Wednesday, September 22, 2010

BLACK SWAMP BLING!!...and more!

The Wilson's Warbly sez:

I'll bet there's a bunch of folks looking at this post and trying to figure out how they got here! I hope they aren't too disappointed...

If you came here on purpose, I thank you for visiting.

We had a lovely morning with our buddies from the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and a morning bird banding demonstration with Mark Shieldcastle and friends. We had a nice selection of warblys, Wilson's, Blackpoll, Tennessee, Blackpoll, Magnolia, Blackpoll...oh and Gray Catbirds galore! Catbirds like to fly into nets. Cardinals like to eat people.

If you get the opportunity to visit, you will have a great time and maybe, just maybe, you'll learn something!

This is an American Redstart trying to be big and intimidating.
Scary huh...

"I'm a raptor and I'm going to peck your eyes out!"

Check out the mighty rictal bristles!
It makes it easier to go om-nom on the buggies!

Here's one of my Blackpoll Warbly buddies.
I think he wanted to get a little closer to my lens...very curious little fellow!

Here's a Gray Catbird having a bad hair day.

Mark is amazing!
He can hold a bird, measure it, write down the info and put on the band ALL AT THE SAME TIME!
I can barely walk and talk at once...

Please note the look in Mark's eyes.
He knows Bobb all too well...

It's that time of year when Northern Cardinals all seem to have that same punk hair do.

This Gray-cheeked Thrush was tuckered out after getting some new bling.
Actually, when a bird is gently turned on his back, they feel the pressure on their wings and believe they are still being held.

'How to weigh a Thrush'
Step one: Catch a Thrush.
Step two: Shove them head first into a paper cone.
Step three: Stop giggling and let them out.

When you see a Thrush this close, it seems so easy to tell them apart!
On the left, a Swainson's Thrush, on the right, a Gray-cheeked Thrush.

Thrush Butts!!!
From the left, Veery, Swainson's and Gray-cheeked.
See it's easy. Until you get them in the forest, in the shade...

And now from the side that normal people like...
Gray-cheeked, Swainson's and Veery.

This one puzzled me when I got home...until I looked at his booty. It's white.
That means it's a Tennessee Warbly!

Many of the warblys can be identified by their derrieres.
And you think I'm silly.
Magnolia Warblys have that distinct white band across their tails.

Members of the "ButterButt" family of warblys.
On the left is a (messy)juvenile and on the right a much larger adult Magnolia Warbly.
Cape May and Yellow-rumped also have that yellow marking.

...And More section!!
...from the annual Black Swamp Banquet...

This is our buddy Greg Miller, an outstanding Ohio birder.
If you look closely at his cell phone you'll see Greg and Jack Black together.
Greg was an adviser for all things birdy on a forthcoming film based on the book "The Big Year" by Mark Obmascik, starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson!

Great food all locally grown and great company too!
This is The Doodles with Bianca, aka Herongirl and her son Darrick.
Darrick laughs at my jokes. We will find help for him soon...

...and the other side of the table had Greg Miller, Cheryl Harner(hiding in the weeds as usual!),
and our neighbors and best buds, Judy and Hugh.

There was glorious speechification, awards presented and the keynote speaker, Robert Michael Pyle reading highlights from his big butterfly year "Mariposa Road."
Oh...and the most CHOCOLICIOUS chocolate cake on the planet!


  1. Wow! What AMAZING thrush pictures! Why are they not so cooperative in the field? But I get it now... Looks like a great time was had by all. .. So we have GREAT birding in Maryland - shores, mountains, farms, you name it. Must come visit.

    PS - Great headline to draw people in. I've been thinking of trying the same trick, so to speak.

  2. Excellent series!! I have a banding station nearby in Long Point and always like to drop by when I'm in that area, always something interesting

  3. A nice blog, and the birds were outstanding.

  4. Thanks for the post, Dave. BSBO does good stuff.

  5. Hi BirdCouple! I've had to delete a couple of comments because of the title...and one 'follower'...oops.

    Harold, maybe we'll see you at Magee one of these days.

    Thanks Bob, and thanks for being one of the normal folks to post a comment!

    Kimmay! We're here for you, BSBO does GREAT stuff!

  6. ...awesome post, Dave!! (I miss Bob. I didn't know he spelled his name with two Bs. That's just so Bobb!) Your first photo melts my heart--those eyes are incredible!

  7. Thanks Kelly! Bobb wants to be like Kenn...