Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cuban Black Hawk (Buteogallus gundlachii) - 06Jan2017

From Wiki:
"German ornithologist Jean Cabanis described the Cuban black hawk in 1855. It was considered by most authorities to be a subspecies of the Mangrove Black Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus), although aspects of its behavior were little studied. However in 2007, the American Ornithologists' Union classified it as a separate species based on differing vocalizations and plumage patterns.
It is one of eight species in the New World genus Buteogallus.
The Cuban black hawk is endemic to Cuba, where it is found primarily in coastal and mangrove regions and on Isla de la Juventud. It also occurs in wooded areas and even near mountains on the main island, and on several outlying cayes. However, the majority of its sightings are below 800 meters above sea level".

We found most of our sightings on the islands around Cayo Coco on the North Coast.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

New Hanover Hangover (22-29Jan2017)

I was planning to go Carteret County to bird with John's group but I was a bit hungover or at least mildly bleh from a night with bonfires and booze (still working on the Habana Club Rum from Cuba). Not to mention my kids' soccer practices. So I stayed local.  That means this entire week I have birded my home county and seem to be sticking to my strategy.

Common Grackle - I found a huge blackbird flock at ILM airport.

Rusty Blackbird


Merlin at the airport too.

At my house a Brown-headed Nuthatch pair has been nesting in the cut de sac light pole for as long as I can remember. The light pole is ugly as sin but if it makes a good home for nuthatches I am all for keeping it.

Also at my house I share a large holly with my neighbor but this flock of Cedar Waxwings seemed to be eating some dark berries from a vine in the tree and not the actual holly berries or maybe they were just older holly berries.

This Purple Sandpiper was sitting on the Johnny Mercer Pier.  Weird, never seen that.

Belted Kingfisher at Greenfield Lake

White-throated Sparrow


Orange-crowned Warbler

Little Blue Heron at a random retention pond while waiting for my wife's dr. appointment to end.  She still cant't drive due to a broken foot. White birds are hard to get in good light.

Beautiful Hooded Merganser pair.

Semi-palmated Sandpiper at WB.

Semi with Piping for comparison.

This bejeweled Piping has been hanging out for weeks on the South end of WB.

Bonaparte's Gull

House Finch

Carolina Chickadee

Hermit Thrush

Isn't that tongue cute?

Female Canvasback at Airlie Gardens.

Tufted Titmouse

Pine Warbler at Smith Creek Park

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Loggerhead Shrike at ILM - there was two of them in the same tree.  It was tough being home while everyone in NC was on the OBX for the Winter Meeting.

DC Cormorant

Northern Cardinal


Pied-billed Grebe

Turkey Vulture

Yellow-breasted Sapsucker

BROWN CREEPER!!!  Can you tell I am excited about this?  I don't see them often in Wilmington and frequently miss them altogether.  This was was at Carolina Beach SP.

The birds were going nuts Saturday afternoon at CB State Park.  Nothing too rare but just tons of birds.

I don't get Hairy WPs in Wilmington that often either.

This photo shows the tail feathers lacking any spots like on a Downy.

Pileated WP - crappy photo but I like it because you can see his tongue flicking into a cavity.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Black-and-white Warbler

Canada Goose in the gloaming at CB Lake.

Snowy Egret

Cooper's Hawk - WB.

Female Common Eider at Banks Channel in WB.

The beauty of a New Hanover Big Year is I can fit the birding in when convenient.  While my boys had soccer at the YMCA I took a quick drive over to some agricultural fields north of the airport.

American Pipit!  A whole field full of them.

Back at home, I tried to stakeout the hummingbirds that have been coming from inside my vehicle as a blind but they never came.  This Red-bellied WP was a consolation and loved the hot pepper suet.

I am on a tear lately.  Stay tuned.