Aug 6th - Less the Same but...

For the most part today's raptor watching was not conducted from it's usual spot along the fence, it was done from a bench in the northwest area of the park where yesterday's rarity was seen.  As we are not really expecting much so early in the migration I thought I'd take a change and watch to see if the Black-billed Cuckoo would return.

From this vantage point those gathered had an excellent view of the sky above Rosetta and also had a good view to watch for the Cuckoo.  After a few hours of searching high and low I saw a bird with a long(ish) tail fly into the top of a tall tree right beside our location.  After several minutes in hiding the bird decided to show itself and sat out in plain view on a branch at the top of the tree for all to see.  Ed, who discovered the bird yesterday, confirmed that it was the Cuckoo.  Oh what fun!  This was a 'life bird' for Hugh and 'park bird' #188 for me personally.  The bird eventually flew-off in the direction in-which it came.

It's my belief that this bird is staying in the area and is likely feeding on the many berries that are available in this section of the park.  After reviewing my photos I've determined that this is a juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo.  The pale coloured eye-ring is easy to see in the photo (adults are red in colour).  If you go to look for this new visitor, please allow it some space.  Although we did nothing wrong today, I feel that our presence might have kept the bird from flying down from atop the tree and feeding in the berry trees below.  I will be back along the fence watching for hawks tomorrow.

Black-billed Cuckoo (Walter)

As you may have guessed, no raptors today.

As most of you know, we do get our fair share of 'crazies' at Rosetta.  With the high heat and humidy this summer, they're out in force.  Everything from someone in a wheelchair digging-up and stealing rose bushes to a guy uttering vulgar comments and talking highly of people like Charles Manson!!!  Please be very cautious and report anything out of the ordinary to the nearest park staffer.

Walter

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