For 1 Jan, 63 for me, just one less than 1 Jan 2012:
01 Herring Gull
05 Blue Tit
06 Wood Pigeon
07 Carrion Crow
09 Long-tailed Tit
10 Grey Wagtail
11 Great Tit
14 Coal Tit
19 Great Black-backed Gull
21 Black-headed Gull
24 Stock Dove
25 Great Spotted Woodpecker
28 Rock Dove (feral pigeon)
30 Common Gull
32 Canada Goose
33 Mute Swan
34 Tufted Duck
35 Eurasian Coot
36 Slavonian Grebe (best bird of the day!)
39 Common Starling
40 Mistle Thrush
41 Pied Wagtail
43 Common Goldeneye
45 Greylag Goose
46 Northern Shoveler
47 Little Grebe
48 House Sparrow (yes, #48 - that's how hard they are to find here now!)
49 Eurasian Wigeon
50 Common Teal
51 Great Cormorant
52 Common Kestrel
53 Common Pheasant
54 Red Crossbill
56 Northern Lapwing
57 Eurasian Curlew
58 Grey Heron
60 Reed Bunting
61 Common Snipe
62 Collared Dove
63 Short-eared Owl
Then on 2nd, first trip to the coast:
64 Song Thrush
65 Mediterranean Gull
66 Common Oystercatcher
68 Ruddy Turnstone
70 Ringed Plover - - - - - Edit (04 Jan): Ooops! Forgot to note this down!! Re-numbered from here down ;-)
71 Common Scoter
73 Common Eider
74 Grey Plover
76 Red-throated Diver
77 European Stonechat
78 Red-breasted Merganser
79 Long-tailed Duck
80 Pink-footed Goose
81 European Golden Plover
82 Grey Partridge
86 Rock Pipit
87 Common Shag
90 Tree Sparrow
And today (3rd):
91 Bohemian Waxwing
92 Lesser Redpoll
93 Eurasian Jay
So I wonder, how is the Eurasian Tree Sparrow population over there as compared to the House sparrow. They struggle here, but seem to have developed a little bit of a niche in the area where they were released. We were so excited when we saw our first one this summer in southeast Iowa.
We beat our last year second day total by a few. On 2 January 2012, we were at 22. But this year, we got 30 on day one, now we are at 32. I will try to keep it official on this site, but for our personal list, we count subspecies if they have separate mentions in the field guides, like the various Juncos and Snow Geese. So I already knocked off one of the Junco subspecies.
1. Great Horned Owl – 1 Jan
2. Northern Cardinal- 1 Jan
3. Dark-eyed Junco- 1 January
4. American Tree Sparrow- 1 January
5. American Goldfinch- 1 January
6. House Sparrow- 1 January
7. Blue Jay- 1 January
8. House Finch- 1 Jan
9. Red-bellied – 1 January
10. Hairy Woodpecker- 1 January
11. Downy Woodpecker- 1 Jan
12. White-breasted Nuthatch- 1 January
13. Horned Lark- 1 Jan
14. European Starling- 1 January
15. Black-capped Chickadee- 1 Jan
16. American Crow- 1 January
17. Bald Eagle- 1 Jan
18. Belted Kingfisher- 1 Jan
19. Red-tailed Hawk- 1 January
20. Northern Flicker- 1 Jan
21. Tufted Titmouse- 1 Jan
22. Rough-legged Hawk- 1 Jan
23. Ring-necked Pheasant- 1 Jan
24. Mallard- 1 Jan
25. Common Goldeneye – 1 Jan
26. Canada Goose- 1 Jan
27. Cackling Goose- Jan
28. Lesser Scaup- 1 Jan.
29. Common Grackle 1 Jan
30. American Kestrel- 1 January
31. Common Redpoll- 3 January
32. Northern Shrike- 3 January
That's odd! I was delighted to see three chickadees the other day because I usually only have my regular pair. Also, last year I remember the mourning doves were not around until later in the winter. We thought maybe something to do with hunting? Dunno. I was glad to see them here early.
When I finally leave the house tomorrow (ha), I will be able to add more to the list.
Regarding 2012, what was everyone's "bird sighting of the year"? Might not be the best bird or most rare, but what you would think was the best sighting. Maybe top three if you can't narrow it down.
Snowy Owl in February for me. Close runners up were the Eurasian Tree Sparrows and the Rough-legged Hawk that I saw recently. Also i suppose, the collective group of warblers in the stream this year.
[quote="Mrs_Ed"]Regarding 2012, what was everyone's "bird sighting of the year"? Might not be the best bird or most rare, but what you would think was the best sighting. Maybe top three if you can't narrow it down.[/quote]
Yes they stay here as we have two dams with spillways and lots of shad. If the weather gets really cold, other waters freeze over and we are lucky to get a bunch of different water birds. Last year that really never happened.
Wow. What an encouraging start! Resin and Chilly - Holy mackerel! - amazing lists both of you! Mrs. Ed, glad to see you are off and running as well. I'll have to think about your question. I'm still so new at this, seeing and being able to identify just about any bird excites me. LOL. Iris, how nice to have juncos in the yard. I hardly ever see them.
I only have a few yard birds so far - at my house and at our cabin in the woods, but I hope to get out soon and do some serious bird watching.
1. House Sparrow
2. White-winged Dove
3. Blue Jay
4. Northern Cardinal
5. Tufted Titmouse
6. Carolina Chickadee
7. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
8. American Goldfinch
9. Belted Kingfisher
10. Great-horned Owl
11. Turkey Vulture
Wow, you're off to a good start Resin and Chilli!!! Wonderful.
Mine are mostly yard birds. I do count the different Redpolls and Waxwings and Juncos. Because it's ok to add the many Warblers we see.
