Tower Grove Park with Allen and Lois Smith, 300914

I got a very affectionate email from

Allen Smith

(click on his name to go to his journal and photos)

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and Lois, and we fixed up to meet in Tower Grove Park, which I have long wanted to visit as a birder. This time, armed with my trusty Metrolink monthly pass, I figured out a route (and Allen gave me a good alternative one), and we met up, as planned.

While waiting for them to drive in from Bridgeton, I was clicking a lot of interesting things that caught my eye. Some pavilions at the Park:

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The Palm House:

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The Kyrle Boldt memorial fountain:

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A tiny rainbow that was as beautiful as its big cousin in the sky:

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A baby

COTTONTAIL RABBIT:

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Some late-blooming Irises:

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The beauty of Foxtail Grass against the stone:

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This artistic arrangment of mushrooms and leaves (done by Nature):

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A tiny grasshopper:

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A tinier fly:

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Sometimes berries hide a common friend, such as this

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD:

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Even dead leaves are grist to my mill:

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Al and Lois introduced me to some of the hotspots in Tower Grove Park. We started with the

Gaddy Garden

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We entered the wooded area to quite a cacaphony of bird calls, and I could not help remembering how Bob Bailey, Mitch Leachman and others who regularly come to guide newbies on the first Saturday bird walks at Forest Park, identified so many birds just by ear. There were a lot of warblers and thrushes; but looking right up the trees into the sky was not a great way to id them, and I must say, I couldn’t tell them apart at all. Al told me about the occasion when they sighted a rare Connecticut Warbler there, and showed some lovely pictures and a video of its behaviour, too.

As we entered the path, I found that the berries on this plant seem to be bird-magnets:

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I got a beautiully-plumaged

AMERICAN ROBIN

in the berries:

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This Robin seems to be a juvenile who hasn’t grown his feathers yet (or else the salon visit didn’t go too well):

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We waited for a while at the Bubbler, which, according to Al, was very low on water this time. We saw quite a few birds, but they were high up in the foliage, making for Pain-in-the-Neck birding! And they were so elusive that they were all Binocular Birds, not Camera Birds. It was lovely to see a bench provided there, where Al and Lois posed for me:

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It had this memorial plaque:

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I only managed to click this bird, which Devin Peipert id’s as a Nashville Warbler:

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The warbler made the CBPDMP (Classic Bird Pose for Deepa Mohan ):

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At the pool, I spotted this

BOX TURTLE

lifting its head up to the light:

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The turtle and the

MOURNING DOVE

made a nice sight together at the Bubbler:

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However, on our second round into the path, I did manage to get this beautiful little

DOWNY WOODPECKER:

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As a great finale, a

RED-TAILED HAWK

flwe in and settled down on a tall tree, and later soared in majestic circles, looking for food.

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A passerby with colourful fall leaves in his hat shared our sighting of the beautiful Hawk.

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As we walked near the Cypress Circle on Main Drive, Lois spotted this

BROWN THRASHER:

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The Woodland Pool in memory of Jack Van Benthuysen on the north side of Main Drive at the east end gave me this

GREEN HERON

on a Victoria Lily leaf:

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Lois says she’s “not a birder”, but her spotting skills seemed pretty remarkable to me, especially when many of the birds I thought I was spotting turned out to be “fall”ing leaves!

It was very helpful, indeed, of both of them, to take the time and trouble to show me some of the birding spots in the Park; I hope to go there again soon!

I make this post with “everything including the birds” as Al seems to be a nature-lover after my own heart…he loves seeing anything and everything that Nature can provide, and enjoys it all.

I’ve put up photos on my FB album

here

Al and Lois….thank you “berry” much for a very enjoyable time!

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