Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Saga Continues .... (16-29Apr2017)

The spring migration continues to pick up, and although catching up after a week off at work has been nothing short of torture, I have been able to get out for some birding here and there the past two weeks.

Red-eyed Vireo at CB State Park.  This guy is still singing 2 weeks later.  I heard him today.

Hairy WP

Northern Parula

Glossy Ibis at the Basin in Fort Fisher.

Lesser Yellowlegs at Carolina Beach Lake.

Eastern Bluebird at Burnt Mill Creek.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Purple Martin at WB.

Common Tern at the south end of WB.

Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Screech-owl at CB State Park - what luck finding this guy in full light.

Summer Tanager

Fox Squirrels - these guys have started establishing themselves all over CB State Park.

Blue Grosbeak - CB State Park

Last Sunday I participated in a Brunswick County bird count all day.  It was raining off and on all day but I still managed to find about 80 species. I started at Lee Buck Rd but the rain made photography very difficult.  After moving over to EV Henwood, the rain let up a bit and I was able to take some photos.

White-eyed Vireo

Female Ebony Jewelwing

Male Ebony Jewelwing



Around lunch time I started heading back but went the slow way back over Governor's Rd.  The road was pretty muddy, but I found one of my best birds hunting over a field.

Swallow-tailed Kite

Due to the rain, there must have been a lack of insects, so they resorted to kiting low over trees and snatching what appears to be Carolina Anoles.

The rain was matting their feathers giving them a Lord of the Rings Wraith type look.

When it stopped raining for good, hundreds of swallows took over one of the farm fields.

Cattle Egret

What a better way to end a long count day than going to the beach and having high tide coincide with it?  Better yet, no one was on the beach because of the foul weather. So I headed to Fort Fisher and tried to focus on the Brunswick County side of the spit.  That is basically everything south of the first crossover.

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Thousands of shorebirds hanging out.

Snowy Egret

Gull-billed Tern - this one was unfortunately on the New Hanover side, or fortunately for my county list.

The Dowitchers are getting really snazzy but I still have trouble finding any Long-billed.

Some Sanderling are also getting colorful.

Then right as I was driving the last stretch on the New Hanover side, my best bird of the day!

American Golden Plover!

The bill and cap field marks stood out nicely.

The nice golden rump in flight and lack of black axillaries sealed the deal.

This past work week I had a business trip to Raleigh and only had one afternoon to get a couple hours of birding in so I headed to Mid Pines.

Horned Lark - a presumed breeder.

5 Blue Grosbeaks in one shot.  That seemed unusual to me.

Solitary Sandpiper over at Inwood Rd.

When I first saw this peep standing with the Solitary I was convinced I had a Baird's SP.  I know they rarely are seen in the spring if at all, but the logical side of my brain did not seem to be communicating effectively with the other.

Now that I look at the pictures on the comfort of my couch, I see the legs look yellowish.

Beware, peeps by themselves with no other peeps for comparison can be tricky.

Spotted Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs.

Finally, an early Friday trip across Lodge Rd at Holly Shelter produced some year birds.  I wanted to make the drive before they closed the roads with the end of Turkey Season.

Bachman's Sparrows were abundant and signing like mad.

Red-bellied Watersnake

Corn Snake I think.  I need to get my snakes down.

Orchard Oriole

Least Bittern - its a shame that I could not get closer and the weather was overcast.  This breeding plumage bird was much more snazzy than the ones I photographed last year at Cedar Island.

Prairie Warbler

What better way to end the week than with a beautiful Prothonotary Warbler.  A real crowd pleaser.  Even their butts are pretty.

I am starting to get the pelagic itch.  I might have to head to the OBX soon.