A few are from a trip to Moncton. Saw a Hawk some Gulls and ducks, in flight, but was unable to ID them as they were too far.
1.Common Redpolls hundreds + of them.
2.Mourning Doves, I have about 20 of them.
3. Rock Pigeon,
4. Blue Jays
8. Cooper's Hawk
9.Bald Eagle saw 3 in flight between Fredericton and Woodstock.
10.Great Black-backed Gull
edited :Forgot to add
12. Hairy Woodpecker
13. Downy Woodpecker
Last one was a Cooper's Hawk in the backyard. Best one was a imm. Bald Eagle standing on a tiny post way out in a field of tall grass. It looked like a person was out in the field! Other good ones for the year Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Vermillion Flycatchers and Rufous Hummingbirds (I have at least 2 with enough rufous on the back to differentiate from Allen's in the backyard.)
Must get to birding. It's supposed to be a nice day for a brief change!
Cool birds, you all. and my! Elphaba, that is great!
Well, got my Rock Doves... Whenever we go to Kalona, I know right where to find them when we're off the interstate. Might have had a chance to see a Eurasian Tree Sparrow, but we had to get back home.
#33 Rock Dove
#34 Wild Turkey
It is terrible. I remember when we were first trying to find American Kestrels, we never had any luck, but now that we are looking for Mourning Doves, every one of those birds are Kestrels. :) But this is a good thing and I know my Doves will be back this spring, if not sooner.
"...not the blood sucking type" -- good thing you made that clear!
Can't believe y'all have more kestrels than doves! How cool is that!
eBird says that I'm at 128 now, I'll see if I can figure out the newbies:
118 -- Pine Siskins
119 -- House Finches
120 -- Chipping Sparrow
121 -- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
122 -- Red-headed Woodpecker
123 -- Greater Pewee (walked up to a group that had just seen it but it had flown -- took me over an hour to refind it.)
124 -- Northern Flicker
125 -- Pileated Woodpecker
126 -- Rock Dove (just hadn't counted them yet)
127 -- Lark Bunting
128 -- American Robin
Elphaba, Cool to see the swans! I was out at Anahuac Sunday, but didn't see any swans. The ducks on Shoveler's pond were all in hiding. They were way back in the grass and ponds toward the middle because of all of the duck hunters I think.
I was there on Friday and I bet those swans were there then, but we didn't see them. Barely got them this time too.
On Friday when we were at Anahuac, we went out to Frozen Point. I'd never gone out there before. I think the road may have been closed last year. There were at least 10 Horned Grebes off the point. My friend saw a Seaside Sparrow too. I missed that one.
Nice Redpoll!!! I haven't seen one this season. Last Feb. was my last sighting. Hope they show up at the yard. That panoramic shot is with my iPhone. They have a feature that does it pretty easily. Otherwise, I had some photo-stitch software, but it was too difficult to line up the shots right. Not with the iphone!
We had planned on going birding with the club this morning, but when the alarm went off the wind was howling like crazy. We didn't think the children (or us) would have a very good time of it, so we just stayed in bed. Later, when the wind didn't seem so bad, we bundled ourselves and went as a family.
I'm up to 150 with some rarities found by fellow birders and one lifer.
135 - Gadwall
136 - Forster's Tern
137 - Royal Tern
138 - White-crowned Sparrow
139 - Roseate Spoonbill
140 - Brown Creeper
141 - Greater Scaup -- out of the water with good view of round head!
142 - Bufflehead
143 - Pacific Loon
144 - Great Horned Owl -- pair perched in a tree -- awesome!
145 - Brewer's Blackbird
146 - Cackling Goose -- lifer -- friend found it for me. When he showed it to me in his scope, I thought "why is he showing me a black-crowned night heron" and then it lifted its head. Never would have found it on my own.
147 - White-tailed Hawk
148 - Ferruginous Hawk
149 - Black-bellied Whistling Duck
150 - Merlin
Took pictures, but they are all terrible. Haven't taken any good photos this year except one of my friend who was photographing the Greater Scaup when a Vermillion Flycatcher landed right by him. He didn't even see it. He was so surprised when I showed him the photo.
I guess I should do that. ^_^ I did do South Padre Island's Convention Center last year during spring migration and it was incredible. There were a lot of birders and they were all happy to help out the newbies. High Island is about 1.5 hours from me and S Padre is more like 5 hours, but worth the drive.
#40 Harris's Sparrow
YAY!!! #41 is Mourning Dove. They must feel safe enough to come out of hiding. The hunting season is over. That was a bad idea to ever enact the law. :(
#42 Snow Goose
#43 Northern Harrier
Then on my 3 trips I got:
153 -- Tri-colored Heron
154 -- Sharp-shinned Hawk
155 -- Wilson's Snipe
156 -- Least Sandpiper
157 -- Long-tailed Duck
158 -- Long-billed Dowitcher
159 -- Northern Bobwhite
160 -- Ladderbacked Woodpecker
161 -- Canada Goose
162 -- Sandhill Crane
It was a fun although exhausting weekend. Met a lot of great people. One of the really neat experiences for me, was standing at the top of the Sheldon Lake tower with a group of really top notch birders from around the state, with scopes going in every direction over the lake, woods and prairie and people just shouting out birds: Eastern towhee! Canvasbacks! Spoonbills, Kestrel! Immature Bald Eagle with prey! Just great!
I get the brown creepers all the time. But I work form home and my office window is close to a tree that they visit. It's much easier to see them that way. When they arrived this fall, I was able to sit outside and here their little whistle-y call. I wonder if I'll see any redpolls in the yard this year. I know they are in the area. The food supply must be so plentiful they don't need to come to my feeder.
