Friday, July 23, 2010
I am guessing that this is an Eastern Phoebe since he does not appear to have the conspicuous wing bars of the Tyrant family. Although, he looks larger than images I have found on the Internet, so I am open to correction. This bird is fairly common in the United States, but certainly not common in my area. These were taken on a freshwater river several hours from my house. Three of these were catching flies along the Pokemoke River while we were canoeing and poking in and out of the 'gunk holes' that were hardly the right size for canoes. They allowed us to get right under their tree and that is why one of the dozen photos I took looks decent. We watched them catch flying insects and bring them back to eat.
The day was hot and close and each gunk hole provided a mysterious cool respite from the open sky and sun on the Pokemoke river that we visited after our beach sojourn. We carefully maneuvered the canoe past low branches and out-reaching snagging vines into those mystical shadowed fingers of water that you can only reach by canoe. Wondrously the mosquitoes were non-existent and the biting flies must have all been eaten by birds. We spied on a what we think was a fish crow poking along the muddy areas for food but he was hard to see in the thick foliage and we also disturbed a wary wood duck that splashed noisily up a finger of the river.
Later, out in the open river, there was an abundance of dragonflies very large and small skimming and breaking the shine of the river and then zooming above close to our heads with that buzz they have. With each pull of the paddle, the water beetles scurrying across the surface of the water ahead of the canoe were fascinating to watch, hurrying quickly like rolling pearls. We heard but could not see prothonatarys and various other unidentifiable warblers in the dense shade of the trees. Such days are really gifts to be remembered.