Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How very special are we....

It's that time of year again, to quote my favorite kid movie:

He turns the seasons around
And so she changes her gown
But they always look in their prime

They go on dancing their dance
Of everlasting romance
Mother Earth and Father Time

The summer larks return to sing
Oh, what a gift they give
Then autumn days grow short and cold
Oh, what a joy to live

How very special are we
For just a moment to be
Part of life's eternal rhyme
How very special are we
To have on our family tree
Mother Earth and Father Time
(Charlotte, from Charlotte's Web)

And if you want to relive a few minutes of your childhood (or young adulthood, if you are a geezer), here's the song:

Non-sequiter...is it me, or do Killdeer always look 'worried'?
Worried Killdeer
"Is that danger? I don't know. Maybe it's danger. I can't tell...it may or may not be. I better yell just in case it's danger..."
Oh, yeah. Back to Autumn...
Kelley's Nature Preserve is a special little piece of heaven for me. It's not especially birdy, except in migration. But I did get a great look at a Barred Owl there once.

Autumn may be the Preserve's best season.
Kelleys nature preserve Little Miami
It rained a little last night, but since we have gone a month or more without anything substantial, the shore was just as I like it. Walkable. Towering sycamores, peach-colored leaves dropping into the water without a sound.
Leaves Little Miami
It only reached about 70 degrees today, a perfect day to take a walk.
Or stand still and just be present.

Orange and Green

Don't you just love trees with personality?
I can see a smiley face and a heart. Do you see it?
Heart Happy Face Tree

And lo and behold, some birds:
I am fully ready to call this a winter wren. But I'm not sure. And it's early, right?
These photos just don't do this little cutie any justice. It was like...a ball...of chocolate.
Really! He was nearly spherical. Like a bonbon.
A buff eyeline. Really dark. Really stubby tail.
I bet Kathi will bail me out on this one, expounding her bird-wisdom and letting us know if it is a House or Winter. Either way, he was freakin' adorable.

And another "CFW" ID that I spanked until it called me Mama:
Black throated green warbler Fall
According to Sibley, a Black-throated Green Warbler, first year female. I don't know about that last part, but the first part is correct.
And I didn't even have to get out of the car. I was sitting in my car, doing RAPTOR paperwork and making calls. Thankfully, I wasn't on the phone when this bird flew in with some goldfinches. I would have been like, "OH! Sorry, so-and-so, I have to go! Confusing Fall Warbler right in front of my car! Must DOCUMENT!"


Anonymous said...

White eye-line . . . could it have been a Bewick's? Or don't you have those there? Still not much cuter than a puffed up wren.

Oh, and I saw a smiling rhino in your tree picture. Really!!!

KatDoc said...

Bewick's would have a longer tail, a longer white "eyebrow" (supercilium) and a plain underside. It has been pretty much extirpated in our area. If Susan gets a Bewick's and doesn't immediately phone me up and get me on that bird, I will never speak to her again.

As it is, I am extremely jealous of her, because I'm 99% sure she has a Winter Wren here. I don't have one on my Life List, and I lust for them. I couldn't em-biggen the photos, but the tail, the barring on the flanks, and the pale supercilium all look right to me. Somebody reported two Winter Wrens this weekend, one at Bass Island and the other at Avoca Park, both on the Little Miami River at Newtown, on Sat, 9/27.

There have been 3 reports of Winter Wrens in Sept in the last 10 years (9/4/98, 9/30/2000 & 9/30/07) so I'd say you are right on time.

BT Green - yep! Though I couldn't hazard a guess at age or gender. Not a CFW at all; this one is pretty easy if you get a good look at the face.

Awesome birding, Susan! I'm envious.


John said...

Definitely a winter wren. To me a house wren has a much different face. I love winter wrens, especially in late winter when they start singing.

NCmountainwoman said...

Who you callin' a geezer?

Nice shots, especially the wren.

Kyle said...

How funny -- I was just out photographing killdeer during my lunchbreak today. Yours is the second photo I've seen posted of killdeer just since I got back to my desk and started brousing. (Guess I'll have to post more hawks today and save the killdeer for later in the week!)

That wren sure is a poofy little fella, isn't he? Makes you wonder how much is actual wren and how much is just fluff!

Mary said...

Second photo of the Preserve is stunning. My favorite in this awesome post.

Gallicissa said...

The Wren you've captured reminded me of our Bush Warbler, which is a 'ball of chocolate' like that.