Elphaba, You saw the long-tailed duck! Cool. I haven't gotten out there yet. I am planning to go try to spot that flammulated owl though. I can't stand reading about everyone seeing it. I wanted to wait until March/April to go to South Padre, but guess I'll just have to do it twice. Went to Anahuac NWR, but still didn't see the tundra swans.
Mrs. Ed, How wonderful to be able to see brown creepers all the time! They are so much fun to watch.
Chilly, we do not get very many if any Canada Geese. Cackling are the default goose, but I was with a group of really experienced birders who said nope those two, yes only two, are Canada because of their size and long necks.
Patti, that Long-tailed Duck is as hard to see as the Tundra Swans. The swans disappear in that grass. The Long-tailed Duck disappears behind other ducks. She's a lot smaller, so a pintail just eclipses her. I'm dying to see the Flamulated Owl too. I have commitments this weekend, so don't know when. Hope it sticks around long enough.
Mrs. Ed, today is such a warm day that the bees are swarming the hummer feeders. I have yet to find a bee guard that works. Wish those darn bees would hibernate! Winter hummers are nice though. We didn't used to have a lot of hummers in the winter. This is a new thing.
I'd say that is impressive. Mrs. Ed. :) We did have 25 House Finches yesterday, but hardly saw any today.
Elphaba, it's the other way around here, but then we also get some type of Canada subspecies that is as nearly as small as a Cackling, so we have to look at the bill and head shape. I like birding with the experts, but it isn't very often when we get the chance.
Got a few today ... Up to 76 now. I might have a few more, but I need to get the right IDs
Tundra Swan - wheeeee. I found them. They were close to where they have been seen.
Thanks Elphaba. I was very excited to see those swans. They were all by themselves and quite visible, but very far away. Hopefully there are not other swans out there, because I really couldn't see them well enough or get photos decent enough to identify. This is all I got and you can see from the uncropped one (shot at full zoom on my little Canon Powershot SX-50 HS which is 1200mm) that they are far off. A couple stopped behind me and asked what I was seeing. I pointed the swans out and the guy got out his spotting scope and confirmed that they were Tundra Swans. He was from the UK and said he sees them all the time, so ??? hopefully right ID.
The only real options are Mute Swan and Tundra Swan; Trumpeter would be even more out-of-range than Tundra in southern Texas. Mute Swan can be excluded by bill colour, and its longer tail (pointed, and usually slightly cocked up).
I was going crazy seeing those ebird Needs alerts for my county, so we went out to see if we could find those swans. Yep, there were more than a dozen. And we saw TONS of Canada geese. I really, really like those things. If it wasn't so cold, I could have sat there all day just watching and listening to them.
Chillybean, Great find on that Trumpeter Swan!
Resin, You get the coolest birds. I've never even heard of some of the birds you get.
Mrs. Ed, Sweeet. A Common Redpoll! No way I'll see one of those in my neck of the woods.
Elphaba, I hope you are feeling better!
I just got back from spending a few days in South Texas. I intended to go for Spring Migration, but I had to go see that Flammulated Owl everyone is talking about. And after three days of looking, I finally saw it.
I added quite a few to my list ...
81 Red-winged Blackbird
82 Great-tailed Grackle
83 Eurasian Collared Dove
84 Golden-fronted Woodpecker
85 Green Jay
86 Roseate Spoonbill
87 Lesser Scaup
88 Tropical Kingbird
89 Red-breasted Merganser
91 Loon - type hopefully to be determined by Resin ^_^
92 American Bittern
93 Tricolored Heron
95 Plain Chachalaca
96 Black-crested Titmouse
97 Altamira Oriole
98 Harris's Hawk
99 Least Sandpiper
100 American Kestrel
101 Ruddy Duck
102 Greater Scaup
103 Ring-necked Duck
104 Eared Grebe
105 Green Kingfisher
106 Long-billed Thrasher
107 Black-bellied Whistling Duck
108 Least Grebe
109 Lesser Yellowlegs
110 Orange-crowned Warbler
111 Green-winged Teal
112 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
113 Yellow-crowned Night Heron
114 Flammulated Owl
115 Reddish Egret and White Morph
116 Olive Sparrow
117 Long-billed Curlew
Resin, I hope to see a Cattle Egret some day. Our neighbor described one a couple years ago. so we've been hoping.
Glad you got your Redpoll, Mrs. Ed.
Elphaba, I hope you're doing better by now. Four of us are home from church today and feel pretty miserable. Just common colds, probably. I thought I had strep, but the throat pain subsided dramatically. Oh, I don't like those sore throats.
P_Edens, what a great list. I think the Green Jays are cool looking birds and hope to someday see one.
45. Sharp-shinned Hawk Thought it was a Cooper's until looking more closely at the photos. Thanks to Resin for comfirming it. Now we're going to have to really study any of those hawks who come by. We used to only get Cooper's. I am glad they don't come by too often, though.
I'm feeling much better. Thank you. Online assessment said that I had the flu which just made me kick myself for not getting vaccinated!
FABULOUS list Patti! I'm so glad that you got Flamulated Owl. I have to get down there!
Mrs. Ed, congrats on the redpoll!
Didn't go birding today but did go down to Freeport. Decided that I had to check out Bryan Beach while I was there. I was so excited because I thought I'd found a rare gull. I had found a pretty rare gull but only after half a dozen people found it before me! The ebird alert and texbird notice came after I'd left the house. Glad the bird was still there and that I found it even though I didn't know that I should be looking for it! I'm also impressed that I figured out what it was on my own. It was pretty obvious -- big white gull, but still...
