Horned Grebe on the 6th of Jan at the south end of Wrightsville which will be my go to beach spot now.
Surf Scoter on the same day.
On the 8th of Jan, I checked a retention pond on the way to dropping Luke off at school and ran into some good birds for the patch. Unfortunately the light was crap, but I couldn't resist as it's not every day you can get 3 species of heron/egret in one frame.
Little Blue, Snowy and Great Egret.
Redhead and Hooded Mergs in the same pond.
Same combo as above but with a young white Little Blue Heron.
Swamp Sparrow from Wade Park on Jan 9.
Temperatures dropped the next morning and my neighbor one neighborhood away called me and told me birds were feeding like crazy at his feeders so I had to go and do some geri-birding while I took a conference call. It didn't take long before my target showed up.
Success with the tanager got my juices flowing so I thought why not take a trip to Airlie and try my luck.
Yellow-crowned Night-heron - this youngun has been hanging out with 40 or so Black-crowned NHs for a couple weeks at least. Look at those long legs!
Tiny spots on coverts...
On Saturday I went back to my go-to circuit from the South end of Wrightsville to Airlie Gardens.
Ring-billed Gull. One of these days I will find a Mew Gull, then who will be laughing...?
Common Loon - one of the few birds with common in the name that are actually common.
Ruddy Turnstone firmly in the patch.
Barred Owl not cooperating and looking at some Blue Jays.
Gadwall showing his true colors.
Yellow-throated Warbler with a spider treat.
Sunday I performed the same ritual....
Bony on the south side.
Double-crested Cormorant on left and Great Cormorant on right.
And back at Airlie.... I am really flogging this patch for all it's worth.
Youngun - note the bigger spots compared to the YC Night-heron from above.
And finally the cherry on top, this last Saturday, I chased the continuing Cinnamon Teal at Alligator NWR and it was easily found when I pulled up. It helped that about 15 cars full of Carolina Bird Club enthusiasts were already gawking at it.
State bird 398 for me... and a nice drake at that! Not that I have anything against the ladies. It was super far but this in flight photo was not half bad.
At the time I didn't note any Blue-winged Teal, but now that I look at my pics a female in flight was picked out. See right sided bird in flight.
Not every day in NC can you get an Eurasian Green-winged Teal (soon to be a new species) and a Cinnamon Teal in the same pic. The most left hand bird with a horizontal strip is the Eurasian and the far most bird is the Cinnamon.
Northern Shoveler at ANWR.
Since I was already out of patch, I hit up some other spots including Jeanette's Pier which didn't produce any decent photos and finally ended the day at the continuing Golden-crowned Sparrow stakeout in Harbinger, NC.
DICK - one of the best 4 letter band codes for birds (Dickcissel).
I love birds.... without birds and family I would be a lost soul.
Can't wait to get out again.. as I write this it is pouring outside. However, I am slated for a pelagic for Saturday!!!