Eighteen of us enjoyed perfect weather at Hudson Gardens this past Saturday, as well as enjoying some interesting bird activity. There were still juvenile Wood Ducks at the wetlands, although their number has diminished from five to three – all males. The male Mallards are still in eclipse plumage, with no evidence yet of their breeding plumage reemerging.
We saw an individual Blue-winged Teal, which I have tentatively identified as a male in eclipse plumage. This is based on: 1) the almost black coloring of the bill (as opposed to slate-gray), 2) the absence of obvious eye-arcs (which females tend to have), 3) the drab coloration on the flanks (feathers on female flanks are edged in a light beige – almost white), and 4) the faint white facial crescent tending to extend above the eye-line. However, this is a really tough call to make, and perhaps more information than you wanted, right? For those of you that got a good look at this bird please give me your input.
In the photos below the male is the second one.
We had great looks at Cedar Waxings, which were so numerous that we had to duck at times. Note the difference between adults and juveniles. Photos courtesy of Bill Schmoker.
Finally, the highlight of the day was getting to watch a Cooper’s Hawk dismember a smaller representative of the Class Aves; after which it went into digestion cycle, and just sat on the same branch for the next hour or so.
Hope to see you on another Front Range Birding Company walk soon!!
Hudson Gardens, Aug 27, 2016
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 18
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) 3
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 17
Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) 1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 5
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) 1
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) 1
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 2
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 5
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) 4
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 7
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus) 7
Plumbeous Vireo (Vireo plumbeus) 1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 1
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) 2
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 8
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 2
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 2
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 38
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia) 4
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 27
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 2
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 6