Saturday, April 25, 2020

Social Distancing (28Mar - 11Apr2020)

I know, everyone is sick of that word.  And I am a loaner usually anyhow so it's not too different.  The irony is that although I need to stay away from people, I have to stay close to home.  I am glad that mother nature seems to be getting a bit of a break though. The air quality is so good I can see the Himalayas.

At the end of March, I made one try for something a little farther afield and went to Howell Woods. Of course after the hour plus drive I get there to find a Closed due to COVID sign which was super annoying considering I checked online before I went. So I explored some side roads and found some early breeders but nothing too special.

White-eyed Vireo

On the east side of Holly Shelter on a subsequent weekend I found some more early breeders and some birds hightailing it north.

Common Loon migrating just above the trees.

Bachman's Sparrow

A skink?

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Prothonotary Warbler

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Common Yellowthroat

Oddly enough the Johnnie Mercer pier was open most of April...  It still is but they closed the parking lots to people living off island so you can't really park.

Common Loon almost in breeding plumage.

Least Terns are back

Sandwich too.

Laughing Gulls are looking snappy.

Purple Martins are back...

They are fighting the House Sparrows for real estate.

Common Tern

WTF!!! A Mute Swan on the ocean?  Can I call this a wild countable one?  I have never seen a Mute Swan on the ocean before.  At one point it was in the middle of a huge loon flock.

My first day off of the year and I decided to make a dash to Jordan Lake in Chatham County to try for the Neotropic Cormorant that Jelmer found.  My biggest mistake was I decided to take the back way and stopped a couple times to bird including at the Lock and Dam in the Riegelwood area.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow at Lock and Dam

I got to Jordan Lake and apparently missed the Cormorant by about 30 minutes.  It was never seen again...  This is life. I am pretty sure we will get another soon although that was the first NC record.

Caspian Tern

Northern Rough-winged Swallow.

After that debacle I have decided to stay local.  Here are some photos of some local birds at CB State Park which is thankfully still open.

Great Crested Flycatcher

Painted Bunting

Spotted Sandpiper

Yellow-throated Warbler

Meanwhile at CB Lake....

Barn Swallow


DC Corm waving hello

Blue-winged Teal

Laughing Gull

I love April.  The March doldrums are finally over.

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