2013 and beyond
2013 promises to be a lot less mean but still a carbon-free birding competition, even if slightly less exciting than a MEGA x EPIC hybrid.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Robin is the only vaguely new bird in the past two weeks and I would bee really impatient for spring if it wasn't for the fact that a flock of Bohemian Waxwings has spent the last 4 days parked out in my yard. I love this bird more then most and it's my yard's signature species.
Maybe there will be some migrants for me in April.......
Saturday, March 26, 2011
I mean the Circus (already joined the freak show)
(I figure if Caleb had the nerve to post that crappy RTHA pic a while back, I'd just see how far we could push it)
Vigil from the front stoop the past couple of days has netted NOHA, AMKE and COLO. Sky gods keep it comin’ …
Friday, March 25, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The feeders stood empty for most of the last six weeks, but after filling them last night there are already goldfinches aboard. Just a few more weeks left to get lucky and have redpolls visit the ANJO estate...
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Who'd a thunk that a simple pair of Blue-winged Teal would be a yard lifer being that I'm living between the lakeshore and the Kalamazoo River?! (A second pair of searching eyes doesn't hurt.)
A quick catch-up on the highlights of the last ten days are in order:
AMWO started displaying 13 Mar.
PISI feeding in bittersweet in tree tops 14 Mar.
ORJU female (not counted, of course - see photo) at feeders and here daily since 15 Mar.
GOEA adult headed north soon after several migrating BAEA flew over 14 Mar.
MERL pair noisily acting territorial and here daily since 16 Mar.
NSHR perched in trees on old golf course viewed from west boundary 18 Mar.
RLHA intermediate circling low over old golf course being harassed by crow 20 Mar.
Then there are those year yardbirds I've missed while I've been at work, but DASL & CAPU have scored here such as PUFI and GBHE. But those will be easy make-ups in the days to come.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Btw, I may be the only birder in the entire Lower 48 with Hoary Redpoll on my yard list, but not House Finch. Come to think of it, I may the only birder anywhere in the world with all three accipiters but no Red-tailed Hawk. . . I've got Glaucous Gull but not House Sparrow. Common Raven but not Warbling Vireo. . .
(For the U.P. crew, in my hasty message to UP Birders this afternoon, I incorrectly mentioned that I had the Hoary yesterday, mostly because it had been a long friggin' day at work, and this morning felt like yesterday. For the rest of you, I also had a Townsend's Solitaire on campus today. It's been playing hide-and-seek with birders all winter, but today it became a spring bird!)
Okay, I think that's enough blather for tonight.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Picked up Wood Duck (pair fly-by) Friday evening, #33.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I was out working sparrows and I heard several RBGUs screaming up at altitude. I glanced up and saw the silhouette of a large falcon soaring above me. Now I was excited just at scoring Pere a second time as that has proven to be a difficult bird to get here. As soon as I put my bins on the bird I noticed the dark axillaries and didn't believe what I was seeing. I watched it do a full circle of soaring and the darkness didn't disappear as the birds angle from the sun changed. At this point I scrabbled back to my car about 15 ft away to grab my camera. I got it setup, zoomed it up and squeezed off three photos of the bird with the first one being the best by far (above). I took a break from photographing it to try to garner more fieldmarks through my bins but the bird was soaring very close to the sun by this point and I couldn't see anything. I tried setting up my scope to try to pull more detail but by the time I set it up the bird had drifted NNE and was gone behind a cottonwood.
Just to illustrate how ridiculous this bird is and how incredibly unexpected in this airspace, I'm going to give you the number of times I've recorded the other raptor species at my place (Out of the 209 checklists I've submitted to eBird):
TUVU - 5 observations OSPR - 2 observations BAEA - 2 observations SSHA - 7 observations COHA - 16 observations RSHA - 1 observation RTHA - 16 observations AMKE - 2 observations MERL - 1 observation PEFA - 1 observation
A few notable omissions include RLHA, BWHA, and NOHA which I've never recorded from the yard before... Now my work schedule doesn't lend itself to mid-day raptor watching so my effort is actually biased against locating raptors that occur even regularly (thus the missing BWHA...).
As far as I can tell this is a first county record of Prairie Falcon for DuPage County and one of only a handful of spring records for northern IL ever (the linked site is an unofficial database of records)!
