Splish, splash, I was takin’ a bath…
~Bobby Darin and Murray Kaufman
I’ve settled into a routine now of sitting in the chair where I can see the waterfall every morning with my coffee, again at lunch, and often late in the day while working on the computer. The birds seem most active early and late, often before there is much light at all. But video is more forgiving than still photos on my camera so I have started taking short clips of the varied bird life that comes to partake of the moving water for either a drink or a bath. The most frequent visitors are a couple of male Scarlet Tanagers and some (one?) male Black-throated Blue Warblers. Below is a series of (some might say provocative) video clips of who has been caught bathing in our pool. Videos are best viewed full screen.
–Black-throated Blue Warblers have been regular visitors to the waterfall lately
— One or more female Black-throated Blues finally have started coming to bathe and drink
— These male Scarlet Tanagers have been my favorites and they are daily visitors (usually multiple times a day)
–This interaction caught us by surprise
Melissa was next to the camera and started filming for that last clip when a male Scarlet Tanager landed and started splashing. What happened next was a wonderful surprise for both of us. A male Baltimore Oriole landed and essentially chased off the smaller tanager. We have been hearing these migratory birds for a week or more singing in the trees, but had not spotted one. In fact, this sighting is only the second Baltimore Oriole observed since I began keeping records many years ago.
Besides the birds shown and mentioned in the last post, we have had a few more visitors to the pool including a female Scarlet Tanager, a male American Redstart, a Red-eyed Vireo, and a gorgeous Red-shouldered Hawk that dropped by in search of a frog meal no doubt. The hawk, vireo, and the Wood Thrushes are the only birds I have not managed to get even a pic of as yet.
The female Scarlet Tanager made a very brief visit late one evening so I managed only a single shot that was somewhat sharp. The male American Redstart came in and flitted back and forth, flashing his tail as they usually do. He flew through the spray of the waterfall a couple of times and then took off without settling in for a bath, so no video, just a couple of hurried photos. Can’t wait to see what else visits in the coming weeks.
I just love your posts! Thank you for bringing beautiful and interesting nature to me!
Thank you, Susan. Glad you enjoy them.
Bathing beauties, every one of them. Just spectacular!
Great videos and photos! Love seeing the birds at the waterfall. Thank you!
I just love these photos and am very envious of your sweet bird waterfall!
Thanks, Kathy. It has been a lot of fun seeing all these birds attracted to the waterfall.
Your waterfall is an ideal place for summer relaxation – for you and for the birds! I hope you get a photo of a wood thrush. Are they just migrating through here or do they live here? I only ever seem to hear them this time of year back in my woods. I just love to hear them!
I agree, it is a win-win for humans and birds, and all the other critters that inhabit or visit the pools (more on that in a future blog). The Wood Thrush nest here in our woods, so I hope they will visit the waterfall again, especially when the weather gets warm.
Hi Mike, thought you’d be interested in this blog. Check out the last photo on the May 14 entry. Courting American Oystercatchers .
This protected nesting area is on the south end of Wrightsville Beach.
Wow, thanks for sharing. I didn’t know ruddy turnstones were egg predators!
More wonderful glimpses into the habits of some beautiful birds. So much more interesting than a static bird bath!
Thanks, Rich. It is certainly fascinating to keep an eye on the waterfall.
Thank you for all your posts Mike. I love seeing the detail and the spectacular photos and videos you manage to achieve. I live in Australia but come to Raleigh regularly to visit my son and I love getting to know the local wildlife. It makes my visits all the more rewarding when I see familiar creatures.
Thanks so much. Great to hear!