22 September 2007


I've come to realize that birding to me is a nice escape from the stress and problems of every day life. A year ago I had only a passing interest but once I became hooked there was no looking back. Now I revel in IDing fall warblers and I love chatting with local birders. There are so many opportunities to find new birding hotspots and see new bird behaviors. And now that fall migration has started, I barely want to stay in my little office with no window. I always find excuses to be out on the boardwalk and when I get there, I often walk back to the building an hour past what I expected would be my return. At least I have an understanding boss who doesn’t seem to mind as long as my work is done.

Today there were 6 warbler species on the back hammock. I know there was a Cape May somewhere but I couldn’t find it. I love the Black-throated Blues and the Yellow-throated Warblers. There’s something so hypnotic about bird watching.

The Black-bellied Whistling Duck babies are getting big. They have lost the yellow and black coloring in exchange for much duller grays and blacks. I actually had to do a double take to make sure it was them. The adults were everywhere I looked. I wonder if they are going to nest too. So far we’ve only had the two pairs with young. There are at least 6 or more pairs of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks hanging about making lots of noise.

In the above picture there are nine Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. They are usually sprinkled about the park but once a few start whistling and flying around all of them join in for a group meeting. This is an unfortunate time for the young because both parents usually leave them. It's always interesting to see how the egrets and herons seem to notice and start their advance in. The clutch I saw today had only 3 young left and the other clutch has been MIA for a couple of weeks. I hope that some of them are still hanging around.

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