Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back from Churchill

We're back!! We arrived home at about 10:30 last night. The trip was a huge success birding-wise, I got about 15 lifers!! I am not sure the exact number of lifers, I stopped counting at 11. I have to wait until I make the eBird checklists. Some of the highlight birds were American Golden Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Parasitic Jaeger, Arctic Terns feeding their babies right up close, Short-billed Dowitcher, Red-necked Phalarope and many others.

Also, I made posts about the spring birds I saw this spring and made them automatically post, everyday we were gone. So there was a storm of long posts, and after three the earlier ones went off the page. So if you haven't read them all, if you have time, sit down and read them right now. There are still going to be more Spring Birds posts, so stay tuned. And stay tuned for the Churchill posts!!!!!!!!

Here is the list of Spring Birds posts so far

Spring birds - Sparrows and Finches

Spring Birds - Raptors

Spring Birds - Warblers and Vireos

Spring Birds - Woodpeckers, Hummingbirds and Nighthawks

Spring Birds - Shorebirds

Spring Birds - Waterbirds

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spring Birds - Waterbirds

I've seen quite a few lifer water birds this year, I really like water birds, I think they are great photo subjects.

I've included waterfowl and gulls in this family group. As I am writing this post we are getting ready to leave to Churchill tomorrow, so it is a bit rushed.

Franklin's Gull
 Hooded Mergansers were fairly common. This picture shows a male and a female, the male is showing off it's nice hood.
male and female Hooded Mergansers
 I saw some Black Terns at Oak Hammock Marsh, a lifer.
Black tern

Blue-winged Teals were not lifers
Blue-winged Teal
 A flock of cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants

The only two Snow Geese I saw of the year so far, my brother got this picture
 Lesser Scaups were lifers
A pair of Lesser Scaups

 Buffleheads and a Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler


American Coots
 Canada Geese are aplenty, goslings waddling around their parents
Canada Geese with goslings.
 Pelicans are fairly common, soaring high in groups, easily identifiable. We got really close to some pelicans with Christian at Lockport.
American White Pelican

Pied-billed Grebes are not a lifer.
Pied-billed Grebe
 Ring-billed Gulls are the most common, but Herring Gulls can also be seen, like this one at the Whiteshell
Herring Gull
 Common Goldeneye's were the most common waterbird earlier on in spring migration. I learned that Goldeneyes can nest in trees while we were in WhiteShell
female goldeneye climbing into tree hole

Common Goldeneye
 My brother got this really good picture of this Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed gull

Ring-billed Gulls flying

Canada Goose flying overhead

Ring-billed Gull

Mallards are very common

Common Mergansers
 A treat we saw this spring, Tundra Swans
Tundra Swan

Stay tuned for the next post.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Spring Birds - Shorebirds

I saw quite a variety of shorebirds this spring, quite a few lifers.

Killdeer are the most common around here, easily identifiable by their two black bands across their chest.
 I saw a Willet at Oak Hammock Marsh, a lifer.
Willet. Sluuuurrp!!!

 Once when we were at Oak Hammock Marsh there was a huge flock of small shorebirds, Baird's Sandpipers and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Both of the species are lifers.
Baird's and Semipalmated Sandpipers

Up up and away!
 Also at Oak Hammock Marsh, we saw a Wilson's Phalarope, a lifer!
Wilson's Phalarope
 Once when I was biking, I saw a Ruddy Turnstone, also a lifer
Wilson's Phalarope
 At a nearby park, Silver Springs I saw a Spotted Sandpiper, again, a lifer.

Killdeer at Silver Springs
 Once out with Christian, we saw a Greater Yellowlegs, and, you can guess, a lifer!
Greater Yellowlegs
 And finally, a non-lifer, American Avecot
American Avecot
 And, a lifer, Wilson's Snipe
Wilson's Snipe
 And last but not least, Solitary Sandpiper, we saw it in the ditch a couple times.
Solitary Sandpiper

Not last actually, Great Blue Heron, this picture it was already almost dark, I lightened it a lot on the computer.
Great Blue Heron

Stay tuned for the next post!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Spring Birds - Woodpeckers (and Hummingbirds and Nighthawks)

This post is about the woodpeckers we saw this spring, all of them actually an stay around all year.

Downy Woodpeckers are common and are seen all year round.
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpeckers are always a treat to see.
Pileated Woodpecker

While we were in Ontario, we saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker, which we don't have here, it kept coming to the feeders.
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker
 Another Downy picture
Downy Woodpecker
 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers could be seen at our house for about two weeks, and we have even been hearing them into the summer some
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Pileated Woodpecker
 Flickers aren't as common, say as a Downy, but aren't seen every day.
Northern Flicker singing, 'Yellow Shafted'

Northern Flicker
 Hairy woodpeckers are almost as common as Downy's, though not quite.
Hairy Woodpecker
 One of the suet cages fell down, that didn't stop the Pileated Woodpecker from grabbing a bite to eat!
Pileated Woodpecker eating suet on the ground
 The Pileated stuck around for quite awhile, and it isn't too shy, so I got some amazing pictures!
Pileated Woodpecker
 I really love this picture, it looks so adorable!
Pileated Woodpecker

Here is a video I got of a flicker singing. :D

I decided to also group Hummingbirds and nighthawks with the woodpeckers.

female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
 This is a male ruby throated hummingbird, but it's throat looks really black
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
 I've seen nighthawks on several occasions this year, once they were in a huge flock
Flock of nighthawks

Common Nighthawk

Stay tuned for the next post!