Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sharps Ridge 4

Scarlet tanager. Wiki commons by Bmajorus

As has been our routine of late, Rachael Eliot and I do an hour's worth of birding at Sharps Ridge Memorial Park before her first class at UT. 

It's the early morning peace before her "organic chemistry brain"—her major—has to click into high gear, sort of the calm before the storm. 

Last Wednesday has to be labeled "scarlet tanager day." Red red redder than a fire engine, they were all along the ridgetop, albeit singing high in the trees as is their bent. 

We also tallied the first indigo buntings of the season, a little later than normal, one very much alive and one lying dead in the road below one of the TV towers. Sadly, migrants often fly into the towers in the dark of night as they pass through—a journey of a thousand miles ended with a head-on collision. All too sad, like neutrons in particle accelerator. BAM! (Your physics reference of the morning.)

Ellie also saw another palm warbler, heard a possible hooded once, saw a possible chestnut-sided once and most definitely yellow-rumps in breeding plumage were ubiquitous.

Finding a single small bird high overhead in an oak is harder than a needle in the haystack because the needle doesn't move.
High in the top of the middle tree is a scarlet tanager. Do you see it?
This indigo bunting's migratory flight ended with a crash into a TV tower.

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