A short but enjoyable stint of birding in Forest Park, 220913

I got an email from

Eliot Miller

that he and his girlfriend Sarah (both postdocs in bird behavior) would be birding in Forest Park in the evening, and I decided to postpone my visit to a birthday party to join them for at least a short while.

As I walked to meet them, I was witness to an altercation (or at the very least, a noisy interaction) between two

BLUE JAYS

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in a tree, which I have posted about

here

After I met them

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we walked down the path in the prairie area of the park:

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Though the sun was still high, there was a fair amount of bird activity in the area. We watched several

EASTERN WOOD PEEWEES

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We also saw Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Thrashers, and Vireos in the heavy foliage across the creek. The foliage was too thick for photography, so I used my binoculars instead.

The change in the season was quite palpable, and the the first of the fall colours were showing themselves:

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Other creatures, which are more “ground-bound”, were making their homes (and arrangements for getting dinner):

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We didn’t see any Mississippi Kites, but we certainly saw this Missouri Kite up a tree!

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Several

AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES

delighted us with their flashes of yellow:

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I call this image “flying south” in salute to the millions of birds who do that..

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A

MONARCH

Butterfly, one of thousands on their annual journey, was feeding off the New England Asters (Thank you, Lynda Richards, for the id!) :

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The Goldenrods and the white wildflowers (Lynda Richards helped me…they are Pilose Asters) spangled our path with yellow and white:

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These seed-pods were setting post-flowering and they were beautiful, too:

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I thought I saw a raptor, but doubted my sighting when I spotted a

MOURNING DOVE:

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But no, my sighting was all right…the

AMERICAN KESTREL

too, had landed on the same tree!

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An interesting thing happened at the start of our walk. Another couple came along, and asked where they could see the Great Horned Owls, and I told them that they’d have to head over to the Muny. Then, when I mentioned that I was from India, the gentleman immediately said, “Mohan?”…he was

Mark Mittleman

an eminent lawyer who is also a keen musician, and is a birder as well!

Apparently he’d read my posts on the Mobirds list (and no doubt had a hearty laugh over my mistakes, though he was too polite to say so!) Here are Eliot and Mark:

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We all watched a

NORTHERN FLICKER

for a while:

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I wasn’t sure if there was a nest, or it was just foraging for insects in the wood of the tree-trunk.

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Alas, I had to leave in order to catch my train and go to Creve Coeur, so I bid adieu to Eliot and Sarah, and walked back through the Park, seeing several other people who were enjoying the beauty of the evening:

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Forest Park will always be a great treasure house for me…

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The bird-list sent by Eliot (thank you!) contains species that Eliot and Sarah saw after I left, too. I’ve marked “my” birds with an asterisk:

Blackbird, Red-winged(Agelaius phoeniceus)*
Bunting, Indigo (Passerina cyanea) *
Cardinal, Northern(Cardinalis cardinalis) *
Catbird, Gray(Dumetella carolinensis)*
Crow, American (Corvus brachyrhynchos)* (Eliot and Sarah saw 200, I saw just a few..these snooty crows only show themselves to postdoc students!)
Dove, Mourning (Zenaida macroura) *
Duck, Wood (Aix sponsa) *
Finch, House (Haemorhous mexicanus) *
Flicker, Northern (Colaptes auratus) *
Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) *
Grackle, Common (Quiscalus quiscula) *
Grosbeak,Rose-breasted (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
Hawk, Red-tailed (Buteo jamaicensis) *
Hummingbird, Ruby-throated (Archilochus colubris) *
Jay, Blue(Cyanocitta cristata) *
Kestrel, American (Falco sparverius)
Kildeer (Charadrius vociferus) *
Kingbird, Eastern (Tyrannus tyrannus)
Kingfisher, Belted(Megaceryle alcyon) *
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) *
Pewee, Eastern Wood (Contopus virens) *
Robin, American (Turdus migratorius) *
Starling, European (Sturnus vulgaris)*
Swift, Chimney(Chaetura pelagica) *
Tanager, Scarlet (Piranga olivacea)*
Thrasher, Brown(Toxostoma rufum) *
Warbler, Chestnut-sided (Setophaga pensylvanica)
Waterthrush,Northern (Parkesia noveboracensis)
Wren, Carolina (Thryothorus ludovicianus) *
Woodpecker,Red-headed (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) *
Woodpecker,Downy (Picoides pubescens)*

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