A rainy Great Meadows afternoon. Lots of goslings on display, and even one one wood duck family (the mother quickly escorting the brood out of sight). The loathsome carp have invaded the main pond so I'm a bit fearful of the prospects of the young ones. But I spent a lot of time not seeing, and then seeing, birds. So I've set up three find-the-birds puzzles below. (It's technically cheating to click on the photos to see them full-size).
This one's not terribly hard, but these are terribly small birds.
Got it? . . . . . Did you see the least sandpipers?
OK. This one is the hardest, which is interesting because these are very beautiful birds. It took me forever to actually find them in my camera viewfinder. . . . . . Got them? I guess they are most beautiful in flight--the stunning blue-winged teal.
And finally, this one is a bit goofy in my opinion, but I suppose it's possible you won't find him. (He's trying real hard). . . . . . . Yes, our friend the great blue heron, pretending to be a bullrush.
Who also figures in my favorite scene of the day. Heron flies up to perch on wood duck box.
Red-winged blackbird is not happy (herons prey on the eggs of low nesters). Look at the heron flinch.
And continuing the theme: Secret Sounds There is some dispute as to whether the female red-winged blackbird has a real "song," though she certainly has a distinct vocalization. But today, I caught one whistling, before leading up to her more familiar sputter call.
Also, can you hear the wood thrush among the orioles, yellow warblers, song sparrows, robins, etc.? (Actually, the only clear hint is at the very beginning). I've been hearing them all over for the past week or so. Here's a clearer recording of a wood thrush from the Marblehead Neck Sanctuary.