A Pelican and a Philadelphia Vireo?

Talk about two random birds to see together! No, they weren’t together. I just happened to see them in the same week.

Bit of a funny story about the Philadelphia vireo so I’ll start there. And I’m still not sure I’ve correctly identified it. G looked in the bird book and agreed with me. However, it might be something else. The annoying bird id app told me once again: goldfinch.

What? Oh, you want to see what I think is a Philadelphia vireo? Here is the pretty little bird:

*Update: Thank you to Eileen and David for helping me. This is either a female or young Scarlet Tanager*

I think I caught a glimpse of this little bird once before in mid-September perhaps. Just not long enough to guess at an id or even photograph.

Here’s my story about this little vireo (or do you think it’s something else?). I went out on another bird watching hike (should call it a leisurely walk really) on Wednesday. Hoped to spot the northern parula again, this time with a charged camera battery.  It was quite hot and windy. And I hardly saw any birds. A few turkey vultures. Briefly spotted a blue bird (photo didn’t come out) in a tree. And of course, heard the blue jays.

After arriving home, I glanced out the back door to see the little bird looking at me as if to ask: Where have you been?

Here are a couple more shots. After this it flew off to the neighbor’s oak tree. I’ve not seen the bird since Wednesday. So I’m guessing maybe it was just passing through the yard.

Did I mention seeing a pelican?

Yes, I did. Not in our backyard, however. That would be a bit odd indeed. Must take a daytrip to a local (might be a stretch, 2 hour drive) lake to see pelicans. 

Each year about this time pelicans migrate through the area stopping at Truman Lake. Usually, the closest I get to seeing them is as we drive over the highway bridge on our way to a high school marching band competition. Never any time to stop.

However, yesterday my husband and I took a road trip to try and find the pelicans. And ride his ATV on trails at a day use area (but that’s a story for a different post).

Again, most the pelicans we spotted were from the bridge over the highway. A bit too dangerous to stop and take photos there. However, we did get lucky and find a lone pelican hanging out on this sandbar island near a boat ramp. He was barely in the zoom range of my bridge camera.

Took both cameras as I didn’t want to be stuck if the battery in the new camera went out again. So glad I did as I needed the zoom on the bridge camera! Here’s what I got with the new camera on full zoom:

Yes, I was the crazy person with two cameras in my hands. Here’s a photo from the bridge camera with no zoom so you can get an idea how far out this little stretch was from the ledge where I stood.

And now, here are my rather blurry (full extent of the zoom on the bridge camera) pictures of the lone pelican. Of course, there are a few other bird friends around him, just not other pelicans.

Other Birds Spotted This Week

Because I don’t want to leave you with a blurry pelican photo, here’s a prettier lake photo with some other shore birds.

Already mentioned the birds I saw on my walk Wednesday. Around our feeder at home, the regular house sparrows and finches are hanging out. Along with the mourning doves (now joined by a pair of Eurasian collared doves), chickadees, cardinals, and tufted titmice. Last Saturday morning was the last time I saw our guardian of the hummingbird feeder. The nuthatches and red-bellied and downy woodpeckers are still visiting. And one morning, I saw a flicker woodpecker way up in the oak tree.

At school, three of the younger preschool children and I stood and watched a downy woodpecker in a tree just beyond the fence. We also spotted more turkey vultures and  most likely a Cooper’s hawk. I often hear chickadees there and spotted a few searching for leftover sunflower seeds Thursday afternoon.

Yesterday morning, while having coffee with a friend, lots of Canadian geese flew over head and surrounded the small lake at the nature area. Thought I saw a belted kingfisher fly over that lake as well but it was too fast to properly id. And of course, heard some blue jays.

Overall, a great bird watching week around here!

**************

What birds did you spot last week?

Joining in with The Bird Depot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather Be Birdin’.

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11 thoughts on “A Pelican and a Philadelphia Vireo?

  1. Beverly

    I don’t think that is a goldfinch so I will take your word it is a vireo.

    Pelicans! In Missouri.

    1. Jean Post author

      No, I know it’s not a goldfinch. However, I think I’ve identified it wrong. Now, I’m wondering if maybe it is a western tanager. The pelicans migrate through every year 🙂 Once we spotted them flying over head around here but usually I only see them when we drive over Truman lake.

  2. Linda W.

    Nice bird photos! I haven’t taken any two hour trips in a long time. We do a lot of driving close to home but are avoiding restaurants and any place crowded.

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you! I don’t like to stop anywhere crowded either. We got take out on the way home. Hope your new week is off to a nice start!

    1. Jean Post author

      Always love joining in with you. I liked that photo as well. Saw lots of different birds at the lake. Hope you have a great week ahead as well!

  3. Eileen

    Hello, Jean

    Your first bird looks like the juvenile Scarlet Tanager. I have been seeing them in my yard. They are migrating too, should be on their way south. I love the White Pelican. You had great outings with wonderful sightings. It is good to just take a car ride and go somewhere. Take care, enjoy your day! Wishing you a great new week!

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you. Your photos are what made me go back and take a second look at my little (now I know) scarlet tanager. Maybe I’ll get to see another one. It felt great to take a trip out of town if only for a few hours. Happy New Week to you!

  4. David Gascoigne

    Your bird is a female, or quite possibly a juvenile, Scarlet Tanager. Well done with getting the picture and persevering with the ID. There is no better way to learn the birds. How wonderful to have those pelicans moving through each year. We had a stray White Pelican at a local lake here this summer and it caused quite a stir.
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    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you. I think I’ve seen more variety of birds this past fall/spring and now fall again than in the past. Hopefully, I’ll get a bit better at identifying the new (to me) ones. The pelicans are fun to watch so I bet your local one did cause lots of excitement. Hope your week is off to a wonderful new start!

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