Lucas Rot’s Birding Blog: Spring Break 2017

March 22:

On March 22, me and my family arrived in the Palm Desert, where we would spend the next four days. I was very excited to get out birding because I had 99 birds on my ABA life list, so I was going to try to reach triple digits. Turns out, I didn’t even need to leave the car, because on our drive I spotted a Northern Rough Winged Swallow (Lifer #100) flying over a bridge. After reaching my grandparent’s house in a resort, where we would be staying. I went out and swam in the pool. This turned out to have great birding, I saw my first Verdin (Lifer #101) and Common Raven (Lifer #102). Then on the way back to the house, I spotted an American Kestrel (Lifer #103), it turned out that this kestrel along with another, liked the tree outside my grandparents house. Later, we went out to dinner with my grandparent’s while we were waiting for our food, I went out on the golf course at sunset. This turned out to be a great idea, because the first thing I saw was a Black Phoebe (Lifer #104), a Snowy Egret (Lifer #105), and finally a MALE VERMILLION FLYCATCHER (Lifer #106). When I saw the Vermillion Flycatcher, it was very backlit and high in a tree, so I had to get a better angle to view it. Once I identified it, I was very excited, and ready to bird tomorrow.

March 23:

On March 23, I birded the resort I was staying at and the surrounding valley. In the morning, I road around with my grandma in a golf cart looking for birds. We saw a flock of American Wigeons (Lifer #107), a Snowy Egret, two Loggerhead Shrikes (Lifer #108), and both Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbirds. Later, around 9:00, me and my family departed for the Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center. The Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center is a rehabilitation facility for injured birds. There, we went inside to observe this aid including a blind Great Horned Owl that was roosting on a bookshelf, we also met the kind woman who ran the establishment, she gave us a tour of the rest. After our tour, I went looking out looking for wild birds, in the  sewage treatment pond. There we saw many Northern Shovelers (Lifer #109), two Black Necked Stilts (Lifer #110), a Spotted Sandpiper (Lifer #111) and I went looking for resident Abert’s Towhees to no avail. Then we went to a weird date farm and got good milkshakes, there I saw a Northern Mockingbird and a Brewer’s Blackbird (Lifer #112). Since I had been out most of the day, I decided to relax in the hot tub, this turned out to have great birding again. I saw a Say’s Phoebe (Lifer #113) and a Western Bluebird (Lifer #114). Later, I took my grandpa birding with me to show him some of the cool birds that I had seen already. While we did find a lot of the birds we were looking for, we also found 20 Ring Necked Ducks (Lifer #115), ten Great Tailed Grackles (Lifer #116) and two Western Kingbirds (Lifer #117).

March 24:

On March 24 me and my family explored Joshua Tree National Park. We started our day with a one mile walk in the Hidden Valley. While there I saw Black Throated Sparrows (Lifer #118), Bushtits (Lifer #119), a Spotted Towhee (Lifer #120), a Black Tailed Gnatcatcher (Lifer #121), a California Scrub Jay (Lifer #122) and a few Rock Wrens   (Lifer #123) along the rocky cliffs. While I had lots of fun birding, I also bouldered a lot with my family. I highly suggest going to Joshua Tree if you are in the Southern California desert.’

March 25:

On March 25 it was my birthday. I had wanted to do a big day this day but my mom didn’t want to drive that much, so we went to the Indian Canyons instead. While the birding was slow here, I did see a pair of Cactus Wrens (Lifer #124) on the drive into the park. Once we arrived, we hiked around with not many birds but the views were spectacular, while there the only notable birds were a few White Throated Swifts (Lifer #125)

March 26:

On March 26 I went out birding with my aunt at the Coachella Valley Preserve. We were trying to attend a bird walk scheduled for that day, but we arrived thirty minutes early. We ended up birding the preserve with a kind birder from Northern Minnesota. With her we saw Bewick’s Wren (Lifer #126),  Western Kingbirds, White Winged Doves     (Lifer #127) and Eurasian Collared Doves (Lifer #128). As we were returning to the parking lot we saw the group we had meant to join, so we joined the group. With them we saw Cactus Wrens, a Black Tailed Gnatcatcher, two American Kestrels performing a courtship display, but the highlight was a Great Horned Owl on a nest with hatchlings (Lifer #129). Later that day, me and my family departed for Los Angeles.

