You may have noticed that I’ve been struggling a bit with little birds here. I think I’ve only shown you four so far, the chiffchaff, the sedge warbler, the reed bunting, and yesterday’s chaffinch.
The first excuse that pops into my head is that they are less flashy than the ones back home. Think of northern cardinals, Baltimore orioles, or almost any New World warbler. But then I spot a brightly colored one like the chaffinch yesterday, and I must admit that I just don’t know where to look yet, and it doesn’t help that all the trees are already leafed out.
In any case, this striking, little white wagtail (Motacilla alba) seems to have taken pity on me and posed right on the pavement where even I couldn’t miss it. Plus, it dawdled enough for me to get a pretty clean, if utilitarian, shot. Thanks, little buddy.
I spotted another massive stork nest, which I must have ridden past a dozen times before without noticing , and this one has not only an adult white stork (Ciconia ciconia) in it but also a little chick just peeking over the rim to see who’s staring at them now. Insert here your best joke about who brings stork babies.
Here’s one more view of a reed bunting.
And I finally caught one of the rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri), a controversial invasive species, that I’ve been glimpsing and hearing since the first day.
Here’s a third butterfly, from that same patch of thistles, and it looks to be a small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) or an Essex skipper (Thymelicus lineola), but I’m leaning towards “small skipper” because “the tips of the antenna are orange (best-viewed-head-on) and the black edge of the wings is sharply marked.” Either way, it holds its wings just like the many skippers in Estabrook, but you can’t see that very well in this picture.
Lastly, I was so excited to get one dragonfly photo yesterday, that I couldn’t believe my luck when this couple paused for a picture in the midst of their complex and precisely choreographed mating process. Yes, those really are two dragonflies, and no, they are not fighting.
Well, that’s the weekend roundup, and we’ll just have to see if I manage to get out during the week. Keep your fingers crossed.