birds and burr-d

The birding team of David Smith and Deb Weston are stepping up their Quarry Farm game again in anticipation of fall migration. As we watered and fed the farm animal sanctuary residents, Deb’s car passed the front gate sometime around 7 this morning. Shortly thereafter, a large heron-ish bird flew up from the nature preserve and overhead. To say that it flapped its great wings in its journey southwest just doesn’t sound like the correct adverb for such a graceful movement.

Stick-tights hitched a ride with Birder David.

“So jazzed to see the Great Egret,” texted Deb from the trails. She said that David and his wife Julie have seen them in Putnam County. “But it was super cool to see it in the quarry actively hunting—until it saw us.”

There was a Great Blue Heron stalking the quarry wetland, not far from the egret, and one lone female Wood Duck.  They heard but didn’t see the Red-breasted Nuthatch and were pretty certain that they saw an Ovenbird but neither of them felt confident enough to add it to today’s ebird list. Today’s list also included nine warblers: Black and White, Tennessee, Nashville, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Magnolia, Bay-breasted and Blackburnian.  

“Our record for fall from last year is 42 and that’s what we got today,” Deb added.  

The Quarry Farm tally on ebird is now at 138 species.

As Deb waits in the leafy shadows for landing birds, she trains her hefty camera on insects. Gerald O. Coburn would be thrilled. He photographed and documented most of the dragonfly and butterfly species noted here, as well as many birds. Deb told me last week that she would have really liked my dad. I told her that I think the admiration would be mutual. Dad would have seen her car pass by his own driveway, fired up his ATV and firmly directed her to grab her camera and hop on, wasting no time to see everything that sought warmth and breakfast with the sunrise.

Deb and David’s Ultimate Bird List (for now)

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Quarry Farm Nature Preserve and Conservation Farm

May 21, 2020
7:56 AM
2.41 miles
222 Minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 2.0.13 Build 2.0.1222 Canada Goose
1 Wood Duck
1 Mourning Dove
3 Chimney Swift
1 Killdeer
1 Great Blue Heron
2 Turkey Vulture
1 Belted Kingfisher
3 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Northern Flicker
3 Eastern Wood-Pewee
1 Willow Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
2 Eastern Phoebe
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Blue-headed Vireo — Wingbars, blue head with very distinct bespectacled eyering.
1 Red-eyed Vireo
4 Blue Jay
2 Carolina Chickadee
2 Barn Swallow
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
6 House Wren
2 Carolina Wren
4 European Starling
8 Gray Catbird
1 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Wood Thrush
6 American Robin
1 House Finch
4 American Goldfinch
2 Field Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow
1 Eastern Meadowlark
5 Orchard Oriole
3 Baltimore Oriole
4 Red-winged Blackbird
6 Brown-headed Cowbird
7 Common Grackle
1 Prothonotary Warbler
1 Tennessee Warbler
3 Common Yellowthroat
3 American Redstart
1 Cape May Warbler
1 Northern Parula
3 Magnolia Warbler
5 Bay-breasted Warbler
1 Blackburnian Warbler
4 Yellow Warbler
2 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
1 Scarlet Tanager
4 Northern Cardinal
3 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2 Indigo Bunting
Number of Taxa: 57 (plus Mr. Muskrat)