Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Biggest Week in American Birding...from Canada?

Wild Turkeys doing that Wild Turkey thing up a tree...
It's Canada, no Thanksgiving Day feast to worry about up here!

I know, it's been a while since I posted. The weather at the BirdMobile hasn't been conducive to getting an internet connection. Friday night we had tornado warnings and today is a real windy day at Magee Marsh. I had a table set up for a short time, but the tent started to blow away with the Doodles still hanging on. So, for today, I'm giving up and sitting in the car posting at last.

You're probably wondering why this first post from BWIAB is about Canada...or not. We took a boat trip across Lake Erie to Point Pelee Park in Ottawa to catch a few warblers or anything else with wings... The weather was good that day, no sea sickness! The birding was a little quiet, a good number of species, but single birds. Well, here's a few photos before my battery goes dead!

There are always plenty of Yellow Warblers singing from the tree tops...though this guy doesn't appear to be singing right now...

Oooohh...a Scarlet Tanager! We also saw a female along with a gang of other males trying to put the moves on her!

You may think you know what this bird is, but you may be wrong!
It's a Red-headed "Weedpicker!"
That's what happens to woodpeckers that are afraid of heights...

You can tell the male and female Red-bellied Woodpeckers by their bills...the females is open,
the males is very closed...very, very closed. Smart bird, eh?

We spotted a few Northern Waterthrushes in the area...and this one even stood still!

These three Dunlin zoomed in and zoomed out before anyone else saw them. I was lucky enough to get one shot!

I managed to spot two different Blue-gray Gnatcatchers building nests!

Hundreds of Barn Swallow were circling around one of the nature centers...and a couple even sat for their portraits.

For now I'll leave you with this parting shot of a Baltimore Oriole.

I helped push a van(Matt Mendenhall's of Birders World Mag) out of the mud here at our vendor area and managed to get myself covered in mud. All in all an exciting day so far! When I recharge the batteries, download more birdy butts and get organized, I post more details!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lifers...part deux...

Yep, that's a Worm-eating Warbler, but I don't think he's eating a worm...

This is another long post of pics! I can see by the Fatbirders number on the side that I'm slipping down...I'll post another rant next time to make things more interesting...or maybe I'll let Bob loose on you! That'll teach you!

I'll keep it short, these are from Sunday at Magee Marsh, a three lifer day! See what you're missing?

Lifer number two...a female Summer Tanager...and a butt shot no less!

And here's the pretty pose.
"I think I went the wrong direction..."

This would have been a great(and ONLY!) shot of a White-eyed Vireo, lifer number three,
if that stoopid Bob didn't push me because he saw a cute girlie chipmunk....ooooo that Bob!

Not a lifer, but a cool bird to see, a Blackburnian Warbler, actually down low!

Anyone can post cute and pretty pics of warblers! Where else can you see the odd stuff but here?
It's a Chestnut-sided Warbler by the way, see the chestnut on his sides?

This is one of those great ones that gets folks confused! It's a female Common Yellowthroat.

Who's this mystery booty?

"Why, I'm the prettiest Northern Waterthrush in the marsh"
You should see him shake that booty!

Speaking of rump shots, you can see Palm Warblers by the dozens at Magee!

This Snowy Egret is working it!
Oh yeah, let your hair flow in the breeze baby!

Your typical view of a Warbling Vireo...

And we can't forget about all of the Yellow-rumped Warblers flitting about!
They'll keep your binoculars hopping!

A new pair of 'Doodles' for the Doodles! Courtesy of the gift shop at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory!

Speaking of BSBO...We'll be at the Biggest Week in American Birding starting on Thursday, when we'll be off to Canada...wha?...Canada? Yep, things start off at Point Pelee.

I'll try to post updates every night from the BirdMobile! Look out warbly things, here we come!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The May-hem Begins!

Yes, there IS a bird in there somewhere, a very important bird!

What a great weekend at Magee! It's almost the start of the Biggest Week in American Birding and we were getting a head start...along with a lot of others! There are guides from Black Swamp and Tropical Birding helping out too! Look for their mustard yellow caps, even a color blind guy can see them. It's nice to have help when you're looking for new birds!

We went to the BirdMobile Friday evening and stayed through Sunday. The weathermorons said to expect heavy rain, high winds, thunder, lightning, volcanoes, typhoons, and glaciers. Well, we did see a little rain and it was a little windy...but, all in all, not a bad time!

Now, let's get to the first photo(one of too many posted I fear)...that tiny little bird in the middle, the one that's a little over four inches long...and a bit on the very active side? That's a Cerulean Warbler. That's also a life bird for me and the Doodles(insert silly dance here!) As you know, lifers are never easy to see and this was noooo exception! I only had a chance at two shots before he disappeared into the nether regions of the marsh.

And he was only the beginning! We nabbed 54 species this weekend, with 15 being warblers. Pretty good for a couple of silly people! We also totaled up FOUR LIFERS altogether! But, you'll have to wait to see them!

In the mean time...I hope you like at least one of these photos...if not...I have plenty more!

Any day you see a Blackburnian Warbler is a good day!
Believe it or not, I could not get a butt shot of this of these days...

This Black-throated Green Warbler was singing a happy between eating tiny little buggies...

I have no problem getting rump shots of Blue-headed Vireos!

This guy is one of my tormentors. He's a Cape May Warbler. They don't like me taking their photographs.
This is one of my better shots. Honest. Sucks, don't it.

The nice thing about Woodpeckers, including this Downy...
all of the shots are butt shots.

This Gray Catbird(one of my favorite birdies by the way!) was not happy when I asked him to turn around for a booty shot.

You gotta love a warbler with racing stripes on his head!
This is an Ovenbird by the way...

"What's that smell?!"
Palm Warblers get a little ripe after that long flight to Magee...

This is a Rose-breasted can tell because of the rosy breast...that you can't see...

It was definitely a "Birds From Behind" sort of weekend.
Even the Scarlet Tanager came down to pose for me!

This Swainson's Thrush wasn't quite sure about me...
"So...uh...watcha lookin' at there bub?"

Oh, speaking of worms...I'm starving!
Did you know that Veery's do not share their meals?

You know it's a good weekend when you find not one, but...

...TWO Whip-poor-wills!
The first one had people lining up to view him down a slender path in the woods.
The second was pointed out to me by a young Amish boy with the keenest eye sight!

The White-throated Sparrow was not impressed.
"We see them guys all the time down here."

The birds talk to me. Really.

Look at that buttery butt!
The Yellow-rumped Warbler said "Yeah baby, feast your eyes on this dollop of sunshine!"

Like I said, they talk to me...I can hear the voices...

By the way...has anyone seen Bob lately? Where is that rascal...