The last two weeks have mainly been spent on things other than birding but I have been able to get out each weekend for some birding.
A week ago Saturday, 9/13, I met up with Mike Clay for a few hours at Southwestway Park in Indianapolis. The weather was dark and windy which did not lend itself to photos, or exceptional birding. But Mike showed me around the park and what habitats are good in which seasons. Probably the highlight were the large number of Indigo Buntings that were around.
That afternoon I stopped by the nearby wet field and saw my first American Coot of season in a near by pond.
A few weeks ago I asked where do people bird. Regular reader and commenter Andy Beal said that Ft. Harrison Park in Indianapolis was a good spot. I knew Don Gorney gave regular walks there in the fall so I headed there Sunday morning. There was a good turnout with about 20 people. It was good to meet several people whose posts I have read in IN-Bird. It was also good to meet Andy who also was on the walk. I want thank Don who did a great job leading a group of that size.
There were numerous passerines and I got good looks at many of them. There was also a nice flock of Double-crested Cormorants that flew over.
I did miss a couple of Black-and-White Warblers that were seen. I think it is starting to turn into my nemesis bird for the area.
After the main walk ended I stayed around and talked to Don. A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher showed up. I of course had put my camera away but Aidan Rominger got great photos, as usual, and sent the following for use.
This past weekend I birded Southeastway Park on Saturday morning and the local flooded field on Sunday. I didn’t get to Southeastway until 9:30 and since this was my first time there, I spent most of the time just walking the edges. I came across a small flock of birds moving through the trees and had a male Cape May Warbler give great looks for 5 seconds, and then move on. I can see the park being a regular place to bird for migrants.
Sunday morning with the winds at 20 mph I decided to visit the local flooded field instead of look for warblers. Wasn’t expecting much but always worth look. Killdeer numbers were way down with only 10 versus the 100+ the last few times. There were Pectoral, Least, and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Plus 2 Semipalmated Plovers.
And then there was a light colored bird that I knew wasn’t one of the others. Now keep in mind I am viewing at 175 meters through my spotting scope. It was smaller than a Killdeer and the Pecs. It then walked by a Least and was bigger. It walked by a Semipalmated Plover. About the same size. So a large peep. My initial thought had been Sanderling but the GISS was wrong. It wasn’t acting like one and didn’t look plump enough for one. It look more long and lean, with long primary projections. That left me to decide on Baird’s or White Rumped Sandpiper. Really wasn’t to hard from there with the lighter coloring it was a Baird’s. Plus the face was plain with no eyeline, just a plain light brown
So I picked up two Indiana life birds over the weekend – the Cape May and the Baird’s. Just shows what you can do locally if you get out and bird.