Friday, April 30, 2010

Fallout File Photofest

Last night saw the 2nd night of S winds after a week of north and sure enough, the radar screens on the weather sites just lit up with migrating birds. We had pretty high hopes for this morning. While places with a water barrier like Crane Creek in Ohio saw a pretty good wave of warblers pile in, most seemed to keep going over us. However, there were good numbers of birds flying back in off the lake this morning at Tiscornia.

The big ticket item was a first spring Lark Sparrow, a bird I picked up flying in off the lake, a medium sized passerine with a relatively long tail, complex facial pattern and mild side streaking which flew into one of the poplars. It was in the shade for a few seconds, then hopped up into the sun revealing the harlequin facial pattern. It stayed long enough for Tim to get a good look through the scope, but after a couple seconds dropped out and we never re-found it.
I photographed this lark sparrow (also in a poplar or a cottonwood) in Colorado, it has a little more color to the face than our (younger) bird had today.

We also had a dickcissel fly by us, the auto-focus took a long time to lock on so we're left with another file photo, this one from Sarett a few years ago...

This immature Glaucous Gull has been hanging out for about 6 weeks...

This egret was one of four to fly in off the lake as well...
Also present was a pipit, harrier, numerous Indigo Buntings, goldfinches, cliff swallows, martins, white-crowned sparrows, kingbirds, and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.
This was definitely a weather pattern to remember, the 2nd day of strong south winds after a week of north. Floral was decidedly lacking in birds, clearly the birds mostly over-flew us, but this bizarre combination of birds gives an interesting sample of what all is in the air at night.

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