March 28:

On March 28 me and my mom birded Runyon Canyon. There we saw California Scrub Jays, White Throated Swifts, a nesting Nuttall’s Woodpecker (Lifer #130), many Allen’s Hummingbirds (Lifer #131), a Ferruginous Hawk (Lifer #132), a Wrentit (Lifer #133), a California Thrasher (Lifer #134), many California Towhees (Lifer #135) and we heard a California Quail (Lifer #135).

If you have any questions about my trip contact me at lrot@bsd220.org.

Montrose Point WBC trip report – 5/21/2017

Right as we got out of our car at Montrose Point, we saw tons of birds! Lucas R. and I, who got there 15 minutes early, scanned the entrance to the hedge finding our first migrants and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. At 7, we met up with the rest of the group – to me, it seemed as soon as they arrived, the birds left:( So we headed over to the beach and dunes finding a nice Least Sandpiper but not much else. We headed back to the hedge and we found it to be much better! We went in circles around the hedge many times over a couple hours finding 21 species of warblers including Mourning, Black-throated Blue, lots of Canada Warblers, and a Yellow-breasted Chat and many other migrants! After that, we went back again to the dunes and beach finding some Savannah Sparrows, an immature Prothonotary Warbler, and an Alder/Willow Flycatcher.

 

List below:

Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Killdeer
Least Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Caspian Tern
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill’s Flycatcher)
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Philadelphia Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Veery
Swainson’s Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
White-crowned Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

eBird checklist at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37034881

1st annual WBC big day

At 3:45 AM Lucas R. and Derek D. started off the day at Rollins Savanna finding only some Canada Geese. Next, they went to IBSP once again finding very little. However, they did find some calling Eastern Whip-poor-wills. After that, they drove down to Montrose Point where I met up with them at 5:45. At Montrose, Lucas and Derek immediately found Nashville and Blackburnian Warblers. If you read other reports from today, you would not imagine that Montrose could be good and you are right. We spent an hour walking the magic hedge and exploring the beach and then met up with Isoo O’Brien, Jake Cvetas, and Eddie Kasper to explore the hedge some more  – finding only 5 warbler species (although that includes the elusive but photo friendly Hooded Warbler) and only 2 shorebird species (Killdeer and Spotted Sandpiper). After pretty much failing at Montrose, Isoo O’Brien told us we should check out Washington Park. At Washington Park, after Isoo, Jake, and Eddie split off, we found six Black-crowned Night-Herons, Warbling Vireos, and various species of waterfowl. Our next stop was at Plum Creek and along the way we stopped at Big Marsh where we found Soras, a Solitary Sandpiper, Chipping Sparrows, and a Vesper Sparrow. Once we got there, we immediately started searching for the White-eyed Vireos and Orchard Orioles seen there recently.  Just as we started walking through the shrubs, Lucas played the White-eyed Vireo Call and a bird answered it right back in the parking lot! We walked some more – not finding much.  So we moved onto Orland Grassland – South where we found Sora, Blue-winged Teal, Savannah Sparrow, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and a Horned Lark. At our next stop, McClaughry Springs Woods, we found almost nothing. The only new bird for the day was a heard only Carolina Wren. After a short stop at McClaughry Springs, we headed over to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to try to find some of its specialties like Northern Mockingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, and Grasshopper & Henslow’s Sparrows. It took us awhile before we found any of those but we did end up finding 3 of the 4 targets (3 Northern Mockingbirds, 2 Loggerhead Shrikes, and 1 extremely cooperative Grasshopper Sparrow (which stayed within 5 feet of us for over a minute) plus, a Bank Swallow which was new for the day.  We ended our big day with a long drive to Dixon Waterfowl Refuge. There we found a nice male Yellow-headed Blackbird, 3 Canvasbacks, a couple Red-headed Woodpeckers, lots of American White Pelicans, tons of Palm & Yellow-rumped Warblers, Purple Martins, Least Sandpiper, and 3 Lesser Yellowlegs.

