Thursday, November 26, 2009

Brisk Thanksgiving Morning

Since it is just me and my husband for Thanksgiving this year, I didn't have as much cooking to do, so went to Lucy Park birding when I got up. It was a brisk morning, with a heavy layer of frost on my windshield. But there was little or no wind and bright sunshine, so the weather was perfect for a good bird walk.

Lucy Park was wonderful this morning. I followed the sound of dozens of robins flying from tree to tree and then noticed some smaller birds. I followed them over to the river and had the rare pleasure of finding myself in the middle of a flock of approximately 70 Cedar Waxwings. They were bathing in the river, so were perched low and were taking turns going to the shore, splashing in the water and back to the lower branches. I stood just a few feet away and was able to see them clearly, even without binoculars. These are the first cedar waxwings I have seen this season.

Another treat was having the chance to watch a red-bellied woodpecker cache acorns. He would fly to the trunk of an oak tree midway between the lowest branches and the ground, scooch down the trunk backwards to just a few inches above the ground, jump down, grab an acorn, then fly right over my head to a tree across the river to hide them away in a high branch. He made a good half dozen trips with me watching him--he was still busily working when I walked on.

It was a great morning for woodpeckers overall. In addition to the red-bellied woodpecker, I saw an immature red-headed woodpecker by the duck pond, a downy woodpecker and a flicker. I heard several red-belllied woodpeckers throughout the park.

Other sitings this morning included: cardinal, blue jay, great-tailed grackle, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, Carolina wren, yellow-rumped warbler, white-throated sparrow, house sparrow, house finch, white-winged dove, Eurasian collared dove, starling, pigeon, junco, spotted towhee, fox sparrow, mockingbird, song sparrow, great blue heron, ruby-crowned kinglet, Canada goose, and mallard.

A great start to Thanksgiving--I hope everyone has a wonderful day with family and friends. There's nothing like the smell of pumplin pie baking (like mine is now). Soon it will be the smell of the turkey.

Good birding!

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