never actually feeding.

I think I spent at least an hour in this one location trying to ID all the birds that flew into the HC. This is the way I remember fall feeding on Hercules Club. The only thing missing was some of the rest of the thrush family.

The sketch at top includes a small warbler that I eventually was able to ID as a Northern Parula, a Black-throated Blue Warbler, and the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, all sketched today.

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