Left: summer tanager concealed in undergrowth at Lucy Park at upper center of photo.
Yesterday, I had some budding ornithologists and others on a bird walk at River Bend as part of the Earth Day celebration. Although we took our walk at 2:00 PM, we did see some decent birds. Among them: house sparrow, house finch, cardinal, common grackle, tufted titmouse, great crested flycatcher, Carolina chickadee, blue jay, red-bellied woodpecker, and cedar waxwings.
When I got up this morning, I was debating where I should bird while on my way out to my truck. I saw a small flock of chipping sparrows in my front yard and decided to head back to Lucy Park. Since there was a light mist and there appeared to be a good chance of rain, I modified my usual route, which turned out to be a good thing. It didn't rain, but I was on a path I rarely take and saw a summer tanager (see photo.) At first, I saw a brillant red bird with darker wings and thought I was looking at a scarlet tanager. I used to see them growing up in Indiana on occasion, but not here. I called Terry McKee to gloat. But as I continued to watch the bird and tried to get a decent photo (what you see is the best I was able to get--you can see a little better if you enlarge the photo.) Anyway, when I got a good view underneath the bird, it became obvious that I was looking at a summer tanager, not a scarlet. Although a scarlet tanager would have been a great bird, the summer is great as it is a lifer for me. I was alble to watch the bird for a good 10 minutes.
Left: American goldfinch, male, photo from Wikimedia Commons, by mdf.
I was also lucky to see a flock of goldfinches that were still hanging around--some of which were completely in their summer yellow and black plumage as in the photo at the left.
Other birds this morning in Lucy Park included: northern cardinal, blue jay, mockingbird, chipping sparrow, mourning dove, white-winged dove, cedar waxwing, rock pigeon, Carolina wren, Carolina chickadee, yellow-rumped warbler, western kingbird, red-bellied woodpecker, tufted titmouse, mallard, European starling, great-tailed grackle, green heron, and brown-headed cowbird. A flock of ring-billed gulls also flew over the park.
So overall, a very nice morning.