Saturday, November 24, 2012

More Wild Goose Chases

Some stores follow the idea that someone goes looking for X and instead finds Y and Y turns out to be the best thing ever.  When X is a Barnacle Goose, whatever Y is just doesn't cut it.  I've seen all sorts of Geese and Warblers during my search for the goose.  But in some ways, I still wish I could find that darn goose.  I've gotten lucky and seen a Audubon's Warbler and Prairie Warbler along with 4 different kinds of Geese, but I can't stop thinking about that Barnacle Goose.  Here's an picture of my Winter Target and I'll let you know how it goes....

The Barnacle Goose

2012 Life List:
Recently Added:
Snow Goose, Greater White-Fronted Goose, Prairie Warbler

A Eurasian Gull

So after the Pelagic Trip, I headed for the local beach/pine forest state park, which also is one of the state's IBA (Important Bird Areas).  This park has yielded me several life birds, Black-Throated Blue Warblers, Tricolored Herons, King Eider, and even an Lapland Longspur.  And this weekend, Hammonasset gave me 4 great birds.  Red Crossbills, White-Winged Crossbills, Grasshopper Sparrow and a Black-Headed Gull (see pics below)!  The Black-Headed Gull had been scared off by an unleashed dog.  This set back had the potential to make me dip on the bird.  Yet, with some determination, we found the bird again.  I say we because the park was literally full of birders!

It was a great opportunity 


2012 Life List:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pelagic Birding

I've been on a boat before, I've seen birds before, I've even seen birds on a boat before.  However most of those boat trips have been trips to see something specific, eagles, swallows, whales, and other such things.  This weekend, the wife and I packed up and headed out to Cape Cod to take part in an 8 hour Pelagic Trip.  The Trip had the potential, for me, to bring a lot of life birds as I rarely get out into the open ocean like this.  But it also gave me the chance to see an even rarer breed... The SEABIRDERS!  They were gung ho about everything we saw and we saw some impressive stuff.  Grey Seals, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and lots of birds!  We saw 2 Humpbacks make a bubble net rise to feast on their catch and then saw gulls and kittewakes going crazy and even darting into the whales' mouths to eat!  all while being no more than 100 ft from this!  I had to admit that while I am a frequent victim of motion sickness, I managed to sit on the front of the boat of most of the ride and had a ball seeing all the birds.  Kittewakes, Shearwaters, Jaegers and all sorts of auks make me very ready to go out again

The main thing that impressed me, after the spectacular show nature gave us, was the energy of the sea birders.  They were thrilled at every bit of nature that we could get our bins on.  Seals, Whales, didn't matter!  I think I've posted before about the encounter with 2 birders who disregarded the harbor seals sunbathing.  I was upset by their lack of interested in non-avian nature.  This time I was pleased to be surrounded by a good group of nature enthusiasts!  I've included a couple of pictures of the trip below.

 Great Shearwater
 Pomarine Jaeger
 Northern Gannet and Grey Seals

2012 Life List Update

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Hurricane and New Feeder

While I may have dipped on the birds that Hurricane Sandy brought in, I did get a new feeder.  It was a squirrel proof Peanut Feeder.  Before Sandy Struck, Birds were going crazy getting food and getting ready to hunker down before the storm.  We were lucky as the storm had only knocked out our power.  The storm, as the news has broadcasted, has caused massive devastation in the neighboring states.  The storm brought in a wide array of birds and walking through my favorite parks made it easy to see the damage the storm did.  I managed to find a couple of Kestrel, A Leucistic Wren and a Laughing Gull.  But the real success lately has been my new feeder.  Its bringing in a great collection of birds.  I've had a Red-Breasted Nuthatch come to my feeder for a few days in a row and I snapped a few pictures of him below.  I've also had Tufted Titmouse, BC Chickadees and all sorts of sparrows and finches.  My suet feeder is getting, starlings and woodpeckers and I hope that I can keep getting good birds.

Reports are that the Tundra had a bad season so lots of winter birds will be hitting areas more southern than usual...  Gonna be a fun winter!

Life List:
Fox Sparrow!