Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Solo & Sore Birding

A disappointing day of birding. Not for species count per say as I had my average 40 species, but my camera did not want to cooperate and the birds did not want to get close up. Not to mention I woke up at 4AM and couldn't go back to bed so I decided to get up and have coffee and listen for which bird would be the first to sing for the day. It was a Northern Cardinal at 4:06AM followed by an American Robin at 4:14AM. Pathetic, I know, but cool at the same time! I also have sore calves from all of that walking on rocks yesterday so I knew right away I wouldn't be hiking and instead have temporarily increased my protein and downed a few Glutamine to help with the soreness.

Anyhow, it was leisurely birding for me which I have a hard time with. Yes I like to take my time and bird, but if I am not seeing anything I find of interest, I tend to pick up the pace to cover more miles which was impossible with my calves that feel like they are bruised. The best picture I got all day was of the Great-blue Heron above and that was taken at 3:30PM today!

I started off in Sutton at the place were the Forbush Bird Club saw the Grasshopper Sparrow and Eastern Meadowlark, but everything was strangely quiet until a Coopers Hawk decided to venture over to a pine tree and that is when all hell broke loose. Suddenly I saw a couple of Red-winged Blackbirds go after it as well as two Barn Swallows. The Coopers went away without breakfast as the outraged songbirds flew after it. Very interesting to watch and two more birds to add to my "birds who stalk hawks list" (so far I only have an American Crow, Blue Jay and a Baltimore Oriole so this almost doubles the list!)

A far away Scarlett Tanager taken at Martha Deerborn this afternoon. One thing I have noticed lately is that birding is getting rather repetitious now because of many of the warblers and shorebirds venturing north. I now see this bird almost everywhere I go.

I decided to check on the Common Ravens to shake things up a little and I believe the lousy photo above is of one of the juvies. I have no proof of this but they were rather loud today and I have noticed that juvies and fledglings are rather loud and that is why I have had such luck in finding them. It's almost as if they have found their voice for the first time and use it every chance they get. All though not pretty, the call of the Common Raven is wonderful on the ears and I stood and listened for a while.

Speaking of voices, one thing I have noticed over the past week or so is that some of the Black-capped Chickadees I have come across sound almost hoarse. Now I know the Black-capped is a lot more hoarse compared to the Carolina, but this is even worse, almost subdued. It is really odd and am wondering if they are recently fledged birds?

The picture above is a perfect example of some of my camera challenges today. Check out this poor Field Sparrow. He looks as if he was up all night at the local pub and is now at the neighborhood diner trying to get down his omelet for energy before his school finals later in the day. Not that I would know anything about that of course. He must have been out with the Song Sparrow I had seen two weeks or so ago.

Another shot of a Field Sparrow at a different location. Much better but not my best that's for sure.

And one of my favorite birds to stalk which is the Red-eyed Vireo. I am drawn to this bird the way a moth is to light. It talks to itself constantly which makes it easy to spot if you just follow your ears and eyes to the right branch. What made this observation interesting is that it was almost behaving like a White-breasted Nuthatch in that it would creep around the branches to trees trying to get some insects I am guessing. Very cool to watch.

I also saw my first Juvie European Starlings of the season. As if we needed anymore that is.

Have a great week everyone. Cross your fingers that the young Peregrine Falcons will be out on the ledge tomorrow and I can show you my first close ups of the three of them!


Larry said...

I think that as a relatively new birder who has seen a ton of new birds you may be experiencing temporary burnout.-There is always more than one way to enjoy the birding hobby to keep the interest going.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kim, Regardless, it seems as if you had a great day. You got some good pictures ---although I understand about birds not cooperating for the camera...

Those juvenile Starlings are cute. I don't much like Starlings---but all babies are just adorable..

Have a good day tomorrow. I can't wait to see the pictures of the Falcon babies.

A Scattering said...

I'm green with envy over your Great Blue shots. Awesome!

Kelly said...

...I enjoyed your post and think you got some nice photos. I haven't been able to capture any Scarlet Tanagers this year.....except one pathetic shot. You've had several. And of course, lovely Big Blues!

Ratty said...

I have a lot of down days like this too when I go out looking for anything to get pictures of, but when I look back at those days I realize that some of them were actually pretty good.

Rene said...

Equipment problems are a fact of life with digital cameras. It always sucks, but it sounds like you saw quite a few interesting birds. I love little chickadees.

Chris Petrak said...

I'm normally an early riser, in part because my cats wake me up for their breakfast - I ignore them by listening for the early birds that start singing - always a great way to begin the day.

Chris said...

Come on Kallen, are you kind of complaining because you only saw 40 species ;-) Here we only see on average 20 species on a walk, unless we are making kilometers using the car!! imagine the number of species we saw in the last week end we did. Only 57 for 450km!!! You have a huge variety around you, I sometime envy you so much ;-)

Gunnar Engblom said...

Tweeted your blog post. Hope it gave you some hits. There were three retweets. You are twittering anymore?
Birds hardly ever cooperates with my camera either.


Related Posts with Thumbnails