Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Ducks are HERE!

It seems like they are late this year.... or perhaps I am just longing to see my most favorite ducks of them all- Canvasbacks!   The classiest of all ducks in the land!

Today, Cute Husband (the classiest of all husbands in the land) forwarded me the first posting that the ducks have arrived. 


Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Scaup, Teal.... 

Brrrrr.... now if only I could find a heated bubble to bird in....

Monday, November 26, 2012

Birdcouple (the blog) is 6!!!

Birdcouple (the couple) is actually almost 11. Eleven fab years of Warren and Lisa. :) Our little baby here,, turned 6 on Sunday.

Here is our first, kinda lame post on November 25, 2006.

So what to do on our blogoversary? We spent the afternoon doing one of our favorite things - birding!!

This immature Rufous Hummingbird has been hanging out for two weeks at a feeder near Havre de Grace, Maryland. It gave us great looks, just minutes after we arrived. We've had lots of Rufous, Calliope and late Ruby-Throated Hummers in Maryland this fall.

This bird at Susquehanna State Park was even more of a shocker in some ways. One of the first November records for Black-and-White Warbler in Maryland.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!


A belated Happy Thanksgiving from Birdcouple!  Hope everyone had a wondeful Holiday.
We got this lovely pre-Thanksgiving surprise in the (E-)mail. Back on January 5, 2011, Warren was birding at Hillsmere Beach in Annapolis when he saw a Tundra Swan (described above as a Whistling Swan, actually a subspecies) with a band on its leg. He recorded the number and sent it online.
This certificate shows that the bird was hatched in 2007, and banded on August 29, 2007. It was about 3 1/2 years old when I saw it.
Most cool of all,  the bird was banded up on the North Slope of Alaska. Drop these numbers _ 70.41667, -150.58333 - into Google Maps or some similar program and you'll see what we mean.
That's a LOOOOONG way from Naptown USA!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Can't We All Just Get Along? - The Different Birder Tribes

Courtesy of Michael Speicher, first posted to the Maryland Birding Google Group.

YES, for EVERY county and YES for every year for the last 30 years - you got a problem with that? Typically put over 300K miles on vehicles before trading them in, but only get a new car every other year.
When asked, "Hey, Jim is that one for your life list?" you are thinking, "I just like looking at the damn things and now you're telling me i got to keep records?"
FEEDER WATCHERS, squirrel intolerant
FEEDER WATCHERS, squirrel's gotta eat too
Those other flappy things are birds?
What's not to like? No need to strain your neck looking into the treetops. They're drab, looking the same in good light and bad, but they're ALWAYS popping into view JUST as you put your bins down. 
I got my cell phone and it's loaded with apps; i even got my TABLET with me and it's got even more apps...tell me why are we standing in this field? It's kind of damp here and...ZAAAAAAP!
If my camera hasn't seen the bird, i haven't seen the bird!
Likely the offspring of librarians: Hey everybody, can anyone help me to confirm that sighting from 30 years ago?
Tramp down obscure paths in W MD never quite sure what they have heard and can't see the birds for the forested tree-tops. Are most happy when they find warblers that were the product of confused parents.
and lately
All birds can be reduced to 4-letter words!
Is it any wonder there's going to be tension on the list from time to time? But the plain truth is we are all better off for the diversity, so let's agree to put up with each other and feel free to add to my categories. I'm sure i've only scratched the surface.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Birding after Huricane Sandy

Along with a lot of human misery, "superstorm Sandy" brought in scads of unusual birds from far afield. Normally ocean-going or coastal species like Pomarine Jaeger and American Oysterctacher were found far in land, up major rivers and tributaries.

These Red Phalaropes, the most ocean-going of the three Phalarope species, were a life bird for us. They were on the lake behind Conowingo Dam, along the Susquehanna River.

Beautiful birds!

Lisa would LOVE to see one of these Phalaropes in its stunning red winter plumage some day!
There had been 5 or more Phalaropes at this location right after Sandy, along with Pomarine Jaegers. Iceland Gulls and other crazy stuff. We felt thrilled that a pair were still there, and gave us great close-up looks.
Here's a Reuters article about post-Sandy birding in the New York city area.