Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Merlin Magic

Merlins are tiny falcons that prey on all sorts of mammals and birds.  As I was birding some turf farms and as I was counting starlings, cowbirds and other blackbirds, I realized I was going to have to subtract my count by one.  A Raptor had come and grabbed one of the birds.  At first, I had assumed that the culprit was a Coopers or a Sharpie, but then as I got closer, I saw that I was eyeing a Merlin.

Merlins are vicious little falcons and this that can eat a variety of prey.  This one took me a while to ID because the chest was so much lighter, but as you can see from these pics, the light mustache eliminates non-falcon raptors.  The lack of barring and size confirm that this bird is a Merlin and my first Georgia Merlin at that.  I've seen a few in New England, but getting one in my new home was very exciting.

Along with explore new places, seeing new state birds helps a place feel more like home.  Seeing this Merlin, who by now has reached his wintering spot, added a great falcon to my state list.  Hopefully, there will be more birds to add to my state list

All About Birds - Merlin - Link here

Wild Bird Wednesday - Link here

Quiz Bird:  What Birds do you see here?

Also Blog Post #200 is coming up, how should I commemorate this occasion?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Field Fun

Part of the joy of moving to a new place is experiencing new places and new hotspots.  Back in New England, I could tell you where to do and when to go to see certain birds.  Here, its partly learning a new birding language, a new timing, and some new species and habits.  The other day I went to an open field to look for sparrows.  While I walked away with nothing new for the year, I was reminded about patience in the field and patience when it comes to learning a new spot.  

I;ll give you an example.  I got my first Georgia Veery last month.  But the bird I saw was not the Veery I was used to.  It was paler.  The Georgia Birders I was with thought nothing of it, but I was confused.  This of course comes with any move.  The joys of learning are important ones and bring about great opportunities if you are willing to listen and enjoy them.  I will enjoy learning the new places, habits and hopefully, get some new birds!  Until the next time...

Chipping Sparrow

Northern Flicker

Palm Warbler

Wild Bird Wednesday - Link Here