Sunday, May 4, 2008

BirdCouple's Very Big DC Day

We felt like beginners....

BirdCouple considers ourselves to be pretty good birders, but we were awed by the birding skills of Gregory Gough of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and Scott Baron, whose ear for birdsong is one of the best we've ever come across.

The plan was to do a Big Day at the height of May's spring migration, encountering as many birds as possible, having fun and raising a little money for conservation. Birdcouple had another goal of our own: beating our single-day record of species seen, 83.

We awoke at 2:45 a.m. (ouch!) and drove to Rock Creek Park to hook up with other birders and try for some owls, and then raced around DC birding hot spots until we could bird no more. And here are the birds that we saw, heard or both:

American Robin
Barred Owl
American Woodcock
Mourning Dove
Chipping Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Wood Thrush
Great-Crested Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Red-Eyed Vireo
Chimney Swift
Blue Jay
European Straling
American Goldfinch
Carolina Wren
Scarlet Tanager
Baltimore Oriole
Black and White Warbler
Black-Throated Blue Warbler
Black-Throated GreenWarbler
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
American Crow
Downy Woodpecker
Song Sparrow
Louisiana Waterthrush
Cedar Waxwing
Blue-Winged Warbler
Orchard Oriole
Kentucky Warbler
Greay Catbird
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Cooper's Hawk
Yellow-Throated Vireo
Common Yellowthroat
Fish Crow
Yellow Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Eastern Bluebird
Indigo Bunting
Brown-Headed Cowbird
House Sparrow
Blackpoll Warbler
Hairy Woodpecker
Wood Duck
Eastern Kingbird
Common Grackle
Barn Swallow
Palm Warbler
House Finch
Black-Billed Cuckoo
House Wren
Rock Pigeon
Ring-Billed Gull
Double-Crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Red-Winged Blackbird
Northern Mockingbird
Greater Black-Backed Gull
White-Throated Sparrow
Brown Thrasher
Northern Shoveler
Horned Grebe
Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
Eastern Phoebe
Northern Flicker
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Not a lot of time to take pictures on a Big Day, but we could not pass up this beautiful Rose-Breasted Grosbeak male in breeding plumage..

To continue our sightings:

Turkey Vulture
Ruddy Duck
American Herring Gull
Common Loon
Warbling Vireo
American Black Duck
Tree Swallow
Purple Martin
Belted Kingfisher
White-Eyed Vireo
Red-Tailed Hawk
Bald Eagle
Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

For those counting, that's 92! By the end of the day we were quite proud:

And tired!


John B. said...

That's a really good total for DC. So what sites did you cover?

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

John - We did a spot just outside Rock Creek park for owls; than Rock Creek Park ridge; Rock Creek Park Maintenance Yard/Nature Center; drove down to FDR Memorial area; then DC War Memorial, WW II Memorial and Constitution Gardens; Haines Point; and finally Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Then we slept for 14 hours!

Do you ever get back down this way?

John B. said...

No, I haven't been down since the C&O Canal Count in January.

Larry said...

Wow! it took me a whole month to reach the 90's in January.-That is impressive!