Monday, May 28, 2012

The climb to 300

Trying to find and identify 300 species of birds in Maryland in a year is a lot of fun work. It means getting up excruciatingly early, and taking looooooooooooong drives to the far corners of the state:



"Pipit" at Truitt's Landing around 615 am

And going for long walks in the woods, marsh, field and farm, and beach:



Northern section of Assateague Island State Park, Maryland


Warren went out Friday to Worcester County, home of Ocean City, Assateague Island and the seashore, to look for more birds. He missed Lisa!

The long hours are worth it when you get looks at beautiful nature:



Semipalmated Sandpiper



A closer look....






Seaside Sparrow



Warren trudged along the beach at Assateague Island State Park, looking for endangered Piping Plovers, which nest there. But first:


Willett


Ahem. Well, it is that time of year:




A crazy looking bird, that American Oystercatcher:
 
 
And then there it was!

Piping Plover


There was more than birds to be found out there, too:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
13 hours, 88 bird species, and 8 new ones for 2012!
Ah, birding days go by too quickly:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

91 Species, 26 Warblers, 4 Happy Birders, 1 Fun Day!

Peter and Kimberly Kaestner led us on a magical Maryland Big Day on Saturday with the goal of seeing 30 warblers in a 12 hour period.

This was at about hour 12 and we were thrilled with a total of 26 Warblers and loads of other migrants!


 Common Yellow Throats were one of the least common warblers to show during several hours of hard core birding at Susquehanna State Park.

Blackpoll Warblers reigned and Prothonotary Warblers sang us through the day.  Exhausted (apparently one must get up at 4AM to do a proper Big Day) , we decided to call it quits at about 6PM, after adding 6 new species to Cute Husband's Maryland year list.

The Cute One and I headed home, picked up take out and listened to the final calls of birds in the back yard - adding a long searched for Veery to the day list.

SPRING MIGRATION ROCKS!

Big thanks to Peter K for his photographic genius above and for marrying an uber fun birding pal!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Prepare to Sigh with Delight...


Perfect way to celebrate the pollinators!   Up close and slow mo!

I'm enjoying this video as I hear the tzz tzz tzz of a Blackpoll Warbler working the trees outside.

Sigh.

Happy Friday

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

We wish we could follow them...

This weekend found Cute Husband and me even more hungry than usual for birds.   All weather conditions pointed to a perfect migration fall out.  But first, we made a mad dash for a stray Anhinga that showed up in northern Anne Arundel County on Friday followed by a super educational Bird Club meeting on Horseshoe Crabs.

Bird Clubs rock!  IF you haven't joined your local club, you are really missing out on learning not only about local bird sightings, but also efforts to conserve some of your favorite birds along with ways you can help.

On Sunday, we made an early morning (ugh, but sooo worth it) to Susquehanna State Park.  Warblers were EVERYWHERE!   Canada, Cerulean, Blue Winged, Kentucky, Black and White, Prothonotary, Chestnut Sided, Hooded and  Redstarts.   Vireos joined the party with Warbling, White-eyed, Yellow-throated all representing.  Scarlet Tanagers sang as a hungry Rose-breasted Grosbeak worked the tree tops.

Lovely!

Almost made us forget how much fun our buddies are having in Ohio at the Biggest Week!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Our Wood Thrushes Came Back!!!



Every year, Princess Lisa waits with crazy anticipation, and a little bit (OK, a lot) of worry, as the date approaches for "our" Wood Thrushes to return to the slope behind the Lovenest and serenade us with their flute-like song.

This year, it seemed like the wait took forever. But then, on April 24, Lisa heard them, seemingly far away in the woods.

They are here to stay and - we hope - breed, along with the Scarlet Tanagers, Ovenbirds and other new arrivals.

April 24 is not some random date. Thse guys are on a schedule. Here are the dates we've kept of their arrival each year:

2007:  April 24.

2008 - April 23.

2009 - April 23.

2010 - April 29 (we had been away in Arizona, so this may not be their actual arrival date).

2011 - April 25.

2012 - April 24

Amazing, huh? And they don't have airline tickets from Costa Rica or which ever warm place they spend the winter.

P.S. - Thanks to the Avian Ecology program at the University of Missouri-Columbia (my alma mater) for the photo above.