Saturday, February 2, 2019

Nothing Special (20Jan-02Feb2019)

Work has been crazy lately but as usual I always seems to find some time for the birds.

First a couple patch birds from random spots.

Black Vulture at a random road north of my house.

American Kestrel too.

Common Goldeneye at Ft Fisher Aquarium pond, not in the patch unfortunately.

Savannah Sparrow also at FF.

The waves at FF were perfect if you are a midget.

The Super Moon was up and poked out from behind clouds a couple times.

A little later once dark.

Then after the Patriots game which was damn good, the boys and I went out to check out the Super Blood Wolf Moon.  This crazy pic was caused due to camera shake, but I thought it was cool.

It was cold and late and I was not figuring out the proper camera settings, so this picture does not do it justice but it was super cool.

One night later, the moon was still pretty cool looking.

Ok enough moons, back to the birds.

Mallard in the patch at Wade Park.

Red-winged Blackbird at Wade.

Song Sparrow at Wade Park.

Last weekend I went on a pelagic which is always fun but I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in the birds and photo ops.

Iceland Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

A handfuls of Hammerhead Sharks was cool but getting a picture is not easy.  I only managed this crappy fin shot.

Great Skuas are always nice to see, but this one was a tease and never came in close.

Northern Gannets are always plentiful on winter pelagics.

Most of the Razorbills were fly-by birds at a distance.

Manx Shearwater

I usually hate putting up pictures unless they are diagnostic, but I was just having some fun with this. Brian P called out "Little Gull!!" on the way back in but after a quick look in the binocs the bird was already flying away from us and we never got a broadside view.  Although the bird on the left is clearly smaller, that also could be perspective so I measured the body length versus wing length by stacking identical sized widgets and it was clear that the Bonaparte's on the right had wings more than two body widths wide.  The Little Gull on the left had wings shorter than 2 body widths.  Little Gulls in general have shorter wings.

Brown Pelican

Great Black-backed Gull

Young Northern Gannet

A huge flock of Brant on the way back in.

These hunters were trying to draw in other Brant with decoys.  I have to say I think this is lame and lazy.  Its not really hunting if you are using bait or lures to drawn in the prey in my opinion.  In fact guns are already kind of unfair.  Not really a fair fight.  You might as well go to the store and buy some meat.  A real hunter uses their bare hands and drops on top of their prey from a tree limb or something.

American Avocets at Pea Island on the way home.

An Ipswich subspecies of Savannah Sparrow at Pea Island.

Snow Geese fly over at Pea Island.

Ruddy at Pea.

American Wigeon at Pea.

Yesterday evening (Friday), I went to Fort Fisher for a short walk along the aquarium trail.

I was surprised to see a Sora right at the entrance to the trail.

American Oystercatchers at Fort Fisher Federal Rocks on Saturday.

Marbled Godwit

Short-billed Dowitcher

Western Sandpiper flanked by some Dunlin.


Western Sandpipers

Northern Cardinal

Second day in a row I saw the continuing Nashville Warbler and this time I managed an awful record shot.  Damn little warbler does not stay still for a second.

American Coot at Ashley HS - unfortunately just outside the patch.

Lesser Scaup - the green sheen is misleading but the peaked back to the head was a dead giveaway.  They say if you see green it could be a Greater or Lesser but if you see purple it is definitely a Lesser.

Loggerhead Shrike with color bands!  I will have to look around and see if I can find a website that helps identify shrikes by color bands.

Ah soo good to get out and bird after a week of hellish work.  I was working 18 hour days all this week waking at 6 and prepping slides then presenting all day then prepping more slides at night until midnight and doing all again Monday through Thursday.  Hopefully the next month will be low key and hopefully some rarity shows up.

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