 

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Trumpeter Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Canvasback
Ruddy Duck
Wild Turkey
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Turkey Vulture
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Sora
American Coot
Killdeer
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Wilson’s Snipe
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Caspian Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Winter Wren
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Grasshopper Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

April 15th Whimbrel Birders Club trip report

Today, Isoo O’Brien lead us through McClaughry Springs FP and Orland Grassland. We started at McClaughry Springs FP with hopes of finding a Louisiana Waterthrush, Pileated Woodpeckers, and Carolina Wrens. At the beginning of our walk, Isoo already had a couple Carolina Wrens. Isoo led us through the woods as we found a Pileated Woodpecker, Louisiana Waterthrush, a very early Blue-headed Vireo, and some Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. After we had found all three of our targets at McClaughry, we moved on to Orland Grassland – South in hopes of finding Smith’s Longspurs, Pectoral Sandpipers, and the Little Blue Heron seen a few days before. On the way to the grasslands, we picked up Greater Yellowlegs, Northern Shovelers, and American White Pelicans. When we got there, we immediately found sparrows, Horned Larks, and some various species of duck. We pushed on through the swampy grass finding more of the same plus some shorebirds like Pectoral Sandpipers & a Solitary Sandpiper and a mystery bird (see photos below). We started heading back to our cars finding Caspian Terns, more sparrows, and an unidentified thrush. Isoo wrapped up the walk, but a few people (including me) stayed to keep searching for the Smith’s Longspur. We spotted a Lapland and a couple possible Smith’s across a marsh – so I went to the other side to find out if those longspurs were actually Smith’s. Just as I got to the other side, the two longspurs flew revealing their dull orange underside! Finally, we got the Smith’s. Next, we headed over to a marsh where I heard a Sora calling. We looked for a few minutes and ended up seeing two Soras! Overall a great day!

Write in comments what you think the mystery bird is.

Bird List:

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Ring-necked Duck
Ruddy Duck
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Sora
American Coot
Killdeer
Pectoral Sandpiper
Wilson’s Snipe
Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Lapland Longspur
Smith’s Longspur
Louisiana Waterthrush
Field Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch

 

Oliver’s Birding Blog | Chain O’Lakes State Park – 4/4/2017

We started today off at Lake Front Park with our Tuesday birding group. At Lake Front Park we got wet, but we found lots of American White Pelicans. Next, we drove to Chain O’Lakes SP. We pulled into a small overlook and found Wilson’s Snipe (a bird that I have not seen in two years), a Northern Shoveler, a Sandhill Crane, and a couple Wood Ducks. After that, we drove to a larger lake and found more pelicans, a few Mute Swans, and a Pied-billed Grebe. We walked a trail to look for woodland birds and found lots of Golden-crowned Kinglets, a few Hermit Thrushes, and on the way back we heard winnowing Wilson’s Snipe. We went in the direction of the winnowing snipe and eventually found them flying high in the sky. Next, we went to a grassland area and found 6 Bald Eagles, a Wild Turkey, and some unidentified kinglets.

 

Oliver’s Birding Blog | South Carolina trip – 3/24/2017 to 3/31/2017

I lost my post that I wrote for the first four days so those days may be somewhat incomplete.

DAY 1
CARPENTERSVILLE, IL TO LEXINGTON, KY

Within the first few minutes of our vacation, we saw two male Ring-necked Pheasants (one was on the Kane county side on the sign and not an eBird rare bird whereas the other was on the Cook county side, a rare bird). After that, we did not see very many birds (while driving) for a couple of days. The only other good bird(s) were thirty Pectoral Sandpipers in central Indiana.

DAY 2
LEXINGTON, KY TO SEVIERVILLE, TN

We stayed at the Quality Inn (apparently the only hotel that had availability that night) in Lexington, KY and by morning I had my FOY Northern Mockingbird. On the drive down to Pigeon Forge, TN, I got my FOY Black Vulture and some more Northern Mockingbirds. Also, on the way down, we stopped at Seven Islands State Birding Park (SISBP) where my 6-year-old brother found a very camouflaged Hermit Thrush. There were a lot of birds at SISBP. In fact, so many that I decided that my father and I should go back early in the morning at sunrise (~7:25 AM).

DAY 3
SEVIERVILLE, TN

The next morning at SISBP, my dad and I found Wood Ducks, a couple flyover Pileated Woodpeckers, a nesting Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, some cooperative Carolina Wrens, Yellow-rumped Warblers (maybe soon to be again Myrtle Warbler), and last but not least, a single Palm Warbler. We spent the rest of the day in Pigeon Forge, TN (although the Wilderness In The Smokies resort that we stayed at was in Sevierville) As you probably guessed, I did not see many birds. However, I did get an Eastern Meadowlark.

