Monday, August 31, 2009
Lisa and I got in some very brief, but very pleasurable and very efficient, birding Sunday morning with our dear friend Peter Kaestner, who, with his family, is now back from India.
We were chasing a Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher, a marvelous bird not often seen in these parts. It had been hanging around for a week just a couple of miles outside the lovely little Eastern Shore town of Sudlersville, Maryland. (Sudlersville, as everyone knows, is the birthplace of baseball hall of famer Jimmie Foxx, and there's a statue in the center of town to commemerate him).
We headed north of town to the spot where the bird had been, well, spot-ted. Cruising down a two-lane country road, Peter and I both eyed a bird on a telephone wire. We slowed. We stopped. We turned around. We looked. Bingo.
Warren's and Lisa's cameras -- yes, cameras - were on the blink, but Peter took both these lovely shots. We're grateful he shared them with us for Birdcouple-blogging purposes.
Here's another of Peter's shots. You can clearly see where the long tail-streamers have broken off. Is this molt? A juvenile bird? Birdcouple must research and find out!
Then it was off to a nearby sod farm, where we ran into friends Ross Geredien and Dave Curson, and enjoyed shorebirds, like Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs and American Golden-Plover. Then, all too soon, it was time to say goodbye to Peter and friends, and head home ... for a sunset cruise in a schooner. But that's another post.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Birdcouple has been off hiking the Appalachian Trail again - closing in on the 600-mile mark in our travels along the AT! Wahoo!!!
We'll be posting full details of the adventure soon on BC's AT blog.
And we'll be back to the birds soon. Fall migration is on!!
* Johns Hollow Shelter, Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
All told, Warren put 280 miles on his 2001 Mustang convertible, zig-zagging around the Delaware coast and then over to Dorchester County, Maryland, to add Bank Swallow to his list of Maryland birds and visit the lovely little town of Hurlock, Maryland, where Birdcouple has never been before.
And then it was home, Warren and his car, exhausted, to lovely Lisa...
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Maybe it's because we stayed up nearly until 2 am on Friday reminiscing with Adam, who is about to make the big step to becoming a college man, but we flew out of here on Saturday morning with half our usual bird gear - including no camera.
Our destination was Ocean City, Maryland, where we were to watch Adam's older brother, Mitch, play in the annual O.C. Lacrosse Tournament. Of course, we scheduled some birding around Mitch's matches. And Warren managed to snap a few pics with the camera on his new BlackBerry.
Lisa makes any optical device look great. Isn't she beautiful and stylish as she spys the birdlife on Skimmer Island?
The island, in the bay just west of OC, was crazy good with birds - Black Skimmers galore, Royal Terns, a pair of Marbled Godwits, oystercatchers, dowitchers, a Tri-Colored Heron and more. Here's a cellphone shot of the island:
Thursday, August 13, 2009
_ In case you haven't heard, September 5 this year is International Vulture Awareness Day. This isn't a joke. Vultures are beautiful (in a way), important to the ecosystem--and many species are facing threats to their survival.
_ A new species of bird was recently discovered in a remote part of Laos, in Southeast Asia. It's a bird without feathers on its face, and is named (appropriately, we think) the Bare-Faced Bulbul. First new species of bulbul discovered in 100 years. We're amazed that new species of birds are still discovered, or rediscovered, on our home planet on a fairly regular basis.
_ The American Bird Conservancy did a study in Peru to help preserve the Marvelous Saptuletail, arguably the world's most spectacular hummingbird. It found that 64 other bird species could benefit from protecting the hummer's habitat.
_ New data from the US Fish & Wildlife Service on birding demographics. There are A LOT of us: 48 million, or about 21 percent of the population. Of those, 42 million, or 88 percent, are self-described away-from-home birders.
The study says: "The average birder is 50 years old and more than likely has a better than average income and education. She is slightly more likely to be female and highly likely to be white. There is also a good chance that this birder lives in the south in an urban area. Does this paint an accurate picture of a birder? Like all generalizations the description of an "average" birder does not reflect the variety of people who bird, with millions falling outside this box."
_ Finally, Paul Baicich passed on this item about how six waterfowl decoys recently sold at auction for $1.8 million. You read that right, $1.8 million.
Birders, birding and bird decoys ... we've made it, bigtime. More soon...
Saturday, August 8, 2009
We watched in struggle for about 15 minutes, looking like an avian swimmer doing the 200m butterfly. It moved away from us and close to the opposite shore. Two other kingfishers (parents?) flew from tree to tree around the pond edge. Sure hope the little guy or gal made it to safety before a Cooper's Hawk came by.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Birdcouple's been bigtime busy. What else is new, right?
But finally we have gotten our act together, and created a Facebook page to go along with the blog. Please check us out here and, if you want, join our growing legions of fans.
Sweet - great posts on organic food, CSAs and zucchini. Really helping drive Web traffic. Don't mean to be criticial, but maybe we should think of putting up some bird pictures and information soon. Otherwise we will have to rename the blog Foodcouple.
Please share thoughts. Or we could meet on this one? Our place, our ours?
MEMO (in response to your MEMO)
TO: Cute Husband
Sugar - (oh, sorry that is a food item),
Agree. So please take me birding this weekend. I'd still like to meet to discuss further, our ours.
PS - you still plan to grill that steak for me tonight, right?
RE: re: Birdcouple
Yes, I will grill you steaks (food) ce soire, while we listen to WOOD THRUSHES (birds)!!!
I don't know if it is because July birding was a little dull or if it is because the farmers' markets are just brimming with tons of local fresh goodies or if it is because the LoveNest yard finally produced something we ate rather than the deer eating.
But, I am obsessed.
Yesterday, I checked out a Farmer's Market recommended by Ross Geredien, our buddy from Good Migrations.
And, I found our local meat man!
Lew Dodd and his wife run Cedar Run Cattle Company in Sudlersville, MD.
Local beef, pork, chicken with no growth hormones, growth stimulants, artificial or antibiotic feed additives.
I really enjoyed talking to Mr. Dodd - who assured me that he didn't want to eat anything that had all that garbage in it either.
Tonight...a big 'ole T-Bone steak!
Tomorrow... back to the birds, I promise!
We are day-tripping tomorrow in Western Maryland with Dan Haas who is currently ranting about his obsession with boobies on Nervous Birds.
So birds on the BirdCouple menu tomorrow!
In the meantime... I'm hungry....
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
We subscribed to our first Community Supported Farm for some delicious goodies for the fall... all raised in our home state!
Then, today I noticed that we are apparently in the "in crowd"....
More on the growing popularity for CSAs here...
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Salad Mix, Cabbage, Spinach and Sweet Potatoes.... come on fall!
Monday, August 3, 2009
The name of the game on Saturday night was to bring something locally grown or organic to share a feast at the LoveNest.
Mid-summer in Maryland is brimming with local corn, heirloom tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches and tons of zucchini and yellow squash- making it the perfect time of the year to enjoy some fresh "made in Maryland" goodies with some home-grown friends.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Brown-Backed Solitaire has been seen or heard several times in the southeastern U.S., but it is a popular caged bird in Mexico, and those records may have been of escapees.
This may qualify as the first confirmed North American record. Young birders give us hope! Really worth listening to the NPR piece...