Sunday, August 14, 2011

Late Summer at James A. Reed WA

Sunflowers planted at James A Reed for wildlife.
Photo Credit Amy Petersen
It was a lazy, late-summer morning at James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area.  With the cooler weather we decided to get out and try our birding luck.  This time of year is usually post-breeding for most birds, the young have fledged and are dispersing to feed up for the long migration or in preparation for the winter.

Being the post-breeding season for most birds it was unusually quiet.  Indigo Buntings were calling as usual.  This species seems to enjoy calling well into the day and long after other birds have gone quiet.  We enjoyed a few Bell's Vireos,  getting a good look at one male.  There were also a number of House Wrens, one apparently feeding chicks in a nest box.  The undulating flight of the brightly colored American Goldfinches were very common.

We surprised a Cooper's Hawk eating his morning breakfast and enjoyed the soaring flight of a lone Turkey Vulture.  The Barn Swallows that nest on the floating docks on the lakes around the area were all hanging out on trees and bare branches around the lakes.  I saw none still on the nest.  We enjoyed the presence of one lone Green Heron trying hard to appear like a limb on a log.

One special treat was to see several fields of planted sunflowers.  Sunflowers are planted for wildlife including doves, quail, pheasants and turkeys, along with songbirds. Our two hour trip around the wildlife area was just what was needed after a long, hot summer.  The anticipation of fall is strong in my bones. I look forward to more adventures outdoors.