Acadian Flycatcher

I’ve waited my whole life to see an Acadian Flycatcher and that day has finally come! I think what drew me to this bird so many years ago was the name: Acadian Flycatcher. It’s just a cool name. Now, I’ve watched a lot of flycatchers and the common theme among them is that they are constantly in motion, catching flies and returning to their perch to gulp it down while waiting for the next one. Imagine my surprise then, when I came upon this little dude and he just sat there looking cute! I watched him for five minutes and he didn’t budge. Sigh, was the flycatcher I’ve waited so long to see, the laziest flycatcher of them all? No, I refuse to believe that! He’s actually the fly catchingest flycatcher and he can’t move right now because he is absolutely stuffed with flies! Yeah, that’s what it is.

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Royal Catchfly

It seems to me that there aren’t very many red wildflowers in the fields surrounding the Celery Bog, in fact, the Royal Catchfly is the only one I recall seeing at any given time throughout the year. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because there aren’t very many pollinators in these parts that are attracted to the color red. If I had to guess.

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Squirrel Sunday

Okay, now turn your head a little to the right… turn it, turn it! No, your other right! Good! Now, tilt your chin up a little… move your chin up! Up! No, your other up! Good! Now put your right paw on the tree. No, your right front paw! Your other right front paw! GAH!!! Professional squirrel photography is hard.

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Dragonfly

It was so humid at the Celery Bog this morning that I had to stand there waiting for the sun to de-fog my gear for twenty minutes. While I waited, there was an eagle perched solemnly in a sun bleached old tree out on the water. There were several blue herons out there as well, and a few egrets too. The Mute Swans paddled along slowly as the sound of Mallards filled the air. The cicadas started singing in the woods behind me as a kingfisher fell off his perch into the water. Did he do that on purpose!?! Yup, caught himself a nice little fish! Now a “scold” of Blue Jays are, well… scolding some poor creature directly overhead, probably a hawk of some kind. Yup, Sharp-shinned Hawk, wait… TWO Sharpies! That’s probably why I’m not seeing any of my little woodland bird buddies right now. Oh well, you know who’s not afraid of hawks? Dragonflies! This blue dasher found two perfect places to pose for me.

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Osprey

My Osprey seems to enjoy birding with me at the Celery Bog, but I think he just comes along for the fish. Here’s a shot of him just as he flew from my arm to go fishing. Please, PLEASE, PLEEZE can this be true!?! Rats. This cool dude came over the treetops from behind me and we simultaneously let out a GAH!!! Then he banked hard to the left to get away from me as I flung my camera his direction with the shutter button mashed down! Worked out pretty well, I’d say.

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak

I can hardly get within a mile of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the wild but hang some suet in the back yard and they practically shove me out of the way to get at it! I actually got this juvenile at the Celery Bog a couple of months ago. He sure does look proud of that red patch!

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Double-crested Cormorant

By now you all know me as a world-class wilderness explorer, but you probably didn’t know about my uncanny ability to find beauty in every single living thing. Take this Double-crested Cormorant for example, he’s uhh… hrmm. Err, it’s just that he’s, uhh… oh boy. He’s really not a very attractive bird. Ooh, ooh, his eyes! He’s got beautiful blue eyes! Whew!

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

If I spoke bird I’d- wait a minute, I DO speak bird! I guarantee mama gnatcatcher told her kids to stay in this bush or they wouldn’t get dessert. As I approached the bush I noticed four tiny gray heads randomly peeking from behind the leaves. Mom! Who’s that, mom!?! MA!!! They seemed to be nervously looking for guidance from an adult as I drew nearer, but they never left that bush. Then, a few minutes later, mom and pop both showed up with dessert as promised!

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Song Sparrow

Melospiza melodia, aka the Song Sparrow; providing ambience at the Celery Bog since, well… for a really long time! This truly is the singingest bird; I’ve heard him singing in the dark of night and before sunrise in the morning. I actually heard him singing one frigid January morning after a foot of snow had fallen! I remember thinking, if he could sing a sweet song like that about a massive snow storm, maybe it isn’t so bad after all. Thanks bird!

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Great Egret

This time of year you might be fortunate enough to find a Great Egret fishing in the shallows way up on the north side of the Celery Bog. I was! This egret is about the size of a Great Blue Heron but he seems much bigger to me; maybe it’s his super white plumage or the way he walks so upright. Oh, and keep in mind, the other half of him is under water!

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Two months ago I went on a bit of a rant regarding a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher mocking me from the treetops. I said something like, You gotta come down eventually, grrr! Well, today he came down. All the way down. Like, right in my face, beak to beak down. Never any doubt, I knew he’d come down eventually.

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Indigo Bunting

What if I told you this Indigo Bunting, possibly one of the bluest birds you’ve ever seen, isn’t really blue at all? You’d probably laugh it off because that’s clearly a joke; this bird is obviously blue. What if I told you this bird is actually black? You’d probably call me a liar and a fool and never believe another word I said. Well, guess what folks, the male Indigo Bunting is actually black! The diffraction of light through his feathers make them look blue, really blue depending on how much light hits them. That’s why I get so excited when a bunting perches in direct sunlight because… BLUE! Soooo blue!

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Yellow Warbler

Resigned to the fact that I was gonna see nuthin’ today, I pouted along, I mean, plodded along. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know this is usually when something spectacular happens. Like clockwork Mother Nature said, I think it’s time for… let’s see here, ahh- how about a bush full of baby Yellow Warblers to prove this guy wrong yet again. Literally the moment I gave up for the day, I heard a Yellow Warbler in the bush I was walking past and upon further inspection, I spotted three babies and a mother scrambling to stuff those little yellow faces with food! I love that there are baby warblers at the Celery Bog.

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