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‘Bird Is The Word’ Blog 6

 

Walking around my favorite local bird spot, a conversation turned to Great Horned Owls with the fella that runs the place. You see, they have a camera set up to view the Osprey, a type of Hawk that eats mainly fish, which were just about due to arrive from migration. Expecting the Osprey any day the camera was turned on and it caught images of Great Horned Owls recently on that nest instead, and making nightly stops too!! I mentioned I had never seen Great Horned Owls in the wild. The next day I followed up on the tip he’d given me to look for them at a park I’ve been to many times and sure enough…right where I was told to look… a great big whopping Great Horned Owl sitting on a tree limb!! I had looked at this park many times but never had any luck! Originally I had heard they were on the complete other side of this huge park, and maybe they are there too, but this tip was great, and it was easy to find this beautiful bird!! To think I may have been just missing out the whole time! I got some pictures, and texted a friend knowing she’d love to see this species, figuring this was a possible life list bird for her. 10 minutes later we both stood, watching in awe of this fantastic Owl!  I have seen Eastern Screech Owls, Snowy Owls and now Great Horned Owls. With still quite a few more Owls to try to see one day, like Long-eared Owls, Barred Owls, Short-eared Owls, Northern Saw-whet Owls and Barn Owls! Those birds are realistic in my range. I would most likely have to extend my range if I want to see the Great-gray Owl!  A raccoon in a tree cavity, and a beautiful chipmunk were highlights as well!! This park has a pair of Bald Eagles, but I tend to only see them flying overhead when I’m coming or going out of the park!

 

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What's your favorite kind of Owl??
Great Horned Owl

 

In its favorite tree!!
Raccoon

 

Chipmunk
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‘Bird Is The Word’ Blog 5 Look to the Trees!

As the weather changes to spring, and trees begin to sprout their buds, birds are making their way to, but mostly through, my area. Today breeding plumage is seeping onto the over-wintering birds that are still here. Common Loons and Long-tailed Ducks are strutting their summer colors. But the Horned Larks have seemed to travel north, along with the Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs, Common Goldeneye Ducks and Horned Grebes. Eastern Phoebe and Tree Swallows have returned in small numbers. The Yellow-rumped Warblers are getting very nice plumage! I am hoping to see some new species of birds this spring/summer, with Eastern Bluebird and Purple Martin on the top of my list! Today, I saw Robins, Mockingbirds, Song Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Northern Flicker, Common Loon, Peregrine falcon and Long-tailed Duck! I also noticed the Cormorants are starting to roost as well!

 

 

Peregrine Falcon

 

 

Amazing to look up at the trees and see amazing birds like these!
Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

 

Northern Flicker

 

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‘Bird Is The Word’ Blog 2

A weekend beach walk yielded some great results today. My first time seeing breeding plumage Horned Grebes, something I always wanted to see! I have seen them in winter plumage so recently I sure was surprised! In my area most of our Grebes and Loons are in their winter plumage.  However their breeding plumage is really a sight to behold, but unfortunately I’m not really in a good spot for that! It makes it extra special to see this Horned Grebe turning over into breeding plumage at my local beach!

A Black Scoter couple were cruising around as well as a lone Surf Scoter male. A  few Bufflehead ducks, long-tailed ducks and Brant geese rounded up the bay part of the trip. Later, walking through the dunes, a Red-breasted nuthatch was flitting around, not a super common bird around here.

Walking back to the car I spotted a fellow birder walking around, I waved over to share the grebes sighting as they were still hanging around. Conversation turned to a recent Lark sparrow, I told him I knew where this bird hangs out, and we took a short drive to check it out, finding a good number of Song sparrows skulking through the short grass.

We spoke about birds and sightings whilst checking through our binoculars and sifting through the Song Sparrowslooking for the Lark sparrow. I could tell without seeing it within a little while, doubt started to work it’s way into the equation…but as soon as it did, we both converged on our target bird simultaneously, “there it is”!! my new bird buddy called out and after enjoying the beautiful sparrow for a bit we celebrated, shaking hands, it was so nice to share it, and I appreciated the credit he gave me for leading him to the right spot!

He pointed out some Northern Gannett’s flying over the beach a bit in the distance…which was much appreciated too! 🙂

 

 

Horned Grebe (breeding plumage)

 

Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

Such amazing birds to be found at the beach
Black Scoter

 

Lark Sparrow

 

Surf Scoter

 

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