Yesterday’s excursion to Turkey Creek was particularly uneventful but for the continued prevalence of White-eyed Vireos throughout the sanctuary. I did get some good binocular views, but no photos.
This seems to be a banner year for the species in the sanctuary, and it was interesting to hear all the variants of its songs. A lot of the song segements were reminiscent of other birds. I could hear Eastern Towhee, Great Crested Flycatcher, and even Blue Jay sounds in the vireo songs. I don’t know if this is a coincidence or that White-eyed Vireos have developed mimicry as part of their mating or territorial strategies. I will have to investigate.
[Edited to add: A quick Internet search on White-eyed Vireo mimicry does show that they are known for this. On site has some fairly extensive sonograms and recordings, too. In some cases apparently they mimic up to a dozen species’ calls! I did not know this. How fun!]
Of the photographs I did take, I took a couple of this magnificent spiny orb-weaver and its web. I don’t know the exact species.
Spiny orb-weaver (sp. ?) in its beautiful web.
Close up of the spiny orb-weaver (underside).
Other than that, I caught a few glimpses of Blue-grey Gnatcatchers, heard a few Northern Parulas, and of course, the Northern Cardinals were everywhere (though a bit more quiet than usual). I think I may need to shift my start times to before 7am if I am going to see anything interesting. It was already quite warm by 10:00, which quiets the bird activity tremendously.