[CT Birds] Bird O Rama!!!!! In new hartford.

Bensilano bensilano at netscape.net
Mon Jun 23 13:53:33 EDT 2014

I am new to the "sport" of bird watching. My favorite are the hummingbirds. 
I moved into a small place that is 40yrds from the Farmington River (I've measured it). My small porch is surrounded by trees making a beautiful canopy, that it seems the birds love. In a five minute span of time I can see hummingbirds to eagles. On a short walk I see many different birds. So I went to the book store and bought my first field guide. Now I am hooked. 
So, back to this weekend. I went on my morning walk along the river to find the mergansers that i have been watching. While on that walk I saw both families of mallards and then the mergansers. There is a pond/ cove near the river that they spend a lot of time. Some of our other residents here seem to believe there is a snapping turtle eating the babies. While at this pond, a flash of blue caught the corner of my eye. To my untrained eye, it looked like a blue jay mixed with a woodpecker. After a look in my field guide it was confirmed to be a Belted Kingfisher.
Walking back to the house I heard the knocking on a nearby tree. I was able to get a close look with my binoculars. This bird looked to be a Downy. One of my neighbors seems to think it is a Sapsucker of some sorts. I'm thinking we have both here. 
To my left, as quiet as can be a Great Blue Heron landed in the river. 
Of course the walk back to my house had all of our more photogenic characters. Robins, Bluejays, Morning Doves and I think high above there are Chimney Swifts. It is confirmed that chimney swifts live in the chimney of New Hartford Elementary School,  which is only a mile away. These birds do look the same. 
Back at my porch, we have our Hummingbirds. The kids and I have named them. We have three consistent customers. A female who perches in a tree to the right. Her name is Rita. Another female who perches to the left. Her name is Vivian. Then we have our male. He sits on top of the iron bracket that holds the feeder. He fluffs up and looks like a Swedish meatball sitting there. We named him Meatball. He will chase Rita away so I set another feeder for her. She seems to go to that one. When it comes to Vivian. He just sits there and watches her from his perch. I think she has a nest with eggs. I have seen her at the feeder with fuzzy things. She will drop it in the nearby flowerpot, feed, then retrieve the fuzzy stuff and fly away. Meatball will sometimes do some fancy flying moves for her too. I also think Meatball and I have some kind of male bonding going on. I drink an early morning coffee with him every morning. He is only a few feet away. I actually think he is bird watching too. 
On another walk near the tubing pick up for Satan's Kingdom tubing, I saw some Scarlet Tanagers. 
Last night around 8pm a beautiful Bald Eagle landed in the dead tree next to my house. He was fully matured and big! A lot of the neighbors gathered to look at him. He sat there for a good 1/2 hour, even with the little birds dive bombing him. The Blue Jays were even taking shots at him. 
This morning I had coffee with Meatball and Vivian showed up for a bit too. What made coffee time even more special was getting visited by Rita too. The two ladies fed off the same feeder at the same time. Meatball happened to be away at the moment. When he returned to his perch, both ladies flew away. 
Down by one of seed feeders, I saw a Blue Jay feeding. Another Blue Jay would sit on a near by branch and make crying noises. The jay that was on the feeder would fly to the second jay and feed it like it was still in the nest.
On the other side of New Hartord, I saw a Barred Owl. Then at my sister's house in Wallingford I was able to view Purple Finch with Goldfinch and a woodpecker that looked to be a Downey, all feeding on a back yard feeder. When the woodpecker flew away, it had red under it's wings. If any one knows what kind it was, I would love to hear. 
Thanks for your time, have fun. 
Ben in New Hartford

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