First Sightings For Us



Early April is the time when those birding juices start flowing in “Our Woods.” I started keeping records in April, 1994.

The earliest date for the migrating Kinglets: March 31, 1998. On this date we saw both Golden- and Ruby-Crowned Kinglets.

Here’s a list of what we’ve seen so far in 2019:

March 23: We saw our first-ever Northern goshawk at our feeder. It may have been after birds that were feeding there. A few days later there was a Great Blue Heron on the Parr Lakes.

Robins and red-winged blackbirds have been here since late March.

April 7: We first noticed  golden-crowned kinglets. As of April 13 we haven’t seen the ruby-crowned variety for certain.

A first-ever sighting of the canvasback duck. Four on the south end of Lower Parr Lake.

Several crows gathering noisily in Laurelcrest Park.

Bufflehead ducks on Lower and Upper Parr Lake in Laurelcrest Park. Only other time we have seen them was on April 14, 1995. They were diving for food, staying down for short (13 s to 45 s) times. As of April 13 the two are still here.

April 11: I spotted a brown creeper and cormorants and identified the call of a white-throated sparrow for the first time this year.

April 13: A first ever sighting of a Pied-billed Grebe diving for food on Upper Parr Lake. This bird stays under for well over a minute. This photo helped ID the bird from a distance. Taken with my Alpha A-6000 using a 200 mm zoom when 130 yards away.




Red-Bellied Woodpecker



After a 20 cm (8 “) snowfall yesterday I glimpsed the red-bellied woodpecker at the feeder today.

We regularly get cardinals, chickadees, juncos, house sparrows, winter-faded American goldfinches, rose-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches, downy and hairy woodpeckers. A few blue jays this year have been around and the “red-bellied” seems to appear after snowstorms mainly.

I didn’t dare open the patio door (that scared it last time) or run for a bigger lens and patiently waited, while others like the female cardinal took turns. for less than ten minutes for it to come back while smaller birds had their turn.

I had the A-6000 and used the old 18-55 zoom from my old NEX-5N set on continuous shooting (mid speed) and captured the last two as it flew away:


All photos were taken at f/8, ISO 100 and 1/125.