Saturday, October 31, 2020

B birds for the BBC

 Some cold winds didn't dissuade our BBC outing to Tiscornia this morning.  I think I've had Bonaparte's Gulls, Black-bellied Plover, and Bald Eagle on each of the beachfront BBC outings and today was no different with a couple Black-bellieds waiting for us amidst the gulls

Bonaparte's Gulls have been hanging out.  Today they were mostly pretty distant but a few flocks came in pretty close.

Loons were probably the birds of the day.  We saw a couple small flocks of Commons go over the pier.

Returning to the B theme snow Buntings have also been flying about, and today were landing on the beach.

This is one of the larger flocks of Black Ducks (with a few gadwall) that I've seen at Tiscornia

Finally the requisite BBC Bald Eagle.  I think this is probably a 3 year old bird based on limited white in the underparts and the white starting to come into the head but leaving a brown earstripe

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Grosbeaks by Lisa

 Evening Grosbeaks are apparently irrupting this fall, and Lisa has had some coming sporadically to her feeders.  I think I can count on my hands the number of times I've come across this Northern species, and the first time I've gotten even close to decent pics...

Fortunately for me the feeder they were coming in to had a nice weathered wood look to it.  

Maybe they should be called Autumn Grosbeaks...

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sani Canopy Tower, part II

 Picking up where I left off here (after a ridiculously long period) with probably my favorite morning of the Ecaudor trip, a morning in a canopy tower in Ecaudor's amazonian lowlands

The Great Potoo was pretty asleep at this point.

I'm treating this Golden-bellied Euphonia as my 1500th life bird.  The exact order of birds was a little hazy, and the eBird lists didn't get done until the trip was done so we'll just go with this one.

And it's possible that the above bird is a female Rufous-bellied (like the male below).  Clearly I need to go back and see these birds again.

No ID issues with Gilded Barbet, and my best view of this species.

Treetop tanagers are always nice to have at eye level.  These are Opal-rumped Tanagers

And the other end of the showy little bird spectrum, Slender-footed Tyrannulet, I would assume a close cousin of Central America's Mistletoe Ty (which has since been re-named)

Similarly this Purple Honeycreeper is likely Shining Honeycreepers analog

Finally one of the white-throated toucans.  We saw a few Ivory-billed Aracaris (the only ones of the trip, but they were super uncooperative for a photo so we'll roll with the big ol toucan)

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Finch Flurry

 Yesterday the overnight radar looked pretty good for passerines moving and for once the birds on the ground agreed with the radar.  I looped Tiscornia a couple times trying to find Ammodramids without luck.  A female Purple Finch teed up nicely though as I was sorting through a mix of White-throated and Song Sparrows, the first time I've photographed one at Tiscornia.

As I looped a flock of birds suddenly flew over with calls unlike what I'm used to hearing.  My first instantaneous thought was that they were Bohemian Waxwings, but after a second or so the trills became clearer and a large flock of Pine Siskins swirled overhead.

After a couple circuits they started settling in some of the tangles and conifers.  I sorted through them as quickly as I could to get a sense of whether goldfinches (or I suppose redpolls) were mixed in.  They seemed homogeneously siskins.  At least one tolerated a pretty close approach...

Siskin felt like a really tough bird this spring, I was glad to get good looks finally this year.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Berrien Bird errrrr Wild Edible Club

Drew an assignment to lead the BBC outing at Warren Dunes this morning.  It was a very pleasant morning, though we didn't have a ton of birds.  Woodpeckers were well represented though, and I think we saw every possible species outside of Red-headed.
We saw a couple of adult sapsuckers, but this first year bird was in the best light.

Yellow-rumped Warblers were chipping all over the place, though they were mostly pretty high (I took the warbler pics on an afternoon walk I took later)
Yellow-rumps love poison ivy berries.

And speaking of things to eat, multiflora rose is a nasty invasive that's not one of my favorite plants ... but their rose hips were ripe and we sampled a few.
They reminded me of crab apples, but were A LOT less bitter.  They weren't great, but they weren't bad either.
Now paw paws on the other hand, Lynn spotted a few of these wild fruits that were perfectly ripe.
It smelled like a mango to me, but tasted more like banana or vanilla pudding; it was remarkably good.

Another quality spot (also by Lynn), some purple finches, and probably the least common bird we saw (though 4 wood thrushes tupping and squabbling in a tangled tree flagged the rarest in eBird).

One last fall color pic from my afternoon walk