[quote="Elphaba"] I was so excited because I thought I'd found a rare gull. I had found a pretty rare gull but only after half a dozen people found it before me! The ebird alert and texbird notice came after I'd left the house. Glad the bird was still there and that I found it even though I didn't know that I should be looking for it! I'm also impressed that I figured out what it was on my own. It was pretty obvious -- big white gull, but still...[/quote]
Still counts as a self-find, because you didn't know it was there.
Elphaba, Glad you are feeling better. Great find on that Glaucous!
Mrs. Ed, Is that sapsucker drilling holes in your trees? A few years ago we had one punching holes in our loquat tree. The tree died the next year. I think the drought killed it though, not the sapsucker.
Iris, You have some cool yard birds. I love to listen to those red-bellied woodpeckers.
A few more to add to my list from South Texas. I'm still going through photos and getting help (Thanks Resin) with ID on some.
I just went south, but I was not birding. I did stop at Goose Island to get the Whooping Cranes and there were some Redheads off the coast. It was the middle of the afternoon, so not much else. Turns out Redheads are already on my list. A little while later a Roadrunner flew out in front of my car. So I got a total of two birds.
168 -- Whooping Cranes
169 -- Greater Roadrunner
I'm including the Redhead pic b/c it's the only good one! The Whooping Crane pic makes you long for clarity. The poor Roadrunner's eye is obscured by barbed wire.
Bet those Cedar Waxwings looked lovely in the Holly Mrs. Ed.
Went to a friend's house yesterday who has six hummer species although she said that she had only seen five that day! I went to see an immature Black-chinned but an adult male Black-chinned showed up. We were quite excited. It was the first adult male that either of us had seen. He was so beautiful! She also had four species of warbler one of which was a year bird for me and also a lovely adult male.
46. Eurasian Collared Dove- I just realized I forgot to get this one on here.
We had gone to a state park earlier in the day, in hopes of finding a Winter Wren that was spotted there. Nope, but we weren't alone. We talked to other birders who also couldn't find it. They asked us if we saw the big flock of Robins. Nope. We had hoped to spot those on our way out. They must have moved on. We had walked to the feeders the park keeps filled, to at least see some feeder birds. Well, just as the birds were calming after our arrival, a big, mass of boys come bombing out of the building scaring us and the birds away. I tried consoling myself that if the boys were at the park, they were learning something about nature.
After lunch and picking up some flour from the local farm/mill, we took a detour. And we finally got some Robins and a couple other surprises. I had no idea there'd be any warblers left in Iowa. The field guides say migration only, so that was a real treat to see in the dead of winter. This sure made up for the earlier disappointment.
47. American Robin
48. Cedar Waxwing
49. Myrtle Warbler
The hummers are a delight. Now my friend has a mature male Allens. Hope I get to see that one.
Congrats on the Robins and warbler Chilly.
I'm still struggling with a few flu symptoms that I can't shake, so hadn't birded. I saw my friends pictures of Eared Grebes and Bonaparte's Gulls at the Texas City Dike and then read a report of a Great Black-backed Gull out there. Couldn't stand it any more, so drove out there in the rain yesteray afternoon. Didn't see a single Bonaparte's but did get three year birds.
172 - American Oystercatcher
173 - Eared Grebes
174 - Great Black-backed Gull
It great to see everyone see so much birds!
I have been house bound for a while so not much activity around.
But I notice the Crows and Raven are starting to come to the yard now. Hawk as well.
I should start seeing more activity by mid March.
Looking for a warm sunny day , to go out and try to find some bunting and other type of hawks and other surprises.
snow brought the birds to the feeder. I have not kept track on numbers but we had juncos, plus a quartet of cardinals (I would guess last summer's family as at least one of the males has been singing for a couple days). Hairy woodpecker also stopped by.
Very nice birds, all. Jealous of the Pileated and Caroline Wren.
50. Western Meadowlark 20 February
Just heard it, but it was so clear and rather close to the yard. We saw one the 30 of December which was our very latest of last year.
Robins came into our yard yesterday as well. Not a year bird, but first of 2013 in the yard. And our White-breasted Nuthatches returned from where ever. They've not been seen in the yard since early this year.
Trying to move to a town about two hours south of here, so have been traveling back and forth a lot. Added some birds in the process and made a further jog south on one outing to get the Black-legged Kittiwake. There have also been a few great birds right around here that I've popped over to see.
Elphaba, If you move two hours south of Houston, it will be very wet since you'll be in the Gulf of Mexico... ^_^ Yes, just me being a smart a$$. But, seriously, sounds like you will be moving closer to the coast and the migrating birds - way cool!
The Purple Martins are camping out in our backyard again. I love their sweet little chirping sounds. I also got a couple of new birds yesterday, the hawk a lifer.
134 2/25/2013 Purple Martin Backyard
135 3/1/2013 Black-and-white Warbler Galveston - Lafitte's Cove
136 3/1/2013 Rough-legged Hawk Galveston - Just East of San Luis Pass
Hmmm. That pasted fairly well out of my Excel spreadsheet. And all this time I've been typing it all over. Geeeez.
My wife and I had fun this morning watching our many birds. The pileated woodpecker was in this morning early. We have four that we know of but there could be more. People tell me they don't like backyard feeders but the one this morning watched me from about ten feet away. He saw the apple suet, his favorite.
Oops! Have to nix one -- the Hook-billed Kite wasn't accepted. I didn't get any pics of it, but I thought my friend's pics were pretty convincing. I'll be interested to hear why the ID was rejected. Anyway, apparently just a Coopers. Wasn't acting like the Coops I know, but urban Coops may behave differenlty than wild south Texas Coops -- I don't know!
