Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bluebirds at the National Arboretum

This morning dawned wet and gray. By the time I woke up the ground was already somewhat damp, and by the time I got out the door, there was some light drizzle falling. Still, I went over to the National Arboretum for my normal weekend birdwalk there.

I wanted to get a walk in there before the predicted snowstorm, since I do not know what conditions will be like tomorrow morning. (So far the conditions have been more rain, or just "wet air," than actual snow.) I also wanted to check out the tip about a red-headed woodpecker that was left on this blog last week. Well, I did not see any red-headed woodpeckers in the area mentioned, only a bunch of red-bellied woodpeckers and a northern flicker or two. I did see a merlin eating its breakfast; a picture of the merlin's silhouette is at right. The merlin was perched on a snag where I have frequently seen raptors sit early in the morning.

Near the end of my walk I spotted a bluebird fly across the road and perch on a branch in an open area. As I stopped to look at it, several more flew across and perched on various shrubs and fence posts. The birds were close enough that I could get some decent pictures of them. I must have taken more than twenty shots; a few are included with this post.

The picture above is my favorite. I did not realize I had caught the one in flight until I was cropping it on my computer.


Canada Goose
Common Merganser
Red-shouldered Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Carolina Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Blue Jay
American Crow
European Starling
American Goldfinch
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal