Enjoying the Sun with Golden-crowned Kinglets and Other Wildlife

The weather was finally nice again this past weekend, so to enjoy the sun and the wildlife it brought with it, we went hiking in our local area and photographed what we saw. Birds were not especially active when we went, although we did see two Red-tailed Hawks, some Turkey Vultures, some woodpeckers, and many, many Golden-crowned Kinglets. The Kinglets did not seem bothered by us in the slightest and would get very close, flitting among the small trees beside the trail. They did not like to sit still, however, and were somewhat frustrating to photograph.

Wildlife, a flighty Golden-crowned Kinglet perched for just a moment on a branch. This photo was taken by S. J. Callaway.
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) Photo by S. J. Callaway

While searching for birds among the trees, we spotted a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. It flew away before I could take any photographs, but Michael managed to catch a quick picture before it was out of our sight.

Wildlife, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker clinging to a tree. This photo was taken by Michael Ostrowski.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) Photo by Michael Ostrowski

I also photographed a Red-bellied Woodpecker and a Black-capped Chickadee, but the remainder of our outing focused on other wildlife, including plants.

Wildlife, a Red-bellied Woodpecker searching for food on a dead tree. This photo is by S. J. Callaway.
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) Photo by S. J. Callaway
Wildlife, a Black-capped Chickadee perched high in a tree. This photo is by S. J. Callaway.
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) Photo by S. J. Callaway

Among the other wildlife we saw, most were invertebrates, but we were also fortunate enough to find a Sharp-lobed Hepatica in flower. We even saw a rare fern, Smooth Cliffbrake, growing on the side of a cliff.

This flowering Hepatica was alongside other members of its species that were not yet in bloom. It's good to see flowers again. This photo was taken by S. J. Callaway.
Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) Photo by S. J. Callaway
An employee of the preserve we visited directed us to this rare fern, Smooth Cliffbrake, growing on the side of a small cliff. What a pretty plant! This photo was taken by S. J. Callaway.
Smooth Cliffbrake (Pellaea glabella) Photo by S. J. Callaway

We saw many invertebrates crawling in the dirt or flying through the air, but among the most interesting that we saw were a Shore Ground Beetle and some colorful Leafhoppers. We also saw an Eastern Comma, a pretty orange butterfly.

Wildlife, a Shore Ground Beetle crawling among the dirt and leaves alongside a creek. This photo was taken by Michael Ostrowski.
Shore Ground Beetle (Elaphrus ruscarius) Photo by Michael Ostrowski
Wildlife, a Leafhopper, Dikrella cruentata, found under a log. This photo was taken by Michael Ostrowski.
Dikrella cruentata Photo by Michael Ostrowski
Wildlife, Eastern Comma butterfly. Photo by Michael Ostrowski.
Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) Photo by Michael Ostrowski

Although we heard frogs and a fellow hiker mentioned turtles, we did not see any. We did, however, see a snake that was evidently out enjoying the warm weather just as we were.

More wildlife, a Common Garter Snake hiding in the leaves to the side of the path. This photo was taken by S. J. Callaway.
Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) Photo by S. J. Callaway

A great variety of wildlife was out enjoying the sun with us. We were happy with what we saw and returned home warm and satisfied. Here’s to more nice weather this week!

You can read about some of our previous adventures here.

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