DAY 4
SEVIERVILLE, TN TO HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC

We drove through the Smoky Mountains, from Sevierville, TN to Hilton Head Island, SC. The scenery of the Smoky Mountains was amazing but there were few birds there. The only notable bird on the drive was a Pileated Woodpecker. We checked into the Omni at Hilton Head. After we checked in, we went immediately to the beach where I found a group of about 10 Northern Gannets (lifer #333) and 4 lifer (#334) Least Terns.

DAY 5
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC

My dad and I drove to Pinckney Island NWR before sunrise. Unfortunately, it was closed until sunrise. We waited about twenty minutes until the sun rose and right as we entered the NWR I already had my first lifer of the trip, a few Tricolored Heron (#335) hanging out with some Snowies and Little Blues. Right as we got out of the car to walk on the paved path, we saw warblers flitting in the trees right above our heads. The birds turned out to be Northern Parulas, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Tufted Titmice. We walked down the paved path finding a few birds here and there but no real numbers of birds until we got to the Ibis Pond where there were ~100 herons of all of the species native to there (Snowy & Great Egrets and Little Blue & Tricolored Herons), Common Gallinules making their alien-like calls, my lifer Boat-tailed Grackles (#336), my lifer White-eyed Vireo (#339) (my nemesis bird), my lifer White Ibis (#337), and my lifer Fish Crow (#338). On our way back to the hotel, we went to Fish Haul Creek Park to look for some of the shorebirds that have recently been sighted there. When we got to the beach part of the park, I immediately spotted ~30 Marbled Godwits (lifer #340), my lifer American Oystercatcher (#341), and my lifer Western Sandpiper (#342).

DAY 6
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC

Today my dad and I went back to Fish Haul Creek Park to try to scope more of the shorebirds that we saw yesterday. Immediately, we found a flock of about 70 White Ibises. When we got to the beach, we saw lots of birds, all of which we saw yesterday. We walked down a sand path to see if there was an easy way to get to the island where the birds were. We walked about a quarter mile and found Savannah Sparrows, Palm Warblers, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers but found no easy way to get on to the island.  Just as we turned around to go back, I heard a King Rail that sounded like it was only a few feet away. I tried to flush it by clapping but that did not work. I gave up on trying to flush the bird so we started walking again but we only got a few feet before a King Rail (lifer) ran right in front of me! I started hearing more and more King Rails calling (about 7). We walked a little more until we saw a large flock of shorebirds (~150) on the island that turned out to be my lifer Red Knots! Also, while we were looking at the Red Knots, I saw more King Rails (most of which quickly flew over marsh but one was perched on a reed), my lifer Saltmarsh Sparrow was also seen there! We scoped the island finding Whimbrels, Marbled Godwits, Willets, Least Sandpipers, Western Sandpipers, and lifer Wilson’s & Piping Plovers. On our walk back, I heard and then saw a lifer Prairie Warbler and another was singing behind it. Later in the day, our whole family went to Sea Pines Forest Preserve and I found an Osprey, a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (lifer), a Pied-billed Grebe, and some Alligators.

DAY 7
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC TO FLORENCE, KY

Not much to say about today other than that in Hilton Head I saw about 150 cormorants. As we approached Florence (in some pretty bad storms), we heard that a part of I-80 in Atlanta had collapsed which was the route that we were originally going to take.

DAY 8
FLORENCE, KY TO CARPENTERSVILLE, IL

Today I picked up a new state (Ohio) and I saw one very pretty male Ring-necked Pheasant (this time it was in Kane county). At the heron rookery at I-90 there were over 125 cormorants and 75 Great Egrets.

