[CT Birds] Yellow-headed Blackbird
kbosch at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 23:24:11 EDT 2009
All us chatty gentlemen were there and none of us said anything tonight
about the Yellow-headed Blackbird earlier this evening - whoops. Roy nailed
the time line, and I'll try to fill in some of the blanks. I arrived just
before 5PM, and the bird had not been seen since Roy posted the call from
Bill Banks. Thank you Bill and then Roy for getting that word out.
There were many grackles flying around the entire time - more activity than
at other times I am told - and about an hour later Frank Mantlik picked up
the bird up in the yard nearest the marsh. It was in a tangle of brush
somewhat near the backyard feeders of a house on the next street over. It
ducked back down out of sight after about two minutes, which is when I sent
the message around 6PM.
Not too long after, maybe 10 minutes, we found the bird again in the same
area. It visited the feeder that I spoke of above, hopping to the ground and
back and forth a bit. It then flew up into an ivy-covered tree, then moving
on to a couple other trees behind the houses, looking at the yards and
feeders and occasionally dropping down to eat. We had some fantastic views
from the street, moving down Chester to around the corner, as this behavior
went on. Around 6:45 or so the remaining birders said their goodbyes, as we
were very satisfied with what we had seen. The bird was still going back and
forth from trees to feeders.
It seems obvious that best time to go is around 4PM, and to have a little
patience. You'll be rewarded. That may change as the rain could be an issue
tomorrow. I wish everyone luck. It was a good neighborhood with great
people. Thanks go out to Stacy Hanks for telling us about this great bird
and helping everyone there, and to all of the neighbors who graciously
accepted everyone to the fullest extent possible. Wonderful experience all
Some of the other better-equipped guys have much better shots, but here is
one with no aid apart from the camera's own optical zoom. It gives you an
idea of how close we got to it while still standing only in the road.
If you look at the wing behind the branch you can see the faintest bit of
white above and below it, which was quite visible as it flew. It was a
really striking bird.
And Roy is right about the radar...while I've seen bigger nights this
spring, it's important to note that migration is well underway tonight as
it's been all but shut down nearly all week. At some point we're going to
have a load of birds descend upon us since they've been a bit more held up
than usual. We can hope it's tomorrow, especially because the upcoming rain
will keep migrants here.
kbosch at gmail.com
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