Monday, April 23, 2012

300th Life Bird!

Due to a busy schedule, I have not been out birding much nor have I been able to update my blog.  Since my last update, I have made one birding trip, and what a trip it was!

On the morning of the 19th, my dad gave me a call saying there was a Glossy Ibis at Stearn's Lake.  With the morning devoid of any plans, and my life list sitting at 299, I knew immediately what my morning was to ential.  So I made plans to meet my dad just before lunch at Stearn's Lake to track down the Ibis.  I made a quick trip to Walden Ponds to see if there were any good birds there and added American White Pelican and Cinnamon Teal to my year list.  The teal was the last of the three common North American teal species that was evading my year list.  Then I headed off to find my 300th lifer.

Upon arriving at Stearn's Lake, I quickly saw my first Swainson's Hawk of the year sitting on a post just off the road.  I met up with my dad who was parked just up the road from the parking lot at the pond just west of Stearn's Lake.  A bunch of American Avocet dotted the ponds surface, and after a quick scan, the Glossy Ibis was found! Lifer 300! While enjoying views of the ibis, I noticed what looked like part of the shoreline moving and realized I had just seen a shorebird.  After quickly consulting a field guide, we identified it as a Wilson's Snipe.  This was only my third sighting of the species and I was able to get excellent views of this year bird. A male Yellow Headed Blackbird added to the wonderful list of birds I was accumulating on the day. At Stearn's Lake, the first Western Grebes of the season were found.

In other birding news, I am hoping to get out again this week and start chasing down rare migrants and vagrants that are starting to pop up around the state.  I also got a new Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America as I lost my original one last month while birding at Baseline Reservoir in Boulder.

Here are a few pics from the 19th:

The Glossy Ibis.

An American Avocet. One of dozens around the pond.

The ibis foraging.

The ibis and a Green-winged Teal.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April Birding

So far I'm off to a slow start of birding this month, half the month's past and I'm only at 37 species.  I've added six birds to my year list though, bringing me up to 80 on the year.  The Wood Duck that I saw at Two Ponds on Saturday was my latest year bird addition.
A Say's Phoebe has decided(it looks like), to take up residence in the backyard of where I work! I've seen him twice now in about a week.  Hopefully he stays!
I'm hoping to get out to Walden Ponds again(yes...again) to do some birding in the next two days, so stay posted!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Two Ponds Hummingbird Day Bird Walk

The much anticipated(at least for me!) bird walk at Two Ponds NWR was excellent! We had a turn out of around 30 people and spent an hour birding the refuge.  Once again I took my group along the Loop 2 trail and my dad the Loop 1.  It was a beautiful day for birding.  The weather was nice, in the 40's, the sun was out and there was no wind.  We had a wonderful time viewing birds and were able to get some nice close-up views of a Say's Phoebe and a pair of American Kestrels.  We were also treated to the sight of a group of three Blue Jays harassing a Cooper's Hawk in a tree.  In the end, the Jays gave up their harassment and left the Cooper's Hawk in peace, at least until a Black-billed Magpie chased it off a few minutes later.  Gotta love Corvids.  Red-winged Blackbirds were out en force, filling the air with their "honk-a-ree" call and many other sounds they make.  My dad's group was able to spot a White Crowned Sparrow, a good bird to see at the refuge.  In total, 28 bird species were seen or heard at the refuge.  A few people were able to see some Bushtits that have been at the refuge.  My dad and I were also able to see a male Wood Duck when we first got to the refuge, but he flew off before the walk started.

A squirrel to greet us.

Apple blossoms were everywhere! 

The refuge in the morning.

The male Wood Duck.  

Closer shot.

A Great Blue Heron.  There were two that were perched in the top of two trees.  Always a strange sight.

The Say's Phoebe.  We were able to get wonderful close-up views and listen to it calling.

Lower right hand corner. Off to get a bug!

The Say's Phoebe on the left, and Red-winged Blackbird on the right.

Most of our group that went on the bird walk.  Thank you all for coming and making this a great time!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hummingbird Day Bird Walk Event

Event Details: 
WHEN: Saturday, April 14th. Bird walk at Two Ponds from 7:30-8:30. Presentation to start when we all get to City Pizza.
WHERE: Two Ponds NWR and City Pizza. 
WHO: My dad(Nathan) and I will be leading the bird walk.  Dave Menough from Wild Birds Unlimited will be giving the presentation.
HOW MUCH: FREE!! Just bring yourself, friends, binoculars, cameras(if you want) and a love for birds!

Come join us for a fun hour long bird walk at the wonderful Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge!