Saturday, December 22, 2018

One More Down, 3 To Go (17Nov - 22Dec2018)

I have been so busy with work and birding in my off hours that I have developed quite a backlog of photos, but only one more year bird to show for it.  First some local photos...

Bufflehead at Fort Fisher

American Wigeon at the Aquarium pond.

Hooded Mergs

I previously did not add the following bird because I was hoping for a better pic but here is one of the Parasitic Jaegers I saw that week where we had some nice east winds.  This one from the north end of Wrightsville Beach.

Parasitic Jaeger

I went up to the OBX to try for rarities at the inaugural Dare County Rarity Roundup.  Of course we found no rarities.

Bufflehead at Salt Pond

A banded Lesser Black-backed Gull at Cape Point.

Surf Scoter at Salt Pond.

RB Merganser

Another try for Short-eared Owls at Alligator turned up nothing.

Turkey V in Wilmington.

My boys are growing up and smiles are being replaced by annoyed scowls.

Melissa is all smiles after finding a pair of Ray Bans at CB State Park lying in the sand.



I had to fly to Philly for work one week, so I decided to take a short detour to visit my brother in Maine.  10 minutes after picking me up from the airport, we were on this South American beauty that has been blessing Mainers for the past several months.  I just checked and it is still there despite a couple snow storms.

Great Black Hawk

This will be a great one for a "Birds Pooping" album.  Not many folks in the ABA region have a Great Black Hawk pooping shot.

Back home in Wilmington, I had a first for my yard list...

Fox Sparrow under my feeder.

Common Eiders have been plentiful in Wilmington lately.

Orange-crowned Warbler at FF.

Wilson's Snipe at Ashley HS.

Tundra Swans are pretty uncommon in Wilmington, these were at Fort Fisher.

Common Eider at Wrightsville.

In the new year I will start surfing again.  No time for it now.  Need ..... to..... get ..... birds....

Coyote at Fort Fisher

I took another trip to the OBX last weekend to try for Short-eared again and also Snow Buntings.

Coyote or Red Wolf at Alligator?

I stayed in Kitty Hawk and searched first for the Western Grebe seen a few days earlier but I knew it was a long shot.  The waves were epic looking which was just salt in the wounds because I did not bring my surfboard.  Then I hiked all over the Jockey's Ridge sand dunes for 3 hours looking for Snow Buntings.  When that didn't work I drove back over to the south side jetty at Oregon Inlet.

Common Eider at Oregon Inlet south jetty.

BINGO! Snow Buntings just south of the jetty.  They were horribly backlit and in the restricted area so I could not get closer or on the opposite side of the sun.  There was actually 6 of them but I only managed 5 in one shot.

Finally I tried Alligator again for Short-eared and I had what I think was a Short-eared in the distance at dusk but it was too far and too dark to be sure, so I didn't put it on the list.

There were quite a few Black Bears roaming the fields.

Today back home in Wilmington, I searched high and low for some of my targets.  Tried for Harlequin Duck for the umpteenth time at Fort Fisher.  Then I drove to Twin Lakes at Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach to try for some random rare birds that could conceivably be in that area: Black-bellied Whistling-ducks, Common Ground Dove and Mottled Duck are all birds I need for the year.

Best bird was a Canvasback at Twin Lakes.

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