After last week’s post about “Lost Birds,” I shouldn’t be surprised this week when a bird typically found in the old growth forests along the coast from northern California to Alaska was spotted in a playground at a county park out on the eastern plains of Colorado. Talk about lost!Continue reading “A Vagabond Varied Thrush”
This bird was photographed in California in February. Can you name it? The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.
Sometimes it’s a matter of being at the right place at the right time.
My friend and I were circling the ponds at our county nature center. She had a new camera and wanted to practice its unfamiliar settings, and I was along because I like birds and I like her.Continue reading “Doing the Virginia Rail Dash”
The article in the Democrat & Chronicle, a Rochester NY newspaper, continued with author and new birder Jim Memmott complaining that he has “fed them, adored them, and photographed them endlessly” only to have his backyard birds migrate. As he explains, he’s dealing with abandonment issues.
I highly recommend the article—it made me smile as I identified with his disappointment over the disappearance of so many birds, at least for the winter.Continue reading “They Leave…”
This bird was photographed in Colorado in February. Can you name it? The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.
I really wanted to see the puffins.
Haystack Rock, in Cannon Beach, Oregon, is well-known as a nesting site for the Tufted Puffin. According to eBird, the puffins are in residence from late spring through mid-August. I’ve been there many times, but always in the winter months when the birds were feeding out to sea. Now we were finally going to be there on a summer day—August 23. That was cutting it awfully close, but the trip involved too many scheduled meetings and couldn’t be moved. I’d just have to wait and hope for the best.Continue reading “Haystack Rock”
Sometimes you can wait for hours, poke into thorny bushes, hike through snake-infested fields, get tired and dusty, become overheated or risk frostbite—and never find the rare bird you’ve come to see. And other times, you park the car, climb out, look for the crowd with binoculars and floppy hats, and know you’ve hit the jackpot. On Saturday, my friend and I were blessed to not only see the rarity, but to get up close and personal.
While some species are easy to identify, many birds present challenges. Look-alike species such as scaups (below), sandpipers, gulls, and the notoriously difficult Empidonax flycatchers, are enough to keep birders working to improve their skills for years to come.
But as if that wasn’t hard enough, just as we begin to feel confident, fall arrives. Birds are migrating, males become drab and the world is flooded with a new crop of immature birds. It makes me feel like a beginner birder, all over again!Continue reading “Fall Frustrations”
This bird was photographed in Colorado in June. Can you name it? The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.
Birds are sometimes amazing at disguising themselves, but we birders can rise to the challenge and spot them anyway. Just for fun, I think it’s time for a little quiz. No, not an ID quiz—this one is simply “Can you find the bird?”
Easy, right? Here we go…