Closing out April

The last few days of April will be wet so it is a good time to post some final photographs from the month. The rain is appreciated though. Most of New England is having a bad drought at the moment.

We are waiting for the influx of warblers that we typically see in late April and into May. Most just pass through but a few breed here. Other than the Pine Warblers that have appeared at my feeder, I have only seen one other species so far. This is a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Like all warblers, they flit around in the canopy so it is takes a lot of tries to get a good shot. I managed to capture a good look at his yellow rump in the bottom photo.

Another recent arrival is the Eastern Towhee. They tend to stay deep in the underbrush. I saw three but heard at least a dozen more on a recent hike.

The Towhee is actually a large sparrow. This Chipping Sparrow looks like what you expect a sparrow to look like. He was singing his little heart out and then seems to be pretty proud of his effort.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are common but you rarely get a look at the male’s ruby “crown”. One landed right next to me and flashed his but he was too close for my lens! Then he flew back over my shoulder instead of foraging and giving me a chance for picture. Here’s one hopping around in the trees looking for insects. They are tiny birds that look like they don’t have a neck.

These photos of a Mallard and a Great Egret were taken as nearby traffic flushed them from the swamp. The Egret is breeding as evidenced by the green patch on his face.

In the same swamp, a Red-winged Blackbird warns other males to stay away from his territory.

A Great Blue Heron on its nest on the other side of a big marsh.

Yet another new arrival are Purple Martins. This was taken at a colony that nests near the entrance to the Parker River NWR where a cluster of nest boxes/gourds is maintained.

Today we came across a Merlin perched near a field, looking for a small bird to snatch. These falcons are about the size of a pigeon but are fast and fierce.

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