Adding a few from a trip to Hawaii (41-72) FYI, I'm counting the Hawaiian sub-species of birds like the Moorhen, etc.
Red vented bulbul
Red crested cardinal
Black-crowned night heron
Pacific golden plover
Hawaiian Black necked stilt
Hawaiian x mallard duck
Japanese white eye
Red jungle fowl (feral)
White rumped shama thrush
Yellow fronted canary
Yellow billed cardinal
White tailed Tropicbird
Well there were many birds I could not see well enough to ID, and many more that I could not find. I was more than a bit distressed that I could not find the NeNe Goose, even after searching the Volcanoes National Park in a number of locations, as well as at a golf course alongside. RATS.
233 - Ruby-throated Hummingbird (I'm renumbering b/c my #s are off. Maybe I forgot to delete from this count the Hook-billed Kite that was nixed.)
234 - Pectoral Sandpiper
235 - Curve-billed Thrasher
236 - Cattle Egret
237 - Yellow-crowned Night Heron
238 - Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
239 - Fish Crow
240 - Swallow-tailed Kites
Might be a 241 but waiting to hear challenges. Entered as Chimney Swift because couldn't find any other swift or swallow with cigar-shaped body and with smoky gray wings and belly and a white throat and upper breast.
Yep, and hummingbirds too! One hummer that was chasing another bumped into my window yesterday when I was sitting on the patio. She barely bumped it. Stopped chasing the other hummer though and decided to check me out instead.
Also, there were warblers that I didn't list because I already had them. For example, the trees were dripping with Black and Whites. I've never seen so many at once. They weren't shy either. They were landing right next to people. Killed me that I couldn't photograph them!
I count "heard only" if I'm confident of the ID and if its not a life bird or if it's the best way to ID the bird. For example, I've had a screech owl calling in the tree over my house for four days now. Haven't seen him, but really his call is the best way to ID him. I think he's made a nest hole and I'm upset about it because this house is going to be demolished and most of the trees cut down. I've lived here 10 years and I've just been dying for a Screech Owl to nest in my yard and he waited until now!
For me, if it's a life bird, I want to see it. Otherwise, heard only is OK especially since I usually end up seeing it later. Like last week there were lots of Hooded Warblers in the woods. I heard them but did not see a one. I entered them into ebird anyway. Then one showed up in the backyard and I've had great views of him. I also knew that I would be seeing more, so wasn't that worried about it.
Same for me, I prefer to see lifers. At one time I did have Spotted Crake (a very skulking wetland bird) on my life list as 'heard only' but have seen some since. The only problem with 'heard only' is that sometimes one species will imitate another, and often seeing is the only way to be certain it isn't a Starling or whatever playing tricks.
And some places, you have to check that what you're hearing is a bird, and not another birder playing a tape!
If I'm ever riding around with you gals, I'll know to watch out for car birds! -- or room-clearing birds!
As soon as I could get away last Wednesday, I headed for the coast to take advantage of a bit of fallout. Didn't get there until late afternoon but stayed until dark! Talked to a gentleman who is a birder and meteorologist who said Thursday would be good and Friday not so much. Changed all my plans and headed out to High Island Thursday! Here's what I got:
92 - Belted Kingfisher. I forgot to add this one; it should actually be 91.
93 - Brown Thrasher (truly a spring bird for me… so glad to see it).
94 - Eastern Meadowlark
95 - Great White Egret
96 - Great Blue Heron
97 - Fox Sparrow
98 - White Throated Sparrow
99 - House Wren
Heard some warbler this morning, but I can't remember which one it is and didn't see it. I'll be on watch for more! This next 30 days will be the spike in my count. After that it will be more work.
I got home from a songbird festival at one of our national wildlife refuges. I also visited a couple of state parks and a private landowner's property. I think I forgot more birds than I wrote down. I really need a better way to document what I'm seeing. Maybe I should start a thread asking what others do...
Here's what I did manage to write down. The thrill of the trip was seeing the two endangered species, the Black-capped vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler. I got good looks at both along with a decent photo of the vireo and a lousy one of the warbler.
165 4/26/2013 Lark Sparrow Balcones Canyonlands NWR
166 4/26/2013 Inca Dove Balcones Canyonlands NWR
167 4/26/2013 Black-chinned Hummingbird Balcones Canyonlands NWR
168 4/26/2013 Painted Bunting Balcones Canyonlands NWR
169 4/27/2013 Dickcissel Balcones Canyonlands NWR
170 4/27/2013 Black-capped Vireo Balcones Canyonlands NWR
171 4/27/2013 Golden-crowned Warbler Balcones Canyonlands NWR
172 4/27/2013 Black-throated Sparrow Inks Lake State Park
173 4/28/2013 Lesser Goldfinch Balcones Canyonlands NWR
174 4/28/2013 Grasshopper Sparrow Balcones Canyonlands NWR
175 4/29/2013 Western Scrub Jay Pedernales Falls State Park
176 4/29/2013 Purple Finch Pedernales Falls State Park
177 4/29/2013 Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pedernales Falls State Park
1. Black-capped Vireo
2. Golden-cheeked Warbler
3. Painted Bunting - I never get tired of seeing these.
4. Western Scrub Jay
I'm not keeping a numbered count but saw a Chipping sparrow today. I sort of sat still & let it come to me. I was weeding the garden & didn't weed for awhile & let it travel so that I could see the markings.
[quote="Chillybean"]I've not been keeping up with putting my year birds on this post. It's been a crazy year. :)
I won't list them all that this point, but we are at 162 right now. #162 was yesterday's Scarlet Tanager.
We are still missing some birds that I thought would be fairly easy, Sandhill Crane and Tennessee Warbler to name a couple.
