Thursday, June 6, 2013

Downtown Worcester Peregrine Falcon Update and a new hobby por moi! Bird Recording Woot!

It's been another week from hell at work and the only way I can cope is to bird here and there so decided to check on the Peregrine Falcons yesterday at lunch with my co worker and buddy Chris where we'd see both the adults close to the People's United building continuing to be on the look out for potential threats.

Both would fly around the building with their Indian war like call ringing throughout downtown Worcester so I'd get my first "do you know what those birds are" from people walking the streets as you can't help to hear them.  I'd be glad to fill them in as there's one thing I can never get tired of talking about which are the Peregrine Falcon's!

But the two birds I wanted to see more than the adults were the two juves and after some walking around I found the perfect spot to see them and even managed a half way decent photo considering how far up they are.  As you can see they got rid of the white plumage which has been replaced with their typical juvenile plumage.  Swoon!  So funny to see them watching mom fly around and my co worker wondered if mom was trying to show them how to fly and I'm wondering if she has a point as they were captivated!

On our way back to work I'd see some prey on top of the People's United logo which looked too big to be a Rock Pigeon so of course I had to try and get a better view and a photo!  My co worker thought nothing of me taking pictures of dead birds as she knows me all too well which is always why she's one of my buds!  Wish I could have gotten closer as I'm intrigued and wondering if it's a crow.

And now ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for.  Drumroll please.............I proudly present to you the debut of the Curious Birder on the premiere bird recording network of the entire planet.    Xeno Canto!!.  Woot!!!  Yes I've been a member there for over two years and spend many nights geeking out on it but my interest in bird song has really grown this past year so want to spend the slow months of summer bringing it to another level and have a theory in my mind that if I record bird songs and calls, I'll retain them more, especially chip notes which do all sound the same to me (though I can tell a sparrow chip note from a warbler chip note but can't always tell which sparrow or warbler it is many times!  Plus song and calls are the way birds communicate with one another so consider it a fun and interesting way for me to learn more about the breeding birds and how they interact with one another.

I'd do my first recording yesterday morning at Martha Deering with one of my first recording artists being none other than the beautiful Wood Thrush.
I'd actually spend about an additional 5 minutes just listening to this bird and every second that passed, my blood pressure would decrease and my breath would slow down and I'd be in a state of mind people go to the pharmacy for and it would be then I'd remember why I love birding by ear more than I do by eye.

If fact, I'd be so addicted I'd do it again this morning and be at Brierly as the sun rose with one bird in particular I wanted to record and of course he'd be in full song as soon as I walked the path.
Who would be my very lovable and tame Veery.  Every year I wind up finding a particular bird to take an interest in and go to see whenever I get bored with last year being the Barn Swallows and this year the Veery.  I know exactly where he hangs out and it never takes me long to find him and can get lost forever just getting my binoculars on him and watching him sing, preen and eat.  He also has a wonderful set of pipes I never get sick of hearing.  I'd luck out this morning though and not only get him but two others and they'd all treat me to a Veery chorus putting my ears in a state of euphoria as you will hear above.  Swoon!

I'd make my way down the path after that with a nice glow going on as I realized how much less stressful it is to bird with no purpose as I took my time just listening when suddenly I would hear warbler chip notes coming from some nearby shrubs.  Hmmmmmmm.....I think I hear the chip note of a Black-and-white Warbler I'd think.  No wait, I year a Common Yellowthroat for sure.  Hmmmmm....Another one I don't think I know..Could it be the Blue-winged whose always around here?  Suddenly my sense of calm diminishes as out come the bins in the general area while I start my pishing.  Out would pop my singing bird and this is what I'd see.

Yup, just your typical morning warbler a** and under little sun and in dense green no less!  I'd see it good enough to think it was my Black-and-white and was hoping it would turn around but flew off instead and then I'd see another bird dart next to it and figured I'd get my confirmation with the other bird and this is what I'd see.

Yup a Blue-winged Warbler.  To make matters even more confusing I could have sworn I saw the B&W flutter its wings some as if it were begging the BW to feed it, but then off they'd both fly as I pished again thinking the B&W I had was a juve as the chip notes sounded a little off to me when I first heard them and this bird would continue to be chipping with now adult two adult B&W's singing nearby.

And this would be the best picture I could manage but you can clearly see it's still calling. Also note the white wing bars, buffy flanks and limited streaking (in fact less streaking than what I normally see on a female) so still wondering if its a juve but not sure if it's still too early for them or not.  Whatever it was, it was still interesting and was glad to know I'm getting better with my calls.

Take care all.


Larry said...

I end up using video just to get bird songs that I don't recognize.I recently did that in the Berkshires and found out the mystery bird was a warbler.I think recording the songs and chips to learn them is a good method.

Kim said...

Larry, if you have a Smart Phone try that. You can download an app free and it records calls and you can download them right into Xeno-canto. I was using the video to my camera too but it used up a lot of battery power. Now I'll be making that monthly usage charge for the data of my phone a little more worthy as I love it. I do a lot of recording for my record shots plus it's fun to go home and listen to them to learn more. Great for when you do an eBird report and can't get a decent photo of a bird you know is going to get flagged. HA


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