Saturday, May 20, 2017

DICKs... Lots of them....(12-19May2017)

Some more local birding, but don't worry my dear readers, I am headed up for a pelagic on Sunday.

Last weekend started with a trip on the Spit with Jurek.

Amongst the 1 million Semipalmated Sandpipers, we found odd man out.  It was totally dark underneath which to be honest does not fit the profile for any peep.

An expert has weighed in that it is an aberrant plumaged Western Sandpiper....

The bill is fairly pointy and the coverts have a rufous bar.

Lots of peeps if you are into that kind of thing.  I would find something extra small and scrutinize it only to find it was just standing differently giving it a different jizz.

The Dowitchers are all nice and snazzy but I have a hard time with finding any Long-billed in the mix.

Western SP or some Brown-bellied Whistlepop from Southeast Asia, you decide...

A Lesser Yellowlegs was a nice find.

Gull-billed Terns are always a crowd favorite, maybe because their terrestrial hunting habits bring them to our team.

My parents arrived from their winter home in the Bahamas on Friday but I still managed some birding on the weekend.

On Saturday we stopped by Poplar Grove Plantation..

Young male or female Summer Tanager.


Eastern Pondhawk

Mississippi Kite - I have been seeing these all over Wilmington.  Way more than I remember in previous years.  Maybe I am just getting lucky.

Great Crested Flycatcher

She or he was lining her nest site, a hole that looks like it could get rained in.

Over at the Wilmington Arboretum, I was surprised to see a Common Nighthawk at high noon.

Common Nighthawk

Another Mississippi...

Blue Dasher

Common Whitetail

I was minding my own business looking up a tree early one morning in Castle Hayne and turned around to see this guy only 15 feet away.

Gray Fox!  His mate was only a couple lengths behind him.

Its too bad the light was so poor, I could have crushed him.

Mid week I managed to get away from work one morning to go find me some DICK.  DICKs had been seen in Northwest, NC which is also home of Swallow-tailed Kites and Monk Parakeets.

No you twisted reader, DICK is the four-letter bird banding code for Dickcissel.

It did not find long to find a Dickcissel.  All I had to do was plug in coordinates from eBird and get out of my truck.

Northern Bobwhites were calling all over in these fields and I flushed several getting great looks.  However, getting a picture is another matter.

This was my best shot of a Bobwhite's rear end.  Good enough for ID unless you know any other birds in NC that are so portly.

Can you believe the size of this DICK's feet?

Even old deaf Jamie could hear this bad boy.

Back in Wilmington, I made a couple forays to Burnt Mill Creek during kids soccer.

Great Blue Skimmer

Needham's Skipper

Mississippi Kite - I have probably seen these beautiful birds in 10-12 different spots in Wilmington now.

Great Blue Skimmer male

Looks like the Yellow-crowned Night-herons at Burnt Mill have already fledged a chick?

Probably my coolest sighting of the week....

A melanistic Northern Rough-winged Swallow at Carolina State Park

Chocolatey all over..... He was collecting nesting material.

I couldn't believe where he chose to build his nest....

The tail pipe of a Chevy pickup!  And one that was obviously just there for the day as it was parked in the Marina parking lot with a boat trailer.

I was torn about whether I should intervene but I reasoned that I should let nature run it's course and that only his pride would be hurt when the owner gets back.

Here was his mate watching him while he went back and forth with the material.

Snowy Egret

Brown-headed Cowbird at Autumn Hall

Ebony Jewelwing

Ok readers, get your bibs ready because soon you will drooling all over yourself.  I will hopefully have some great Seabird photos later this weekend.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mediocrity (29Apr-11May2017)

Don't come to Wilmington during spring migration unless you want to see breeders all pumped up with hormones or shorebirds in large numbers.  You definitely do not want to come here if migrating warblers and passerines are your thing.  Even the Yellow-rumps are gone.  I have been seeing a plethora of list serv emails boasting of 21 warbler species in one morning.  I am lucky around here if I can find one! I am not kidding.  That being said, I have some good pics to share from the past couple weeks.  I am hoping soon I will be able to get a little further afield and get me some warblers.

This Great Horned Owl has been hanging out behind the marina at CB State Park.

I pity the small woodland creature that gets snatched by those big feet.

I must have unintentionally changed my camera settings for these shots but I am not unhappy about it.  This picture reminds me of a creature from Where the Wild Things Are.

Monarchs are back!

Eastern Willets are like the Honey Badger of the bird world.  They don't give a s***!

White-crowned Sparrows a little closer to home - Fort Fisher.

Cattle Egret behind the Home Depot at Monkey Junction - New Hanover tick.

Eastern Pondhawk

Red-headed Woodpecker at Autumn Hall.

Canada Goose

Green Heron

Blue Jay gathering nest material.

American Lady

Orchard Oriole - Greenfield Lake.

Hooded Warbler at Howell Woods.  I have to drive over an hour to get my warbler fix.

Swainson's Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Kentucky Warbler

Yellow-breasted Chat

Indigo Bunting

Prairie Warbler

White-eyed Vireo

Common Whitetail

Blue Dasher

Great Blue Skimmer

Another Swainson's Warbler.

Common Yellowthroat

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Swainson's Warbler in New Hanover County!  Sam C found this on Holly Shelter Rd.

Common Yellowthroat in New Hanover.

White-Rumped Sandpiper at Fort Fisher spit - New Hanover side.

Another WRSP on right.

Yet another!!

Dowitchers have nice color now.

And the last WRSP for the day.

Spotted Sandpiper on the rocks at Federal Point - New Hanover side.

Yellow-throated Vireo at a trail off Holly Shelter Rd in New Hanover.


Summer Tanager

Spotted SP at Burnt Mill Creek.

Little Blue Heron

I have been looking closely at the dowitchers at Fort Fisher trying to find a Long-billed.  This one seemed to have a relatively light rump, so Short-billed?

Many have a ton of rufous on them....

The same bird as in the above shot but the light makes it look to have a dark rump?  Dowitchers are hard.

Seaside Dragonlet?

Common Nighthawk at CB State Park.

Record shot of White-eyed Vireo at Autumn Hall area.

Solitary SPs at Autumn Hall - I am petitioning the AOU since these were obviously not Solitary.

The Least Bittern at Wade Park has not wanted to be photographed so this Red-winged Blackbird will have to do.

Hoping for a warbler trip or pelagic sometime soon.