I'm so glad you said "never too late to update" Resin 'cause I'm way behind too. BTW, very cool Collared Flycatcher and Black Kite! Congrats.
Way to start racking them up Mrs. Ed.
Patti, gorgeous pics!
OK, moved -- horrible - please remind me never to move again. Also, moved during migration - what was I thinking? Then immediately went to west Texas for a week. Here's what I've added since my last post -- thank goodness for ebird! Well, I wrote that and then I looked up my list by date and it has American Bittern as 278 when I listed it here as 275. Must have 3 uncountable birds. Not going to figure it out now. I'll just do 276!
276 - Monk Parkeet
277 - Common Nighthawk
278 - Blackburnian Warbler
279 - Scarlet Tanager
280 - Baltimore Oriole
281 - Redstart
282 - Rose-breasted Grosbeak
283 - Painted Bunting
284 - Western Kingbird
285 - Cliff Swallow
286 - Black-capped Vireo
287 - Canyon Wren
288 - Black-throated Sparrow
289 - Scott's Oriole
290 - Baird's Sandpiper
291 - Wilson's Phalarope
292 - Bell's Vireo
293 - Yellow-headed Blackbirds
294 - Clark's Grebe
295 - Ash-throated Flycatcher
296 - Elf Owl - heard it and just put my flashlight up in the tree and there he was! When I turned the flashlight off, he buzzed right over my head.
297 - Cassin's Kingbird
298 - Canyon Towhee
299 - Acorn Woodpecker
300 - Say's Phoebe
301 - Bushtit
302 - Wild Turkey
303 - Plumbeous Vireo
304 - Western Bluebird
305 - Hepatic Tanager
306 - Black-headed Grosbeak
307 - Scaled Quail
308 - Zone-tailed Hawk - I'd looked at so many Turkey Vultures over the last year hoping for a Zone-tailed that when I checked this one and saw the bands on the tail, I couldn't even speak. There was a group around us. I just started pointing and snapping my fingers and finally managed the word "UP!" The leader of that group looked up and shouted "Zone-tailed!" and everyone got to see it.
309 - Phainopepla
310 - Brewer's Sparrow
311 - Western Wood Pewee
312 - Blue Grosbeak
313 - Verdin
314 - Cactus Wren
315 - Mexican Jay
316 - Lesser Nighthawk
317 - Blue-throated Hummingbird
318 - Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
319 - Colima Warbler
320 - Black-chinned Sparrow
321 - White-throated Swift
322 - Violet-green Swallow
323 - Black Phoebe
324 - Clay-colored Sparrow
325 - Dickcissel
325 - Hutton's Vireo
326 - Crissal Thrasher
327 - MacGillivray's Warbler
328 - Varied Bunting
329 - Common Black Hawk
330 - Pyrrhuloxia
331 - Western Screech Owl - this one also buzzed my head and darn near hit me.
332 - Yellow Warbler
333 - Rock Wren
334 - Burrowing Owl
335 - Chihuahuan Raven
336 - Chuck-wills-widow
337 - Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
338 - Willow Flycatcher
339 - Least Flycatcher
340 - Philadelphia Vireo
341 - Magnolia Warbler
342 - Veery
343 - Swainson's Thrush
344 - Chestnut-sided Warbler
345 - Canada Warbler
346 - Eastern Wood Pewee
347 - Least Bittern
348 - Black Tern
349 - Yellow-green Vireo
350 - Purple Gallinule
351 - Magnificent Frigatebird
352 - Eurasian Whimbrel
353 - Stilt Sandpipers
354 - Groove-billed Ani
Shoot, I should have two more. I messed up somewhere. Good enough for now. West Texas trip was awesome! Added over 50 year birds and 21 lifers! Pictured: Clark's Grebe, Crissal Thrasher, Mexican Jay, Varied Bunting, Western Bluebird.
I was telling a friend that I wanted to buy this book. I couldn't remember the name of it and the name escapes me right now but Ron Weeks and Mel Cooksey are the authors and it tells you when and where each species can be found on the Texas coast. I was unpacking, and there it was! I am so losing my mind. Thank goodness I didn't buy it again. Anyway, I was just reading the section on the town where I now live, and 450 species have been recorded here! I knew it was a great birding town, but wow, I can get 400 year birds and not even leave town!
Patti, you were asking about keeping lists as you bird. I have one of those pocket recorders. It's the best. I just make a quick note of what I am seeing as I see it. When I get home, I do the list in ebird from memory and then check it with my recording. Usually, I remember a bird that I forgot to record and I record a bird that I forgot to enter - that's right, my mind fails both ways -- did I mention there's this book I want to buy? Right now, my recorder is packed in a box somewhere. I've been entering horrible lists in ebird b/c I just can't remember and I take terrible notes.
Here's a pic of the last year bird that I saw -- Groove-billed Ani.
Thanks, Elphaba. I bought a little recorder and will likely do the same. I am also looking at software programs and apps that will transcribe my voice recordings into text. I hate the thought of listening to my voice droning on about something I saw. So far nothing I've tried works very well, but Dragon is okay.
Strong northerly winds meant an excellent seawatching day down at the coast, with a rare four-skua day:
191 Great Skua (15 counted in 7 hours)
192 Arctic Skua (15)
193 Pomarine Skua (2)
194 Long-tailed Skua (2)
First time I've had all four skuas in one day in spring (only done it 2 or 3 times before, always in autumn), and first time I've ever had all four new for the year in one day.
Also nearly 400 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Great Northern Divers, 2 Little Gulls, 2 Little Terns, a Long-tailed Duck, hundreds of Fulmars, and thousands of assorted auks (none of them new for the year, though).
