Friday, May 28, 2010

Spring Changes at Hasty

Lifer Mourning Warbler!
We spent last weekend up at Hasty and spring had brought new colors to our place. Everything had greened up and there were many trees, bushes and wildflowers in bloom. I brought along my copy of Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota and spent a good deal of time figuring out just what we have growing up there. I was particularly interested in the brush growing along the slope down to the creek just below our balcony. We would like to clear it just a bit to give us a better view of the creek and the critters down there but I really want to be careful to leave the plants that produce fruit for the wildlife. I know we have lots of beaked hazelnut bushes. They grow wherever there is a break in the canopy. Some of them can go. Using the book I was able to identify several choke cherry trees, june berry bushes, and two kinds of dogwood. These are all terrific fruit producers and I've seen the birds go after them in earlier seasons. We also have quite a few pretty spruce and balsam trees growing on the south-facing slope. If we thin a bit they'll have more room to grow. As I identify plants that I want to keep, I've been marking them with a spool of red plastic ribbon. We'll most likely wait to start thinning the brush in the fall after the nesting season is long over. Thanks go out to Deb at Sand Creek Almanac for suggesting this wonderful book.
Saturday we had an exciting visitor- Richard from At The Water made the long drive up from his home to see our place and give us advice on finishing the upstairs to turn it into our cabin. Richard is an amazingly multi-talented man has kindly offered his expertise in carpentry and electrical wiring! His visit on Saturday gave us an opportunity to get ideas and make some decisions on the placement of interior walls and a kitchen. Most of these decisions need to be firmed up before the wiring can be done. We had a great day, though chilly and very windy. In addition to driving all that way to help us out, Richard brought us a most thoughtful gift: a framed photo that I took from the balcony and posted on this blog last year! It will be the first picture that I hang up there and I'll be sure to post a photo of it. Thank you Richard.
Sunday morning dawned warmer and quite cloudy. I woke early (6am), made a pot of coffee and quietly slid open the patio door on the balcony. Armed with a big cup of strong coffee and my binoculars I stepped outside to be met by a morning chorus like no other: The warblers were here! Ovenbirds, Common Yellowthroats, Black and Whites.
There were Chestnut-sided Warblers everywhere!
Our building/campsite is surrounded on three sides by the creek and I could hear the
bee-bz-bz
of Golden-winged Warblers on all three sides (no pix this time). I saw Blackpolls, American Redstarts, Nashville and Palm Warblers. I kept hearing a louder song, not familiar. I put on jeans, long sleeves and hiking shoes, grabbed my camera and took off to find the singer. I got as close as I could to the song, settled in and waited. There were two birds singing that song, one on either side of a small clearing. There it was- a Mourning Warbler!! LIFER!! Two males sang dueling songs. I took tons of pictures, none of them great because of the gray skies, but good enough to verify my id. I posted a photo two years ago of a fledgling that I couldn't identify. Hap in New Hope thought it was probably a Mourning Warbler but I didn't count it on my life list because I couldn't make the id myself.
It was a very birdy day even without the warblers. Purple Finches and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks fought for time at the feeders.


These Purple Finch ladies were bickering.


This little Chipping Sparrow sat still just long enough for a quick snapshot. Song Sparrows, Hermit Thrushes and Veeries sang along the creek. White-throated Sparrows skulked around mostly hidden in the thick hazelnut bushes. A brilliant flash of red in a treetop across the creek- a Scarlet Tanager is new for my Hasty yard list.

My first decent (sort of) photo of a Kingfisher.


