Friday, September 7, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • September 7


Question Mark. The colors on this butterfly were vibrant and the wings in perfect shape. It must have emerged from its cocoon very recently.

Question Mark. After a few open wing pictures, the butterfly obligingly gave me great views of its underside and the "question mark" marking right of the center of the wing. (It looks like a small white "C" with a dot to the right. You can click the picture for a larger view.)

Viceroy. The bridge over Oatka Creek is a favorite haunt for these Monarch lookalikes.

Great Blue Heron. Perhaps this young heron is getting use to me, as it held its perch as I walked by in both directions along the creek. I was careful not to alarm it, but that doesn't always translate into a stationary bird.

Great Blue Heron. This was my shot of the day. Or so I thought. Up to now it was looking like another standard late summer day in the park.

Eastern Wood-Pewee. Suddenly, this pewee came out of nowhere along the creek and landed in front of me, staying for quite a long photo op. 

Goldenrods. Already, some of the tops of the goldenrods are turning brown. Have we reached peak so soon?

Hedge Bindweed. Suddenly, today it seemed the bindweed was in full bloom throughout the goldenrod along Bluebird Trail. You can see several other blooms about to open in the picture.

Cedar Waxing. And then the hike became extraordinary! Along a sleepy part of White Tail Trail the buzzing of the insects took on a different quality. As I walked under an overhanging branch thick with leaves, there was a sudden commotion of violently flapping wings and *lots* of buzzing! I took a few more steps, turned around, and spotted the source of the activity: a fledgling Cedar Waxwing that was desperately trying to attract the attention of an adult waxwing willing to feed it!

I have uploaded a video of this bird at http://youtu.be/fUxD9jPWeR8 .

Cedar Waxwing. Is it too late for Cedar Waxwings to still be just leaving the nest? Not according to the New York State Bird Breeding Atlas, 2nd edition. (Well, the Handbook for Workers for this edition, at least.) Nestlings can be found as late as October 1st and fledglings as late as October 8.

Cedar Waxwing. Waxwings can have two broods in a season. I suspect this is the product of a second brood.

Cedar Waxwing. This bird valiantly clung to its perch despite my presence. Getting fed was clearly top priority!

Cedar Waxwing. I moved away to get a clear shot of its tail. It is short as expected of a bird not long from the nest. The characteristic yellow tips are also evident.