Here's one of the American Golden Plovers. I was pretty sure I saw a huge flock migrating last week, but didn't feel confident enough to tick them, so glad to see two of them yesterday. There were six (three pair) of the Phalaropes. Seems they are coming through Illinois right now because there are a number of sightings.
Funny Resin, I had to look up your Skuas and discovered the alternate name. I like Skua better.
Yesterday a catbird plopped into a batch of ferns near me as I was weeding. Good cover. I was able to watched it search for food about 15 minutes which was fun. I had not seen one for a couple years & it was good to know they are around.
Didn't get any good pics although I should post some of the seedeater. I think that's the only spot in the US where you can see them. I don't have my external drive with all my photos plugged in. Maybe later! Oh and forgot a shorebird from the other day.
What's 300 birds between friends! My friend here is ahead of me in the Texas standings. She's leaving for 2 months. She told me that if I pass her in the standings, we won't be friends anymore! Pretty sure she was joking!
Hauled my last load from Houston on Wednesday and went up to WG Jones State Park and got the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. I went twice before I moved and didn't see them. This time, it was all roped off but you could still see them. I was told that they weren't breeding this year because of all the housing construction behind the park in addition to all the people who come to see them. When they roped off their favorite area, they started nesting. That's why I was unsuccessful during my first few attempts. It's amazing that the bird adapted so well to protecting its nest cavity from snakes, but it can't seem to adapt to human encroachment. In fact, it's its weird nesting requirements that are going to drive it into extinction.
So glad somebody is getting year birds! Nice start Joey.
Too bad about the empid Mrs. Ed. A friend tells me that he has a book that shows all the empid bills from below and that you can differentiate them that way, but you have to get a picture of the underside of the bill. I haven't sent him any pics yet although I should! I have some unknown empids from this spring.
I have to laugh at that Elphy, because of all the pictures I take of birds from below and I HATE that angle. And this time it would have worked. Well I was SUPER far away from this bird anyway, so just glad to have a pict.
Thank you I have a few more to add to the list but I am having a hard time identifying the Sea Gulls.I keep for getting to take pictures when we are at the beach. Yesterday would have been perfect as they where so bold they were landing on the tables and wouldn't move until you got right up on them, one even managed to steal Mom's hamburger off her plate. I was so busy chasing them away it never dawned on me to pick up the camera. One crow kept coming in and fighting with the gulls it was funny to watch and so loud.
[quote="Joeyk210"]Thank you I have a few more to add to the list but I am having a hard time identifying the Sea Gulls.I keep for getting to take pictures when we are at the beach. Yesterday would have been perfect as they where so bold they were landing on the tables and wouldn't move until you got right up on them, one even managed to steal Mom's hamburger off her plate. I was so busy chasing them away it never dawned on me to pick up the camera. One crow kept coming in and fighting with the gulls it was funny to watch and so loud.[/quote]
[quote="Mrs_Ed"]Gulls are fun, for sure, to watch. I would think you're for sure seeing Herring Gulls and Ring-Billed gulls out there.[/quote]
Yep; or – if they've got black heads – Laughing Gulls.
A year bird is the first time you see one that year, and a lifer (or life bird) is one you see the first time in your life. Some people follow strict rules, others not so much, but commonly it is wild birds (not zoo, nor kept by rehabilitators), though I know one person who will count zoo birds since she actually has seen them.
For my list, I count subspecies such as with Juncos. Slate-colored and Oregon, for example, rather than just one Dark-eyed Junco. I tried being "official" for this thread, but got too confused trying to differentiate what birds can be on this thread and what my count is for our main list, so stopped.
Not all birders are listers, but for me personally, I find it keeps birding a little more exciting especially as our family doesn't travel large distances for birding. Most of our birding stays in Iowa.
For me the main thing is my yard. I have a yard list for the year and life. I love it when a new bird comes to the yard. I like to see how many species I had in a year. This calls for some good record keeping if I have seen a bird for the first time one year in a different location than home. I know birders though that keep county and state records. That's all too confusing for me.
Thank you for that very clear and helpful answer. I believe I understand. The cow bird and the Oriole I have never seen before so that would be life birds and the rest of my list I see every year so they are year birds correct? I have never listed the birds I see before, never thought to until I saw this thread. I have to use a book to identify some of the birds still but I am enjoying it. I use my yard mostly but I go for walks in the area and when we travel looking for birds is always on our list.
27) Bald Eagle
Great birds Resin. I'm really mad at myself for not going for a Ruff that was in Anuhuac earlier this year. As for the Cory's Shearwater, I think we were 60 miles offshore. Takes a while to get to the deep water. A friend got a pretty good picture of it. I got a pretty good blur of it.
Had another surprise off the end of the jetty at Port Aransas for:
375 - Sooty Tern
376 - Olive-sided Flycatcher
377 - Buff-breasted Sandpiper
I have not kept count, but saw several new birds on a 'senior' trip to Cape Cod yesterday. There was a Black backed gull which is usually farther off shore than our area. John had seen them around Long Island (NY) when duck hunting as a young man. As much as I have really enjoyed Margaret's osprey photos, I had never seen one in person, but there were several on their nesting platforms. A great thrill for me. Then there were batches of 'Double crested cormorants' all lined up on the edge of a wooden platform. the person running the boat called the 'black cormorants'. Quite a chorus line.
For other birds I saw green herons for the first time in 40 years. They used to hang around our small pond in CT. fishing for sunfish. As we zipped past wetlands in our bus ('coach' Resin) there were a lot of birds standing on one leg, but could not have an ID. There was a big flock of wild turkeys, but those come into our backyard, where John herds them out as they like to disturb plants by taking dust baths.
