Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mid May Madness

Good day of birding yesterday.  Went on a walk along the north end of Standly Lake with my family yesterday. Added Yellow Warbler to my year list and got Western Grebe, Bald Eagle and Song Sparrow for my month.  So far I'm at 103 on the year and 63 on the month.
A singing Common Grackle.  

Nesting European Starling.  The other nesting box I found was being used by American Robins.

American Robin in flight. I took this with my new Canon Rebel t3 and cropped the picture in Picasa.

The Bald Eagles. I attempted this digiscope shot through the scope at the visitor's center.  They nest about a half mile away.

This weekend, though, is going to be one of the best birding experiences of my life(so far).  Going up to Northeastern Colorado with my dad for two days of serious birding.  Going to hit up Tamarack Ranch SWA, Jumbo Reservoir SWA, Red Lion SWA among other locations for 48 hours of hardcore birding.  I'm very excited as there are good chances for eastern birds such as Eastern Bluebird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, eastern warblers, Eastern Towhee as well as Bobolink, Dickcissel and other plains birds as well.  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Birding on the 10th

Today I decided to take advantage of the fact I woke up early and didn't have to be at work till 2, I decided to go birding.

The birding started at the house, with Violet-green Swallows flitting about right off the deck.  I attempted a few shots but only managed only these decent ones.

After a few minutes attempting my luck with the Violet-green Swallows, I headed into Boulder.  My original plan was to spend a few hours walking the trails at Walden Ponds, but as I was headed there I decided to stop at the Bobolink Trailhead of the South Boulder Creek trail and see how the birding was there and if I couldn't find a Bobolink.

A Barn Swallow along the trail.

One of a multitude of House Wrens singing and establishing territories along the river.  A fun and feisty bird to watch.  

A view of the Rocky Mountains.

I watched this American Robin for a few minutes as it preened and watched what was going on.  I had my camera ready and as he got ready to take off I captured this shot.

After spending about an hour and a half walking along the South Boulder Creek, and not seeing any Bobolinks, I decided to make my way up to Walden Ponds to finish my morning of birding before I headed to work.

A Canadian Goose sitting on a nest.  There are a few nesting pairs at Walden that I could find.

Canadian Geese and a Double-crested Cormorant sitting on a small island out in the lake.

Though I didn't take a whole lot of pictures, I had a great time.  Best birds of the day were a Yellow-rumped Warbler(Audubon's race) at South Boulder Creek, my first warbler of the year and Great-tailed Grackle and Spotted Sandpiper at Walden Ponds.  The sandpiper was my 100th year bird!  I also bumped my month list up to 56 on the month so far.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Birds of Passage

This is one of my all time favorite poems.  It speaks not only to those of us who like birds and birding but also to those of us who enjoy poetry and great works of art.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is an American poetry icon, one of the greatest poets who ever lived.  He is one of my all time favorite poets.  Enjoy!

Birds of Passage

Black shadows fall
From the lindens tall,
That lift aloft their massive wall
Against the southern sky;

And from the realms
Of the shadowy elms
A tide-like darkness overwhelms
The fields that round us lie.

But the night is fair,
And everywhere
A warm, soft vapor fills the air,
And distant sounds seem near,

And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight
Through the dewy atmosphere.

I hear the beat
Of their pinions fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet
They seek a southern lea.

I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,
But their forms I cannot see.

O, say not so!
Those sounds that flow
In murmurs of delight and woe
Come not from wings of birds.

They are the throngs
Of the poet’s songs,
Murmurs of pleasures, and pains, and wrongs,
The sound of winged words.

This is the cry
Of souls, that high
On toiling, beating pinions, fly,
Seeking a warmer clime,

From their distant flight
Through realms of light
It falls into our world of night,
With the murmuring sound of rhyme.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


It's May the 1st! The month many birders dream about all the other 11 months of the year. The month when Big Days are held, birding trips fill all the free days on the calendar, and the birds are migrating in force.  I'm excited!

Last month: Although I only got out for two birding trips, I finished the month with 58 species including my 300th life bird! Glossy Ibis at Stearn's Lake was definitely the highlight of my month and a BIG highlight of my year so far!  My year list stands at 92 species, as I added both Violet-green Swallow and Cliff Swallow to that list yesterday.  The bird walk at Two Ponds NWR was amazing! Just as much fun as the first one was! I cannot wait to lead some more!

This month: Big birding weekend planned for the prime of migration! Spending two days doing some hardcore birding up in NE Colorado to bird around Tamarack Ranch SWA, Jumbo Res, Red Lion SWA and more.  That should be a very fun trip.  Going to do a Big Day on that trip to, trying to beat a previous best of 104. I'm also going to be getting a new camera this month with super-zoom capabilities so that I can take better quality bird photos.  Otherwise, I'm shooting for 100 birds this month and as many birding expeditions as I can fit into my schedule!

Happy May y'all!