The New Hanover County Crown is sitting on Sam's mantlepiece right now. Or maybe he is wearing it around the house while he can, knowing he will have to fork it over soon.
Thursday at Johnny Mercer's Pier I continued my streak of 3 consecutive days with a Pacific Loon.
At the pier Sam let me know that Harry and Greg had an Eared Grebe at Fort Fisher Spit the day prior. At lunch I just had to try. It did not take long to find a darker grebe floating around past the breakers. In March a dark grebe could very well just be a Horned Grebe molting into breeding plumage. However, in January/Feb the Horned are all two toned (black and white) with fairly white necks.
Eared Grebe on left and Horned on right.
The bills were different too, thinner and slightly up turned for the Eared on left.
Heavily cropped photos.
Dark auricular (cheek).
Peak of head is over eye. On the Horned the forehead slopes back much more gradually.
At Fort Fisher rocks I lamented my poor hearing when these Yellowlegs flew by. Probably Lesser but not comfortable calling it.
Bonaparte's Gull - I am going to have to get another photo as this one was just over the New Hanover border. Sam reminded me that the county line is basically just where the land ends and rocks start.
This was probably a Greater Yellowlegs but not counting it.
These Eurasian Collared-Doves were practicing for synchronized wire sitting. First they looked to their right.
Then to their left.
Then they screwed up.
And flew away in embarrassment.
Male Red-breasted Merg at Federal Rocks.
Saturday I flushed this Wilson's Snipe at the Ft Fisher Aquarium pond but luckily he landed where I could photograph him on the other side of the pond.
CB State Park was hopping Saturday morning. American Goldfinch.
Just in case I don't get a better pic later, a record shot of a Golden-crowned Kinglet.
Another Brown Creeper!!!
Fox Squirrel! New Hanover County Mammal lifer! I have seen them outside the county before.
Sam, I am sending over a jeweler to resize the crown to fit my big fat head.