One of the most interesting times for me in The Field is late summer when nesting time is done and the grain is close to harvest, and the birds are using their remaining days to fatten up for the winter or for long migratory flights to their winter homes. Sorghum is one of the favorites of many of the field birds, and during this time you can get some great pictures of them perched on top of the grain stems gorging on the small seed, or the insects hiding there. , Several species feed on this grain in eastern North Carolina. The past few days I have seen Bluebirds, Eastern Kingbirds, Grasshopper Sparrows, Grackles, Doves, Redwing Blackbirds, Meadowlarks,Savannah Sparrows, Blue Grossbeaks, with an early fall migrator, the Bobolink, joining them for the first time yesterday. Bobolinks breed in southern Canada and northern U.S., and winter in South America, covering around 12,000 miles roundtrip each year. They usually feed briefly in this area in Spring and fall(a few days in March/April, and September). They head from here south down through Florida and on to South America. I think they are one of our most striking birds. Both male and female look alike in the fall, but the male dresses in his black and white tuxedo in the spring mating season. See pictures below.
Earlier this week Glyn and I spent 3 days at the Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC. We were able to rent a private condo there and this arrangement made us feel quite safe in regard to the virus. Chetola Resort has a long history, being first built in the 1800s. Check out the orange links for complete descriptions of this super vacation spot. The main lodge and Timberlake Restaurant(named for the artist Bob Timberlake) overlooks a beautiful lake which is filled with lovely Mute Swans and many varieties of ducks, The grounds are covered with a great variety of beautiful flowers which stay bright and fresh in the cool air of the mountain environment. We had dinner 2 nights at the Bob Timberlake restaurant, both times overlooking the lake, The food is excellent! The 3rd night we dined at our favorite Blowing Rock restaurant, the Bistro Roca. If you visit Blowing Rock, be sure and check out this fine eating spot! I walked around the lake and wondered the Resort grounds looking for birds to photograph. What I found are in the gallery below.
SEE GALLERY BELOW. CLICK ON ANY PIC TO ENLARGE. USE SIDE ARROWS TO MOVE BACK AND FORTH. SCROLL UP AND DOWN TO SEE MORE RECENT ENTRIES, OR CLICK ON ARCHIVES BY DATE ON THE RIGHT FOR OLDER ENTRIES.
This tiny, short-tailed sparrow has been plentiful this breeding season in The Field. They seem to like the open fields with some clumped vegetation, as well as the thick rows of sorghum planted in some areas. I have enjoyed watching the fledglings flit about the tops of the sorghum grain stems. Many of these birds have nested here this season. This sparrow breeds from southern Canada to the southeast U.S. They do migrate to the southern US and furthur south to Central America. For a complete description of their habitat and behavior, see this link. The pictures below were taken over a period of the last three weeks.
SEE GALLERY BELOW. CLICK ON ANY PIC TO ENLARGE. SCROLL UP OR DOWN FOR OTHER RECENT ENTRIES, OR CLICK ON ARCHIVES ON THE RIGHT FOR OLDER ENTRIES.
One of the most striking of our Tyrant Flycatchers is the Eastern Kingbird. With its gray-black back and white underbelly, it has a regal bearing. As an insect eater, it perches on an open branch and waits for its prey to come by, then pounces. It can hover in place and is a very graceful flyer. For a complete description of this bird, see this link. In The Field, I see these beautiful birds frequently in the spring and through the summer, and never tire of watching their graceful flight and regal look.
While they are insect eaters, I have found that they will come to my feeders for one item-- peanut butter balls. For the last several years, a pair have nested nearby and daily come by for their peanut butter fix. They bring their babies and teach them the joy of this delicacy! It is one of my favorite birds and I look forward to their return each spring. The pictures below were taken at The Field.
CLICK ANY PIC BELOW TO ENLARGE. USE SIDE ARROWS TO MOVE BACK AND FORTH. SCROLL UP OR DOWN FOR OTHER RECENT ENTRYS. CLICK ON ARCHIVES ON RIGHT FOR OLDER ENTRYS BY DATE.