Saturday, May 20, 2017

DICKs... Lots of them....(12-19May2017)

Some more local birding, but don't worry my dear readers, I am headed up for a pelagic on Sunday.

Last weekend started with a trip on the Spit with Jurek.

Amongst the 1 million Semipalmated Sandpipers, we found odd man out.  It was totally dark underneath which to be honest does not fit the profile for any peep.

An expert has weighed in that it is an aberrant plumaged Western Sandpiper....

The bill is fairly pointy and the coverts have a rufous bar.

Lots of peeps if you are into that kind of thing.  I would find something extra small and scrutinize it only to find it was just standing differently giving it a different jizz.

The Dowitchers are all nice and snazzy but I have a hard time with finding any Long-billed in the mix.

Western SP or some Brown-bellied Whistlepop from Southeast Asia, you decide...

A Lesser Yellowlegs was a nice find.

Gull-billed Terns are always a crowd favorite, maybe because their terrestrial hunting habits bring them to our team.

My parents arrived from their winter home in the Bahamas on Friday but I still managed some birding on the weekend.

On Saturday we stopped by Poplar Grove Plantation..

Young male or female Summer Tanager.


Eastern Pondhawk

Mississippi Kite - I have been seeing these all over Wilmington.  Way more than I remember in previous years.  Maybe I am just getting lucky.

Great Crested Flycatcher

She or he was lining her nest site, a hole that looks like it could get rained in.

Over at the Wilmington Arboretum, I was surprised to see a Common Nighthawk at high noon.

Common Nighthawk

Another Mississippi...

Blue Dasher

Common Whitetail

I was minding my own business looking up a tree early one morning in Castle Hayne and turned around to see this guy only 15 feet away.

Gray Fox!  His mate was only a couple lengths behind him.

Its too bad the light was so poor, I could have crushed him.

Mid week I managed to get away from work one morning to go find me some DICK.  DICKs had been seen in Northwest, NC which is also home of Swallow-tailed Kites and Monk Parakeets.

No you twisted reader, DICK is the four-letter bird banding code for Dickcissel.

It did not find long to find a Dickcissel.  All I had to do was plug in coordinates from eBird and get out of my truck.

Northern Bobwhites were calling all over in these fields and I flushed several getting great looks.  However, getting a picture is another matter.

This was my best shot of a Bobwhite's rear end.  Good enough for ID unless you know any other birds in NC that are so portly.

Can you believe the size of this DICK's feet?

Even old deaf Jamie could hear this bad boy.

Back in Wilmington, I made a couple forays to Burnt Mill Creek during kids soccer.

Great Blue Skimmer

Needham's Skipper

Mississippi Kite - I have probably seen these beautiful birds in 10-12 different spots in Wilmington now.

Great Blue Skimmer male

Looks like the Yellow-crowned Night-herons at Burnt Mill have already fledged a chick?

Probably my coolest sighting of the week....

A melanistic Northern Rough-winged Swallow at Carolina State Park

Chocolatey all over..... He was collecting nesting material.

I couldn't believe where he chose to build his nest....

The tail pipe of a Chevy pickup!  And one that was obviously just there for the day as it was parked in the Marina parking lot with a boat trailer.

I was torn about whether I should intervene but I reasoned that I should let nature run it's course and that only his pride would be hurt when the owner gets back.

Here was his mate watching him while he went back and forth with the material.

Snowy Egret

Brown-headed Cowbird at Autumn Hall

Ebony Jewelwing

Ok readers, get your bibs ready because soon you will drooling all over yourself.  I will hopefully have some great Seabird photos later this weekend.


  1. Hey Jamie. Always a pleasure reading! We in Greenville have also noticed a large number of Mississippi Kites this year, with 10 flying over our house last Saturday. We often see them out this way, but they do appear to be in good numbers this year, which is excellent as they are a joy to watch. Keep up the posts!

  2. Funny but sad about the nest in the tail-pipe. I remember you photographing that daytime nighthawk - the photo came out great (as did all the others).