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Merlin, Kinglets, and Yellow-rumpeds at Tifft

Published October 13, 2014
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Merlin, Pied-billed Grebe, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Dark-eyed Junco

There were a few surprises at Tifft this afternoon. I knew some migrant movements had taken place by the new birds I found in my woods, so I quickly wrapped up my work for the day and headed over to Tifft to see what might be going on there.

Yellow-rumped Warblers were numerous near the first wooden bridge and I enjoyed watching them flit from tree to tree. There were a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets that were mixed in with the flock too.  And nearby, was a lone junco foraging on the ground. At first glance, I thought it might be an Oregon (subspecies of the Dark-eyed Junco). When I examined the photos later on, though, I was pretty sure it was just a darker female.

Moving further in to the preserve, I found more Yellow-rumped Warblers and a single warbler that I wasn't able to ID. I hate when that happens! After I gave up the chase for that unknown warbler, I came upon Dennis Gralak who took me to a Merlin he had been watching. He thought it had just come in and was weary from its travels. He said he watched it being harassed by crows and I witnessed that same thing later on when I found it again as I was leaving the preserve. The Merlin allowed us some great views while it rested near the boardwalk.

Around the entire preserve, I counted 66 American Coots - that was a big surprise. And I had the fun experience of watching a Snapping Turtle make its way back to the water. It was rather prehistoric looking, slow moving, and BIG!  Big claws on those massive feet too!

I also saw a few Golden-crowned Kinglets and had a nice view of a Hermit Thrush. I've been skunked by thrushes lately, so I was very happy to see this guy! A little later, as I was leaving, I heard the mobbing sound of crows - and yes, that poor, fatigued Merlin was getting harassed again. It must have found a secluded spot because the din soon calmed down and I wished the Merlin a peaceful night...
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Merlin
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Merlin getting mobbed by Crows
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Merlin
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Merlin
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Merlin
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Merlin
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Dark-eyed Junco (the Oregon subspecies or just a darker female?)
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Hermit Thrush
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Golden-crowned Kinglet
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Golden-crowned Kinglet
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Ruby-crowned Kinglet
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Pied-billed Grebe
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Snapping Turtle making its way slowly back to the water