TRIP BIRD LIST

Bold = lifer
Italic = year-bird

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead
Ring-necked Pheasant
Wild Turkey
Pied-billed Grebe
Northern Gannet
Double-crested Cormorant
Anhinga
Brown Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Cooper’s Hawk
Bald Eagle
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
King Rail
Common Gallinule
American Coot
American Oystercatcher
Black-bellied Plover
Wilson’s Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
Killdeer
Whimbrel
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Red Knot
Sanderling
Dunlin
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Willet
Lesser Yellowlegs
Bonaparte’s Gull
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Least Tern
Common Tern
Forster’s Tern
Royal Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Eastern Phoebe
White-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Black-and-white Warbler
Northern Parula
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-crowned Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Montrose Harbor/Magic Hedge 3.19.2017

 

Montrose Harbor/Magic Hedge

We started the day with me, my Mom, Dad, and brother, Peter. We started by checking out the harbor. There, we immediately saw five or six Horned Grebes, Mallard, Canada Geese, and Red-Breasted Merganser. After a while, a man came up to us saying that he was going to look for an unidentified Scoter in the middle of the harbor. Then we really had our hopes up. Straight away I set up my scope and started panning around to look. All I saw was Greater Scaup and Red-Breasted Mergansers. I then let my Mom take a look and she saw a larger bird that didn’t look like the other female Scaup. She wanted me to take a look and straight away I said that that was the Scoter. Not just any Scoter, a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER!!!!! That is life bird number 207! We stayed and looked at the bird for a while until a police boat came and made all the birds fly off.

We actually went around the hedge to scope out the beach for shorebirds. None were present. The dunes provided nothing except for a mystery sparrow (Probably just Song) and 2 Canada Geese. There was also an American Tree Sparrow. The hedge provided us with many surprises including Chipping Sparrow, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, another Song Sparrow, Black-Capped Chickadee, and vibrantly colored Robins. A big surprise was a Fox Sparrow, Common Grackles, and Red-Winged Blackbirds. Overall, today was a wonderful day to be birding, with wonderful birds to go with it!

Canada Geese Coming in for a Landing
Horned Grebe with a Fish in its Mouth
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER
Horned Grebe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oliver’s Birding Blog | Crabtree Nature Center and Baker’s Lake – 3/19/2017

Today we met up with Isoo O’Brian and his father at Crabtree Nature Center to look for the continuing Harris’s Sparrow. We met at 8 AM but the nature center did not open until 9 AM so we walked to Crabtree Lake where we found Bufflehead, Hooded & Common Mergansers, Green-winged Teal, and some Ring-necked Ducks ( if AOS proposal 2017-A-6 gets passed then the name would be Ring-billed Duck). After we scanned the lake for a while, we went back to the feeders to find that it was only 8:30 AM (thirty minutes before the nature center opens). We walked to the end of Sulky Pond finding Green-winged Teal, two Northern Shovelers, and a Double-crested Cormorant. At 9 AM we walked back to the nature center. I anticipated that we would have to wait a while for the Harris’s Sparrow to come to the feeders but just as we were about to go inside, Isoo spotted it in a tree just behind the nature center. We drove over to Baker’s Lake at Younghusband’s Prairie to look for some of the waterfowl, herons, and cormorants that have recently been sighted there. On the walk to the lake, we did not find much except for some Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and American Robins. At the lake, I was surprised to find twelve Great Egrets on the ground of the rookery. We also found lots of cormorants, a couple of Green-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, and a Great Blue Heron. After we finished scanning Baker’s Lake, we walked around Younghusband’s Prairie where we found some Killdeer, Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, Black-capped Chickadees, and a Fox Sparrow.

 

Oliver’s Birding Blog | Crabtree NC – 3/11/2017

After a fairly short Whimbrel Birders Club walk, I decided that we should check Crabtree NC on the way home. We walked up to the nature center to look for the Harris’s Sparrow that was seen there last week. Outside the nature center, there were 80 to 120 Red-winged Blackbirds with a few grackles mixed in. Also, at the nature center, we found Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, American Goldfinches, Mourning Doves, and a few Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers. Now for some better birds. Our next stop at Crabtree NC was Lake Crabtree, where we found Canada Geese, two Gadwall, Mallards, about 30 Green-winged Teal, a few Bufflehead, a group of about 15 Hooded Mergansers, some Common Mergansers, Ring-billed Gulls, and a Merlin flyover.

March 11 WBC trip

Our day started at Air Station Prairie. Right from the start, we saw many Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles. We walked down one of the many paths finding sparrows, American Robins, and an unidentified falcon/Accipiter. From there we drove south to Lake Glenview. At the lake, we found a flock of 15 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 American Coots, a Common Goldeneye, Canada Geese, and Mallards. Our last stop was Techny Basin where we found some Killdeer, Mourning Doves, and a Cardinal attacking his own reflection in a window.