Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summertime (10-24Jun2017)

This is the time of year when birding slows down to a crawl in the Carolinas barring an event like a hurricane and even still, it is too early for that.  However, what we do have in early summer is cute scenes like these:

Wilson's Plover chick.  So clumsy and top heavy looking but yet so elegant too.

Oystercatcher sitting on something......

Oystercatcher chick - look at those legs!

My kid's soccer practices are less frequent, but I still get over to Burnt Mill Creek.  The birds are fewer but the Odes are plentiful.

Needham's Skimmer female I think.

Needham's Skimmer male.

Mississippi Kites enjoy Odes too although they don't bother identifying them.

Dickcissel - A Sunday trip to North River Farms didn't net me anything new although its always fun to hang with John F and the gang.  We had a ton of DICKs.  Unfortunately no Tropical Kingbird.

This past weekend was another soccer tournament this time west of Winston Salem.  I had to sneak away for several hours and get to Rich Mountain Road near Elk Knob.

Willow Flycatchers were still calling at Meat Camp ESA but no Alders and my main target of Black-billed Cuckoo was nowhere to be seen.  Last year I had 4-5 and this year I can't buy one.

Chestnut-sided Warbler - Rich Mountain Rd was relatively quiet.  Most birds were no longer proclaiming territory. They were busy foraging for treats for their voracious young.

American Redstart

Common Yellowthroat

Chestnut-sided - I searched high and low for Golden-winged but they were not singing and finding a quiet warbler is not easy.

Record shot of a Scarlet Tanager - at Elk Knob they were singing but staying high in the canopy.

At Luke's game there was a sizable colony of Cliff Swallows.

Young Cliff Swallow waiting on food.

Adult keeping the young company.

There was quite a bit of fighting so its not clear if each nest was spoken for....

Although Luke won one of his games, they played better teams and did not have a chance for pushing it to a game 4.  That being said, I was proud.  Luke scored an awesome goal and had some great passes and assists.  George played on Luke's team this time and he also scored a goal.  Its always nice to the young one mix it up with the older kids and come out with a goal.

On the way home we stopped at Chi Rd near Yates Mill.  It was Father's Day after all.

Grasshopper Sparrow

Back in ILM.....

This Snowy Egret was picking off little shrimp-like bugs jumping out of the rocks due to the high tide.  There would have been a ton of birds to look at on the rocks but the summer crowds are keeping the birds away if you don't get out early.

Saturday I was able to get down to Twin Lakes in Sunset Beach, NC nice and early.

Common Gallinule

Least Bittern!  Its not every day you get to see one of these secretive birds.

This one was obliging.

The Royal Terns were flagging in eBird which is strange as there is thousands of them a stone's throw away in the intracoastal.  However, today they were hunting on the lakes.

Wood Storks are fairly reliable at Twin Lakes in the summer.

Marbled Godwit at the east end of Sunset Beach.  I was looking for Shearwaters but no dice.

Caspian Tern - usually I see these fairly early but it's taken me all the way to late June this year.  The Caspian is the big boy next to the Pelican surrounded by Royals.

Its time that I start planning my anniversary trip to Iceland and Norway!  I am leaving in two weeks.  Don't worry my readers, I will be bringing my crusher with me even though the primary mission is to celebrate 15 years of marriage.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) - 26May2017

The Shiny Cowbird is a South American nest parasite like it's North American Brown-headed Cowbird counterpart.  However, somewhat recently it has expanded it's range into the Caribbean and some have made it into the States.  I have seen them in Puerto Rico and Cuba.  Actually in Cuba it was the first bird I saw and was inside the airport terminal.  This below bird was found by Marty W at Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach, NC.  I drove up early the next day and was the only other one to see it as it apparently left right after I did.  Purely a coincidence as it was still around when I left.  Interestingly enough, a Shiny Cowbird showed up in Sneads Ferry a week later.  Probably the same one?