I managed to sneak into Estabrook between the warm morning rain and the cold afternoon rain, and I’m sure glad I did because I hardly got wet at all and I spotted at least two, maybe more, stunning scarlet tanagers (Piranga olivacea) in one of the big oak trees just north of the Kilbourntown House, and this one took a break from hopping all over the tree.
He’s yet another arrival from northwestern South America, whom we spotted only once last year on almost exactly the same day. I did not see a female tanager in that tree, but I did see this olive-sided fly catcher, posing right behind the tanager, and who might even have come in on the same flight.
Here they are together, and maybe they got to chatting on the long trip, but now it’s that awkward part where they walk through the airport together wondering if they’ll keep in touch and looking for an excuse to go their separate ways.
On the west edge of the soccer fields there are the remains of some of last year’s burdock still standing near some trees, and the goldfinches like to come there to feed. This little guy posed for me in his full summer finery in both the burdock and in the trees, but the tree shot came out prettier.
On my way to the pond, I spotted a new blue flower up where all the Virginia bluebells stood in front of the maintenance building last month, and this one appears to be Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica). Oddly enough, despite the similar names and appearance of their blossoms, they are not even in the same family. Virginia bluebells are in the forget-me-not family (Boraginaceae) along with forget-me-nots, hounds tongues, and lungworts, while the Spanish bluebells are in the asparagus (Asparagaceae) family along with asparagus, hyacinths, and squills.
Finally, at the pond, this bullfrog found it warm enough to climb up out of the water onto this floating log for the first time I’ve seen this season.
Then the cold front rolled though, the temperature when from 75 to 55, and I, who had gone out in shorts and a t-shirt, hustled back home.