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.


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.