Friday, May 22, 2009

eye candy

If ever there was bird eye candy it would be a scarlet tanager. I found this bird earlier in the week next to Forest Lawn Landfill in nice morning light. It was so red the camera had trouble focusing on it and it read some of the the red as greeen
This bird isn't in full adult alternate plumage given the paler brown-black secondaries and primaries. I think that would make it a second year male per the Pyle guide. Note also the very thin red tips to the fresh tertials. Pyle says this can occur in the wing coverts of after-second year birds but doesn't comment on them in the tertials as far as I can tell.

Here's the bird less over-exposed, you can see that the back and head is wholly red, not the artifactual green as above.
I had hoped to chase a white-faced ibis in Washtenaw today which, had I been able to leave immediately for yesterday when I was called about it, I probably would have had. Unfortunately I was on my way to work when the bird was discovered and as far as I can tell not re-found today. I'm finding it much harder than I expected to meet my original goal to add a bird a year in Washtenaw from Berrien. I succeeded on a chase for pacific loon, but missed on chases for golden eagle and black-throated gray warbler, and couldn't leave immediately for this bird (which would have been a state bird). I also didn't chase Franklin's gulls or a varied thrush that didn't seem all that pinned down.
I've been working a lot on the Fish Crow write-up, it took me some time to download the stuff I needed to analyze the video, and there's some more stuff I'd like to do but I think I'm starting to wrap it up.

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