Friday, November 26, 2010

"A Kingbird with a Long Tail"

That's how the young birder, who had the bird in his scope as I walked up, had described the bird to his mom. They were in Connecticut from Ohio for Thanksgiving.

I was in Connecticut to see a neotropical visitor, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher.

Nobody was sure why the bird was there, nor how long it would stay. The usual haunts for this species is southern Mexico down to Argentina.

As I walked over form my car, having just arrived, I thought, "cool, another walk up rarity" (I'd been pretty lucky this year). Of course, the bird then flew.

(I won't keep you in suspense, it came back.)

I went back to my car and got my camera, along with the big rental lens, and headed over to where the other  cameras with big lenses were set up.

One of the reasons I had decided to make the round trip to Connecticut, (on the day before Thanksgiving!), was because I still had the lens and was looking for photo ops.

The bird had flown to the far side of the meadow at Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary, and a dozen or so birders were scanning for it. It did pop up once, briefly, on a far tree, but a fly-by Coopers Hawk sent it into hiding. While we waited we watched a small flock of Monk Parakeets cavorting in the far tree tops. To far for pictures even with the big lens. But fun to watch.

While we were watching the Parakeets the Flycatcher flew up right next to us, less then twenty feet away. And I'd get my photo op.

It then spent the next thirty or so minutes dive bombing grasshoppers along the path edges right in front of us. Plenty of photo ops.

Enjoying a grasshopper.

There were actually a pair of Coopers working the area. And the Flycatcher kept an eye out for them. And after giving us great looks it flew off into a tangle of trees. Spooked by a hawk? Hunger satiated? No matter, and after waiting a bit I decided to take off as well. I would be a long ride back to New Jersey, fighting traffic on the worst travel day of the year.

And I was glad I did.


Ron a.k.a. Danudin said...

Thar was a long tale about a long tail, my favourite is the third last with him just departing the twig, beautiful bird shot that!

Cape May Wren said...

Well worth the trip! Wow.

Sandra Keller said...

Nice shots! Kingbird with a long tail. Cute!