Sunday was the birdiest day I've ever had at Hasty Brook.

~~~~~~~~~~

We'll be buying lumber, light fixtures and wiring supplies for our next trip up north. With Richard's help and advice we will be making great progress in turning our "upstairs" into a comfy cabin/loft. As soon as it's finished we'll be able to open the doors and invite you all up to the Hasty Brook Birder's B&B!!










26 comments:

swamp4me said...

Great pictures, Lynn! I felt like I was right there. My favorite is the bickering finches.

Montanagirl said...

Fabulous! Love that Chestnut sided Warbler. Would love to visit you there sometime.

Richard said...

Jeeez...I was there for over 4 hours and saw one Chickadee.

Cabin loft ??? I'm thinking something fit for a King and foreign dignataries.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Wow<all that bird song you describe,sounds delightful.
I hope that this is just the start and that you will be surrounded by birds all year.
Blessings,Ruth

Bird Girl said...

Holy Bird Heaven!!! I'm making my reservation now - for the Hasty Brook Birder's B&B!!! What a day you had and so many great bird photos! Congrats on your Mourning warbler (I've not seen one to date) and also wonderful kingfisher shot! And the Chestnut sided is so beautiful - wow, Lynne! Isn't Richard a sweet fella? I wish I could have joined you all for the fun!

Jayne said...

New River at Hasty Brook! :c) WOW Lynne, how exciting to have so many visitors there for you to enjoy. Can't wait to see things progress at your haven in the woods.

gardenpath said...

Looking good, Lynne. I am pretty sure you are going to keep seeing lots of birds up there in the woods. What a neat place!

I keep seeing a kingfisher at a pond about a mile from here, but have got a good shot of it.

Wishing you a good happy long weekend.

JKoenig said...

What a special day....I could just feel your excitment. I thought the picture of the Chestnut-sided Warbler was especially stunning.

I think you are in for a great summer. I'm happy for you.

Deb said...

I'm glad you got a copy of that book- it's huge but such a great guide! I'm wondering about golden winged warblers here now- I keep hearing a really buzzy song and I have not been able to see the singer. There are so many bird songs around here I don't know...

Peg said...

It's fun to read a blog that contains the phrase "Up N". Something I find myself saying several times a week or day.
We go Up N in Wisconsin; but it's pretty much the same thing.
Fun to travel 60 miles N and find that you're going back on the calendar about 10 days-2 weeks.
Your Hasty Brook sounds like a heavenly place for you.
The return each Spring of the various birds is almost like a holiday on the calendar.
Building your own place sounds like a lot of work; but also exciting.
Good luck, Lynne.

troutbirder said...

That does it. I'm leaving my Alumacraft behind, bringing my binocs, and just going hiking on our annual June "fishing" trip north of Grand Rapids. :)

KaHolly said...

Lynne, it sounds like heaven on earth!! What a wonderful day you had, and those pictures! Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed the entire post. Can't wait for more pictures! ~karen

amarkonmywall said...

That sounds like an exciting project. And the bird photos, especially your bickering finches, are absolutely delightful.

Mary said...

It's good to hear progress at Hasty Brook. The chestnut-sided warbler knocked me over! What wonderful birds and photographs!

scienceguy288 said...

The kingfisher shot is wonderful...don't cut yourself short.

Susan Gets Native said...

Myself, I'm looking forward to retiring at the Hasty Brook Retirement Home for Birders. Where all of us cranky broads can whack each other with our scope tripods.

I look forward to the time when I can get up to visit your little bit of heaven.
See how I just invited myself there?

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: I'm jealous of your Chestnut-sided warbler photo. I love those little guys--haven't seen a one this year either. I'm glad you had them this year.

Carolyn H.

rahona said...

Wow, Lynne, I am SO jealous! What a great weekend! I'd love to see more of your photos sometime!

RuthieJ said...

Fantastic photos Lynne! Sounds like you had an amazing day. Do you have any idea how many of those warblers actually spend the summer and nest in your neck of the woods?
Good luck with your continued construction.

Shelley said...

How fabulous that you got to meet Richard! I'm dying to see more photos of your place Lynne - I know it's going to be wonderful! A "cabin" is the best retreat in the world to have in my opinion. You got some great bird photos - especially that chestnut warble and bickering finches. You'll have to start framing some for your cabin.

NCmountainwoman said...

I'm so happy for you. It must be truly wonderful to make some progress. Lovely birds, great trees...how lucky can you get?

dguzman said...

Oh, I'm SO going to retire there along with Susan!

The Early Birder said...

Hi Lynne. What a fabulous collection outside the cabin. I'd say this was a good omen for the future.
BTW I told Richard to tell you he is worth his weight in gold..Lol.

Have a great weekend...FAB.

Leedra said...

I have never seen a Chestnut-sided Warbler, it looks like a real eye catcher.

Sounds like you two are making progress at Hasty Brook. I was trimming a bush this past weekend and had to stop because of a nest. Needless to say it looks kind of funny now. I should have taken your advise and waited at least a few weeks.

Kathiesbirds said...

Count me inn! (the double "nn" was an accident but I left it in on purpose!) I'm packing my bags! What a wonder this place is turning out to be!

dguzman said...

OMG I can't wait!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!