Saturday, August 30, 2008

Knots , Peeps, And Tiny Things

Here are some photos I managed to today at Lake Erie Metropark. The Red Knot, found by Walt Pawlowski yesterday, was very cooperative.

I think the photo shows many of the key field marks very well. The bill is straight as nail with a stout base and a tapered tip. Legs? Yellow/green and short which further accents the dumpy body shape. The primaries are clearly black. The secondary flight feathers, coverts and scapulars have that really cool pale edge providing a very scaly look. That is the key in identifying this bird as a juvenile. Adults in non-breeding plumage would not be scaly. Instead, the whole back of the bird would be a even gray.

By the way, Walt did some research last night. As far as he can tell, there are only 5 records for Wayne County dating back to 1994.

A Least Sandpiper was also feeding on the same vegetation bed.

Also, on a bird note, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird mom is feeding two youngsters in the nest. I waited her out for a bit today. The height of the nest makes it pretty hard to see what is going on. I saw what I thought to be two tiny beaks sticking up out from the nest. My suspicion was confirmed when I noticed tiny little tongues working in and out of the beaks. A few moments later, the tiniest little bird butt appeared on the edge of the nest, followed immediately by the tiniest little bird turd you have ever seen.

After a few minutes of waiting, mom landed on the the edge of the nest, leaned her head over, and started to pump it up and down like a sewing machine (that is what she is doing in the photo). She clearly did this in two different locations. I can't say for certain when they hatched.

2 comments:

Stylurus said...

thanks for the post...we made it over today to see this relatively tame individual

Julie said...

It was great seeing it so close; the feather patterns were really beautiful. I'm lagging behind at 255 for the county.