Saturday, February 17, 2018

Here Kitti Kitti Kitti.... (11-17Feb2018)

I worked hard to plug holes this week and then Saturday was rewarded with a prize.  First things first though, here are the plugs.

Brown-headed Nuthatch at Holly Shelter

Red-cockaded Woodpecker at Holly Shelter - the habitat is looking great and best thing about it, no guns!  By the way, if you own a AR-15, please consider destroying it and joining the unarmed militia.  I don't own a gun and let me tell you, it is liberating and feels great.

Double-crested Cormorant

Dark-eyed Junco at the Battleship in Wilmington.  Last year I didn't get one in New Hanover at all.  I am not superstitious but I am on a roll and this Dark-eyed Junco was just one more good omen.

Belted Kingfisher at FF

Boat-tailed Grackle

Palm Warbler at FF

Savannah Sparrow at FF

Common Grackle at FF

Gray Catbird at FF Aquarium

I believe this one is a Nelson's Sparrow - the lines not too dark and somewhat blurry, the bib is well defined and the contrast between malar and breast is minimal.

Saltmarsh Sparrow - lines darker and more crisp, and the bib is not well delineated.

Seaside Sparrow at FF - a hat trick!

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Great Egret

Saturday I got to Johnny Mercers Pier first thing and joined forces with Sam Cooper's Audubon group.  Our first bird was a dark sulid that initially had me thinking Sooty Shearwater from a distance but closer inspection revealed a Gannet.

Chocolatey immature Northern Gannet

Red-breasted Mergansers - the strong northeast wind was bringing all kinds of birds streaming by.

First of the year Black Skimmers

Sam's group headed to the North end and I stayed because I just felt something good would show up eventually and my intuition paid off.  A Black-legged Kittiwake flew by at high speed and I put my bins on it.  Luckily it flew to shore about a hundred yards down the beach and started feeding in the surf.  I called Sam and ran down to where it was.

Black-legged Kittiwake - Wrightsville Beach, NC.

I couldn't help myself and took hundreds of pics.

Not a bird you see every day in ILM.

The whole Audubon group got on it, I think it was a lifer for a bunch of them.  It was still there when I left to drive my kids to soccer.

Red-shouldered Hawk at Wade Park

Loggerhead Shrike at Veteran's Park.

What a week!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Dribs and Drabs (06-10Feb2018)

Can't say the birding has been good since the pelagic last week.  However, I am making progress plugging the holes of seen only and not photographed.

House Wren at Fort Fisher


European Starling

Airlie Gardens has a ton of Black-crowned Night-herons this time of year.

Pine Warbler at Hugh McRae Park.

American Kestrel at Ashley High School

Boat-tailed Grackle at Fort Fisher

House Sparrow at Carolina Beach Lake

Rock Pigeon at CB Lake

Pied-billed Grebe

Black Vulture

I don't usually stalk birds outside a home uninvited but a White-winged Dove has been seen off and on for 2 months on a road near where I live and the owner was not known to me and I did not have their contact info.  So I went and lurked on the road until the nice lady spotted me and invited me to wait until the dove showed.

This Red-bellied Woodpecker was obliging while we waited.

It took about 30 minutes but I finally spotted the Dove in an adjacent yard.

I didn't have time to wait for it to become more photogenic so off I went.

Tomorrow I plan to try Holly Shelter for some specialty birds for SE North Carolina.