Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lessons from a Cardinal

I'm a big fan of the website  I've used the website to solicit help while traveling and I've been contacted a few times by birders visiting my home area.  Most birders just want information on hotspots but I was able to take one couple birding.

They were in town for the wedding of a niece.  Carol and George hailed from Seattle.  They've been birding for about 10 years but never ventured beyond Washington and Oregon.  I picked them up at their hotel.  There were many birds singing in the little undeveloped green space next to the hotel.  Carol suddenly asked about a distinctive call.  My answer was "it's just a cardinal".  The next thing you know, I'm practically being trampled by a couple of baby boomers clad in muted colors.  That's when it came to me, cardinals aren't found in Seattle.  Never get between a birder and a life bird, even when the bird in question is very common to you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thar She Blows

Today was supposed to be the Young Birders Hike at Sandy Ridge Reservation.  However, there was a problem.  For the second month in a row we had a complete absence of young birders.  It’s a little disappointing that teens are not coming out for the hikes.

It was tough birding today.  The wind was really blasting ahead of the front that is coming through.  For most of the morning there were 20-30 MPH sustained winds with occasional stronger gusts.  Then there would be periods of calm.

I left the camera in the car today.  Big mistake.  I missed excellent opportunities to photograph Prothonotary Warblers and Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks.  Now that I know where the Prothonotary’s are nesting, I’ll head back out.

Sunday is the 5th of 6 Spring Bird Walks at the Rocky River Nature Center.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What a difference a week makes

Last weekend was an excellent birding weekend but this weekend also had many nice treats.  I wasn’t able to get out on Saturday so I was left with Sunday and a vacation day on Monday.

Sunday was spent at the RRNC and Sandy Ridge Reservation.  Orioles and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were suddenly in abundance.  So were Great-crested Flycatchers.  We found the Hooded Warblers again this year.  They've set up residence the last few years.  It looks like they’re back.  Generally, warbler numbers were down but the weather fronts have not been cooperative.  It looks like mid-week might be the best.  Too bad I’ll be stuck in the office.

On Monday I headed out with Dad.  We went to Magee Marsh, Sheldon Marsh, and Mill Hollow Reservation.  It was a strange day.  The winds were from the north and rather chilly.  It seemed the warblers have pushed inland.  We did manage to find lots of Orioles everywhere, Snowy Egrets at Magee, and Cerulean Warblers at Mill Hollow.  That was a nice surprise.

Happy birding everyone.