I don't feel like working so finally compared this list to ebird b/c the numbers haven't matched for a while now. Here are some birds that I missed. FYI, my wrist is just aching for a diamond-studded Rolex.
381 - Gray-cheeked Thrush (from last spring)
382 - Alder Flycatcher
383 - Common Poorwill (from Big Bend trip)
Beautiful pics Resin and Mrs. Ed! Wow! My brand new big lens is broken. I'm so bummed. When I switch it back to autofocus, the camera doesn't recognize the change. It's stuck on manual which is impossible with warblers. The camera is working with other lenses, so it's the lens.
Anyway, that was part of the problem the other day when birding with my friend. We saw a warbler that we could not ID and I couldn't get a picture of it. We had a field guide with us, but it turns out that it was a western bird and we had an eastern field guide, so the bird wasn't in our book. My first thought when I saw it was Yellow-throated Warbler but the face pattern wasn't right. Then I thought it must be a Yellow Vireo, but we both decided that it wasn't a vireo. Fortunately, someone came that same day and did get a photo. It's been ID'd as a Grace's Warbler. Furthest east that it's been recorded. That's why it wasn't in our field guide!
Nice lists... I saw a Raven and a Chicken this year... and lots of little brown, flitty things... guess I should learn to recognize them for what they really are.. but at least I have two birds on my list! I see birds in my vet practice... do those count? If so, I can add pigeon, budgie, cockatiel and various larger parrots to my list.
The lens probably is under warranty and if not, I'd raise such a fuss that they'd better fix it. Problem is that I moved at the same time that I bought it, so not sure where that receipt might be and haven't had time to look! Took this pic of the Sulpher-bellied with my smaller and way less expensive lens. Can't tell the difference? Yeah, that's a bit disturbing!
I noticed that captive birds do not count... but do captive birds that now live free and are reproducing count? We have many species of Conure and parrot now living in Los Angeles, but they are not supposed to be here. I saw feral chickens in Hawaii... do those count? How about a wild bird that is injured and brought to our clinic, do those count?
Well I suppose it depends on how serious you are about your list. I personally sort of have my own set of rules for my list. I have to truly see/photograph it. I don't go by calls. I also included all my Hawaii birds except the feral jungle fowl. Last I knew, ABA did not allow Hawaii birds anyway because of so many introduced species.
Wow... what a specific (but somewhat muddy) set of rules... all for people who 'claim' to have seen a particular species (sure is a tightly regulated system that depends solely on the honor system). Guess there is little reason to lie, though, as I doubt any one gets anything monetary out of having such lists, right?
Wonder if these naturalized populations of parrots in Los Angeles will ever meet ABA standards for being counted. Many, if not most, of these species are half a world away from where they should be, but there are also many generations of some of these birds here and they are certainly naturalized.
I can only say that for my list, I DID count the Patagonian Conures in Hawaii, and if I saw the Monk parakeets in Chicago, then I'd count them too. But you know, I'm not doing this for anyone but myself.
For eBird lists, if you claim you've seen a rarity, they make you prove it with a photo.
Some parrots are allowed. I didn't read the rules, but from what I understand, if they've been reproducing successfully for 25 years or more, they're added to the ABA list. The Red-crowned Parrots in Brownsville are allowed but I also saw Red-lored, White-faced and Yellow-headed which are not.
A friend is doing "A Bird A Day." I think she's one of only 4 people left and the only one in Texas. You post a different bird species everyday for a year - no duplicates - and you have to have seen that bird on that day. Everything is allowed but a chicken!
[quote="Elphaba"]LOL! I want to say something about don't count your chickens but can't quite get it to work.[/quote]
Trust you to chicken out of it ;-)
Around here it is BOU for UK lists, or IOC for world lists; Clements is persona non grata
The only significant difference from ABA rules is that here, we are allowed to tick birds trapped for ringing [banding], though it isn't an opportunity that occurs very often as ringers here are strictly controlled over how long they can hold a bird (it has to be released pretty much immediately after being ringed and measured, so no opportunities for travelling far to see a bird in the hand).
We tried for three rarities that had been seen near Edinburg, and got this one. We had great views of it, but my pics are horrible. Now, I've learned that there were three more rarities in the area that we didn't even try for. We'll have to go back!
You people are an inspiration. I will have to try harder next year. In 1992 I did a list of "Birds I Saw from My Mother's Kitchen Window" and got up to 63. So far, I think that was my record year. 450 possible in one town? Amazing.
Are Juncos not normally seen in your area of Texas? They are one of my favorite birds and I'd go nuts not seeing them as much of the year as we do. Oct-April, usually. :) Did you know you have it listed twice? #399 and #402
I don't normally see juncos. I had one in the yard in Houston once. I don't know if they see them in Rockport as I'm new here. I haven't seen any. I think you have to go just a little bit north or west. Thanks for catching my mistake! I only had 8 more birds, so will fix that right now!
Horned Lark is a good one. I didn't see many this year. I just got my "needs" list from ebird. It's a list of birds that other people have just seen in Texas that I don't have for the year. There were more than 20 birds on it. Oh well, can't get them all, and can't complain as I have had a good year.
Congratulations Mrs. Ed on the Snow Buntings. :) That is one I've been scouring the fields for. So far just the Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs, but we got those earlier this year.
It is kind of funny, that's how we got our lifer Horned Larks in 2012. The day was dark and we saw what I thought was a flock of Juncos, but when I looked at the photos on the computer, they were the Horned Larks.
Well, I've been AWOL for a while, but I just went through my photo files and notes from the last few months to update my list and at least get a fairly good estimate of the birds I've seen since I visited this thread last ... I don't remember where I left off, so I'll just go back a few months.
215 for the year. I hope to have more time to spend with the birdies in 2014!