Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Food fight at the back deck feeders

video These guys had actually calmed down some. There were more mouths then perches and no one was willing to wait their turn.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Big Day Dec 23

Howard county is freezing. That is always promising news for birders. Today seems to be the day that a lot of rare visitors dropped from the sky. here is a partial list of Birds I saw. But by no means inclusive.
At Centennial Lake were the following: a Greater White Fronted Goose (1), Cackling Geese (3), Golden Eye (1), American Black Duck (1), Canvas backs (2) and a lot of other birds, Canadas - 1000+, Mallards, Ruddy Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, American Coots, Ring Necked Ducks, Ring Billed Gulls.

I also Visited Lake Elkhorn. and saw more of the same just a lot less.

The Greater White Fronted is quite rare for Howard County. The last being in 2000, or so I am told.

What is it?

What is this duck? Is this a Green Winged Teal or some knockoff brand of mallard? Black bill, pinkish legs fairly uniform brown throughout except the green wing bars. I found this bird in a mixed flock of Mallards and Mallard Hybrids.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dec 12 again

An added bonus was while I was returning to the hotel room I spotted 2 Purple Finches along the walkway coming back from the beach. I gather that this is a very seldom seen this far south. I am sure that this pair was blown south by the storm.
Before traveling to St. Augustine Florida I tried to contact the local bird club for directions to a nice birding spot but received not response. That, I guess is a good thing because I struck out on my own and I located this rarity. Bad for the St Johns Bird club because I have no one to contact to let them know they have Purple Finches in their county.

If by some miracle someone from St. Johns County reads this posting and is interested, I would be happy to tell them where I found a pair for PF's.


Also blown in by the storm were several beautiful star fish washed up on the shore.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dec 12, 2008. The Beach and the Willet


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Florida Shoreline

Dec 12, 2008
Friday morning in St. Augustine Florida was a cold windy post storm morning. A good time to visit the beach if you are looking for birds that were seeking shelter the night before.

There were Laughing Gulls, Herring Gulls, Ring Billed Gulls, Foster's Terns, Royal Terns, Brown Pelicans and White Pelicans, Sanderlings, Willets, and Ruddy Turnstones.



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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Community Watch program

Locals keep an eye on this trouble maker. 
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Pileated Woodpeckers




Saturday morning 17 degrees and clear. I decided to follow up on some postings of waterfowl located in the next county. Not having many migrents of late, Howard County has been very blah.




Piney Branch Park, located in Carroll County has a beautiful lake that abounds with waterfowl, Canadas, Ringnecked Ducks, Ringbilled Gulls, Buffleheads, Hooded Mergansers, Wigeons, Great Blue Herons, Mallards, Ruddy Ducks, Black Ducks, American Coots and several others that were too far away to view without a scope.




But my highlight for the morning were two Pileated Woodpecker working the trees for insectsPosted by Picasatotally unperturbed by my presences. I watched them for maybe five minutes before they flew off .