Hoping that some of my buds up in WI catch up with this guy as this species is still only hypothetical on Wisconsin's state list.
It's sightings like this that keep me going out time and time again, because you never know what you will be rewarded with!
Oh yeah, and I also added Fox Sparrow to the year list just prior to the PRFA.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
This one is too good not to post at least something here. CUDY and I were busy looking at our first Kent Co. Red-necked Grebe this evening, in the Grand River in a large flock of 300+ COGOs, when this beaut popped up in the same scope view as the grebe (!!). STATE BIRD for both of us, and 2 county birds in the same view. Now just to get a single duck other than MALL, HOME, and WODU for my yard!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The only other bird of note was a young Sharp-shinned Hawk (year bird #33) that flew through scaring up the RWBL that are set up all around the marsh.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Back in the birding saddle. Full disclosure: I'm a stinkin', cheatin' patch birder. Cruised Big Salt Wash next to the house, picked up lots of singing birds - AMRO, WEME, SOSP, HOSP, DEJU, plus YRWA (Audubon's only), a BBMA building a nest, and WESO in one of the boxes. And I finally had a premonition that came true for once - Lincoln's Sparrow! Chada-ching, chada-chang...
Friday, March 4, 2011
Hello yardbirders. Bread Walking here, also known as Bwewew's Spawwow. Just so we're clear from the start, you guys are all nerds, which is why I feel at home. But, like Jones, I'm a spelling freak, and I tend to write in complete sentences lest my long-dead grandmother rise up from the grave and smack me. Fortunately, I have friends like Silly Putty that get me back on the path to birding and debauchery. Here is my suburban hell-yard in winter, complete with empty niger seed feeder, nearly dead aspen trees, frozen birdbath, and sub-prime mortgage aftermath background. I'm working at a slight disadvantage due to my crappy yard, but I do live within sight of the Colorado River, red rock canyons, and a 11,000 ft mountain, so I've got no excuses for not scoring some sweet western species and reminding you all why the west is best. My yard list ass-kicking begins in earnest tomorrow morning if I'm not still drunk.
Here is Phil, my best yard bird so far this year. He roosts in our front yard, but makes surprisingly little noise. He is usually only heard after I have quick three beers and a cheeseburger.
Here is Beep, our roadrunner. Beep has yet to attract a mate, but he's always on the lookout, and we're all crossing our fingers for him.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
1. Some schmuck counts hawks there and submits data to HMANA
2. It started today!
3. “Valley” is a pretty imaginative description, meant to conjure up a dramatic natural landscape as I’m trying to ignore the crack deals going on down the street
4. Probably will never have consistent enough coverage to generate any decent trend analysis
5. Admission is free!
6. Consistently produces some of the lowest ranking totals of HMANA counts; I think maybe it beats some poor North Carolina site in the spring
7. Swamp Lair smoked the whole Belmont Valley broadwing season in a few half ass hours last fall
8. Has some of the highest unidentified raptor percentages of HMANA count sites, which I like to attribute to careful observation and high, dispersed flights (sling it at me boys!)
9. Probably most interesting for numbers of migrating black vultures, which I’m too lazy to record
And number 10 …
One day a wood stork will fly over
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
and one (#24) I had been expecting for quite a while (and it's the local, not a migrant, as I have yet to see any moving yet):The Siskin is surprising b/c it is very sporadic in my yard. 2 springs ago they were common every day all the way into May, but last year I didn't get it until almost the very end of the year. I haven't had it since that single day in December until now (1 Mar), and then just this single bird which hasn't been back since. Either way, it's a good one for me to get out of the way...
Away from the yard I finally got RWBL today, plus AMCR are clearly migrating- several were seen way up high winging north. I suspect movements in this species are often missed since so few people really focus on them. Not too much else to report other than the shocking WWCRs I found 2 days ago in the local State Game Area (Rogue River). They were feeding surreptitiously on tamarack cones, and would have been missed if I didn't happen to walk up to the exact tree they were in. Given the paucity of reports this far south this year, it was a surprise to say the least. Now, if they would just fly over my house, that would be the ultimate salvage from the invasion year when I missed them for the yard.