Magical Morning at Little Piney
At 7 am mist floats above the front field. Spiders’ webs fly like white surrender flags in the dawn. The webs hold hundreds of Lynx spiders’ eggs guarded by watchful mothers.
Sparrows and Cardinals chip and sing in the tall fading field. A Lincoln’s Sparrow, just back for the winter, hops up for a quick look about.
Eastern Bluebirds team up for a breakfast hunt.
Bluebirds perch on electric wires above the field with a tiny friend. I’m accustomed to seeing Pine Warblers and Eastern Bluebirds together, but a reader pointed out that this yellow bird might be an American Goldfinch.
The motion in and between two large elms can’t be captured. Dozens of birds fly back and forth and flit from branch to branch non-stop. I can’t count the moving targets; in addition to Eastern Bluebirds, Pine Warblers, and Sparrows, I see a Kinglet, an Eastern Phoebe, a Northern Flicker, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. A flock of white birds sails over with sweet, high calls–migrating Franklin’s Gulls.
As I head back toward the lake, I see black dots in the sky. Overhead the dots take shape–a swirling flow of two hundred American Pelicans passes over Little Piney.
Along the way, Cardinal songs criss-cross the fields. Woodpeckers call, Wrens and Kinglets scold, and all kinds of birds mark my passing.
Light catches large webs along the edge of the forest, and I brush webs from my hair.
At the Lake
Once at the lake, I enter the busy domain of Yellow-rumped Warblers, tiny birds who are seldom still. With so much motion, it’s hard to sort out who else is there, but it’s a similar mix to the birds in front.
A sudden arrival, the brightest Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker I’ve ever seen zooms in for a landing and gets to work hammering away.
A Hawk Encounter
I look up, and a Red-shouldered Hawk waits just in front of me on a branch, She quickly drops into the grass, and flies back up with something in her talons. Not until I see the photos do I make out the very large grasshopper which she devoured in a few bites. See all the photos here.
Just across the creek, this trio of Black Vultures gathers. Perhaps waiting for leftovers?
Sweetly ruffled Inca Doves perch on mossy branches. Another favorite bird back for the season. I feel very blessed by this magical morning at Little Piney.