The Creek Corridor!
Over the past week, I've been taking my morning birding walks along the creek corridor of Pheasant Branch Conservancy with hopes of finding southbound migrants. So far the only two non-resident birds have been an Olive-sided Flycatcher (Tuesday) and Black-and-white Warbler (yesterday). It's still early. They'll be here in greater numbers in another week or so.
While the dense forest isn't the best setting for digiscoping, there are still interesting things to photograph with my macro lens while I'm birding. This time of year the corridor reminds me of a tropical forest; the cool mornings combined with moist air and wildflower fragrance is olfactory bliss. Calls from Great Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Wood-Pewees, and Baltimore Orioles mixed with resident birdsong render a familiar August theme that's like a prelude to fall migration. Soon these birds will depart and I won't see them again until next spring.
Spider nest - unsure of species.
Cicadas begin to buzz once the sun has been up for an hour or so. Though not as enjoyable to my ear, their tymbaling is also part of the mid to late summer woodland soundtrack. It seems that the louder they get, the closer we are to fall — a song of impending doom! I found a somewhat lethargic cicada on the side of a tree Wednesday morning when the temperature was in the forties. I wasn't sure if it was dying or recently emerged. Perhaps it was just temporarily inactive because of the chilled air.
A toad that paused on the side of the trail as if to check both ways before crossing. I prodded it along so it wouldn't get run over by a bicyclist. Be careful out there!
All images © 2013 Mike McDowell