Tower Grove Park with Edge Wade, 071014

October 9, 2014

Edge drove down all the way from Columbia to take me to Tower Grove Park, and it proved to be an enormously rewarding outing.

We started with cloudy and overcast weather, and it took a while for us to see some birds; but suddenly, there was an eruption of Warblers in just two or three trees,not too far from the Cypress Grove…. and other birds, too!

Edge emailed me later, “ Warblers we saw were Yellow-rumped (Myrtle subspecies), Tennessee, American Redstart and Nashville. Also saw several Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Blue-headed Vireo,Carolina Wren, Eastern-Wood-pewee, Carolina Chickadee, and Tufted Titmouse, as well as the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hairy, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers.”

I learnt a lot, too. For example, when Yellow-rumped Warblers arrive, it means that most of the other Warblers have already left. And that there are about 33 species that pass through Missouri during the migration period!

Here’s one



A TUFTED TITMOUSE pecked for insects among the leaves. IMG_2729 IMG_2731 Here's a BLUE-HEADED VIREO which, Edge said, was quite a special sighting: IMG_2733 I was able to catch a WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH on the tree-trunk: IMG_2738 IMG_2739 IMG_2740 IMG_2742 And just when I thought I'd hit the highlight of the morning...we saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, on the same tree, too! It was Woodpecker Central, and we just needed a Northern Flicker, a Pileated Woodpecker, and a Red-headed Woodpecker to have a complete smorgasbrod of them! It was quite amazing to me to be able to actually see and compare a Downy and Hairy Woodpecker at the same time, on the same tree. Here's the Hairy: IMG_2743 IMG_2744 Here's the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: IMG_2747 IMG_2748 This photo definitely shows that it's a wood pecker! IMG_2749 Here's the RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: IMG_2817 IMG_2822 IMG_2814 Look at that checkerboard back! IMG_2827 An EASTERN PEEWEE against the light: IMG_2757 Edge told me that these YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS are very versatile; they exhibit warbler, thrush and flycatcher behaviour (flitting through the trees, turning over leaf-litter on the ground, and hawking insects from the air)... IMG_2759 IMG_2761 A female NORTHERN CARDINAL was around, too: IMG_2764 The CAROLINA WREN seems to be the American counterpart of our Ashy Prinia...a loud voice in a small bird. IMG_2787 Edge's call brought the bird out in a militant mood; they do not like intruders on their territory. IMG_2789 We sat for a while at the Bubbler; there were no birds to be seen, but the peace of the place seeped into my soul. IMG_2792 We saw some Mallards on the water, and it struck me how, for a colourless liquid, water takes on the most amazing hues! IMG_2798 IMG_2801 It reminded me of the water around this Wood Duck in Forest Park: DSC07611 Edge shared a lot of knowledge about plants, too; this meant that when we didn't sight birds, there was still a lot of interesting stuff to see and learn about. This is the Hedge Apple, also called the OSAGE ORANGE IMG_2768 Here's one fruit on the tree: IMG_2769 The tree trunk is quite amazing: IMG_2803 IMG_2804 Edge said that she's usually seen trees being much smaller than these. The fruits are not eaten by any animal or bird, and many lay there on the ground...quite an unusual sight in Nature! IMG_2813 The fruit had a tart, tangy smell, and seemed very fibrous. IMG_2806 the STAGHORN SUMAC. IMG_2780 is so called for the shape of its infloresence. I was lucky to see a small tree in full bloom. Here's Edge, showing it to me: IMG_2781 We saw the plaque for Torrey Berger, who, Edge informed me, invented the term "Birders' Direct Route"...which could take a birder one to a thousand miles off the mapped route! IMG_2783 These berries were beautiful. IMG_2773 IMG_2784 IMG_2831 Here's a BLACK WALNUT: IMG_2774 The conifer had gall that looked like brains! IMG_2809 Here's a pic to show the tiny berry-cones and the gall: IMG_2810 We don't know what tree this is, but it's so beautiful! IMG_2830 The SYCAMORE tree-trunk is a work of abstract art! IMG_2797 Edge told me this ground cover plant is called Gill O'Ground. IMG_2811 This tiny flower is Cinque, a kind of Clover: IMG_2812 I clicked some of the landmarks, such as this Turkish Pavilion (dating from 1872!) IMG_2793 This is the Bandstand: IMG_2805 It's surrounded by the busts of Western classical musicians. Beethoven: IMG_2807 Wagner: IMG_2808 and several others. IMG_2828 How old is this seat, I wonder? IMG_2829 IMG_2833 IMG_2835 Here's Edge, eating the Uppma that I made, and liking it...she shared some lovely dark chocolate and pickled gherkins with me! IMG_2795 I loved the punny slogan on her cap! IMG_2796 </lj-cut> Edge dropped me home, and there were these two Grasshoppers, which I had to click: IMG_2844 A collage of fall leaves is foliage follage! IMG_2779 I hope you enjoyed my outing as much as I did...thank you, Edge, for a wonderful time! My FB album of the outing is here