This individual tired himself out trying to fly back out of the tent. Like insects, they fly toward the light strips instead of the doorways. I am usually able to direct them out before they exhaust themselves, though. After a drink and a rest, he flew back into the trees.
Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) 15-AUG-11
It was a harsh year for wild turkeys, but the local flocks managed to get by. An individual in this group was observed leaping up to pull small leaves off a tree.
This vulture, one of several in the area, is perched upon a favored branch above the tent.
This common bird with the unfortunate scientific name gathers in flocks in the evening at various locations at Gault. This was a member of a particularly large gathering (hundreds) at the pond on a cold January evening.
This duck tried to fly away with the many others, but she didn't quite make it through the tree branches, so she came back down briefly. I managed to snap this shot before she tried again, successfully. The color and forehead slant suggest female canvasback, but it's not a good identification shot.
Clark snapped this shot of the owl that terrorized the Exeter '11 crew at the Gault House. It seemed to be attracted to (or offended by) an adornment in the hair of one of the students.
Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) 17-MAR-12
The pair that calls Gault home has eluded photography, silently gliding away whenever a camera is present. I managed to catch this one with the small digital camera (wish it had a good zoom lens).
Summer tanager (Piranga rubra) 14-MAY-12
Apologies for the fuzzy shot, but this male was especially wary. He was guarding the nest in the old pecan tree, seen below complete with a juvenile (look closely...) who had just learned to fly. Within a week, the nest was empty.
White-eyed vireo (Vireo griseus) 13-JUN-12
Small birds rarely come close enough to get a good photo with my small field camera, but this one patiently posed a few meters from the picnic tables at lunch.
Eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 04-OCT-12
Hummingbirds aren't the only avian visitors to the tent. Songbirds usually fly in then fly out, but occasionally they hang out for a little while ... just long enough to snap a photo.
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 23-FEB-13
Jill Patton first noticed this fellow, calling his heart out at the highest point he could find. Gault has several nesting pairs each year, attracted by the ever-present brush piles.
Ladder-backed woodpecker (Picoides scalaris) 27-FEB-13
This little bird was pecking away by the screens as I transferred buckets from the tent, and didn't seem to mind my presence a few yards away. I went to the tent to get the camera, and the bird stuck around, so I snapped this shot. As I turned to go back to the tent, a gray fox trotted out of the woods into the field in front of me (see Mammals for photos). Walking back along the forest edge, two more birds (below) allowed me to get close enough to photograph. Thanks little woodpecker!
Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 27-FEB-13
These have been known to mimic the sound of chert knapping out back of the Gault House. I've heard one recite the entire series of sirens from a car alarm.
Chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina) 27-FEB-13
One of a flock of around twenty, this small bird patiently allowed me to shoot multiple photos before rejoining its friends in the next tree.
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 04-MAR-13
Our resident pair of killdeer are getting more comfortable with the Gault Kart, so I was finally able to get a decent picture.
Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 14-MAR-13
This flock took over a tree behind the shed this morning. They devoured the winterberries (possumhaw) within a few days.
Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) 27-MAR-13
A rare visitor to Gault, this is the first I've seen here. It has also never been reported in any of the birdwatcher lists for the site. Perhaps our new swamp (in the background) attracted it.
Greens can often be seen stalking fish and frogs at the creek or at the ponds. This one was after tadpoles in the evaporation pond below the screens.
Greater roadrunner (Geoccoyx californianus) 17-JAN-14
A common sight at Gault, these birds rarely sit still long enough for us to get a photo. This one allowed me two... albeit from the car window.
Barred owl (Strix varia) 01-APR-14
For years, a pair of barred owls could be heard hooting back and forth daily, a few calls, sometime between lunch and tea time. Occasionally, we would catch a glimpse of one silently gliding away from us as we strolled past. Finally, one stayed still long enough for me to catch a few grainy distance shots...