Posts Tagged woodpeckers

Modest Birding Milestone

This weekend, after 1 year 7 months & 20 days, we saw our 200th life bird – the Eurasian Collard Dove (which may be common where you are, but not so much in Cape May, NJ). We saw all three that have been hanging around town recently.  It was a great weekend, despite rain on Saturday and generally overcast skies the rest of the time.  We clocked about 17 hours in all and were rewarded with 75 birds (76 if you count the Guinea Fowl we saw on the road; 76 if you count the roosters that also wandered onto the road). Included were a dozen Glossy Ibises, a half-dozen Snowy Egrets, an adult American Bald Eagle, a Northern Harrier, several Red-Headed Woodpeckers (a target bird for us, and our 201st lifer), a dozen+ Ring Necked Ducks (our 202nd lifer), the first Chipping Sparrows of spring, and some other new birds for us: Northern Gannet, Black Scoter, Red Breasted Merganser, and Red Throated Loon. Lots of Yellow Rumped Warblers, of course. The Piping Plovers were active along with the Sanderlings. In all, we had lots of fun and our feet are tired.

And now for some pics.  As always, you can click them once or twice to enlarge them.

First up, our #200 – the Eurasian Collard Dove:

And our most recent “most wanted” – the Red Headed Woodpecker:

(I’ll have some more pics of this bird and his friends soon…).

How about a Red Throated Loon?

(There’ll be some more of this one, too.)

You know I like the Red Tailed Hawks. Here’s a nice one:

A Piping Plover:

How about a creepy Northern Mockingbird?

(I actually like the Mockingbirds a lot, but this one…yikes!)

This Great Egret is a bit more pleasantly situated:

Here’s a flock of Glossy Ibises:

A Great Black Backed Gull:

Northern Gannet:

American Coot:

American Oystercatchers:

Brown Thrasher:

Mute Swan, up close and personal:

Northern Harrier:

What’s this thing doing here? (Guinea Fowl)

Two pairs of male & female Ring Necked Ducks:

The first (more or less) Snowy Egrets of spring:

I named this Tree Swallow “Thomas Nagel,” as the bird is clearly wondering, “What is it like to be a bat?” (pdf):

(Pardon the philosophy reference….)

Okay, one more. Since we’ve been wanting to see a Red Headed Woodpecker for so long, here’s how we saw it for the first time:

I’ll post some more pics in the near future.


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Some Recent Birding Pics

First up, from the Ridley Creek Bridle Trail, a female Downy Woodpecker posing for the camera:

Next up, a beautiful Eastern Bluebird:

How about a Fox Sparrow?

Or a Red Tailed Hawk, perched?

A Carolina Wren…perhaps looking you right in the eye?

Not impressed yet?  How about a Gray Catbird? Sure, dime a dozen…but not in February! (We’ve been seeing them in various places over the last few weeks, one at a time except for today, when we saw three together.)

[GRCA Okehocking, 2/21/12 4:30 pm]

If that weren’t enough, last week we saw a Northern Parula! Sorry, no pic. I was too busy trying to i.d a bird that shouldn’t’ve been there, so you will have to take our word for it. But whether you do or don’t, spring is coming, and these seasonal rarities will be beautifully abundant and abundantly beautiful!

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Pileated Woodpecker

Seen on our walk this afternoon at Tyler Arboretum.


And some preening…:


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Life all around us

Yesterday, as a legend succumbed to death, we were out enjoying life.  Yesterday, before the disappointments came that must come to one side or the other in the contests we set for ourselves, we were out accepting the free gift of nature.  Some photos from the Tyler Arboretum:

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker (male)

Wheeee! A Tufted Titmouse in flight

Slate Colored Dark-Eyed Junco doing calisthenics

[as always, click photos to enlarge]

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