Sunday, September 23, 2012

Phoebes and a Merlin

Yesterday morning I birded the Heathcote Meadows complex near Kingston, New Jersey. One of the more interesting sights was a series of Eastern Phoebes lined up along the fence surrounding the old plant nursery buildings. There were at least four, maybe more, flicking their tails and swooping down to catch insects near ground level. One even sat in the grass for a moment before flying back up to the fence. (One of them is shown above.) While I was still in the same field near the buildings, a Merlin (my second of the season) flew overhead at about treetop level. It seemed to be actively hunting rather than migrating. There were fewer warblers than I expected, but I was pleased to see a Blue-winged Warbler among them.