Saturday, May 1, 2021

A tanager and a goatsucker

No matter what birders saw today despite strong northwestern winds that stunted migration ,you can't beat watching a SUMMER TANAGER and an ultra rare CHUCK-WILLS-WIDOW. What's remarkable is both species are primarily southern breeding species. Obviously over shoots, we birders can't complain.

I first made the early morning  trek to Greenwood Cemetery to find the tanager. I ran into my good friend Marc Brawer. He spotted the Summer Tanager as we conversed on the south side of Dellwater.It flew into a bush tree adjacent to the bee hives.I initially could not see it no thanks to the strong bright sun glare.

. But on a second try after a fly out and back in, I spotted it thru my bins,the molting yellow red bird perched on an inside limb.. Its a first summer bird and I wound up seeing it again later in the same tree bush, aided by my following the photographers chasing it..I even got to see it fly down to a bee hive and snatch a bee! Excuse my poor pun if I say " it must bee delicious" ( groan).😣

Then off to errands for my sister and mother to take them to Lowes with a stop at church for mass. Just before services started,I get a tweet that a "chuckie" ( chuck wills widow) is being seen.Of course I shut off the phone 😇

After arriving home,it was out again to get the Chuckie in Prospect.This ultra rare and reclusive  species belong to a class that mythologically or aptly termed old wives tales were called goat suckers. And on my slow walk as I knew this bird is good to get as long as nothing flushes it  ;it will stick around. Imagine to my great surprise to see it so close to the midslope path and so open. It was an amazing sight. The bird sat contently under an American horn beam tree that provide deep shade, up from the Well house. Just 25 feet from the path edge,many birders saw it well and no doubt counted it as a life bird.Thanks to a birder name Akilah for spotting it and Jen Kepler getting the word out.

And now here's the great irony: today's tree the summer tanager used for bee snatching is the same tree of Greenwood Cemetery s last Chuck wills widow sighting a few years ago. Now that's a good  boiding story!

On a last note in my previous post, the Chuckie is Prospects fifth record. Imagine how special this spring is already getting a Whip poor will as well ,seen at Boulder Bridge two weeks ago? That does not happen too often!

" Preserve and cherish the pale blue dot,the only home we've ever known"

                                                                            --Carl Sagan