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The Birdie Thread.

A place to come and chat about anything remotely Discworld, or just the weather.

Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby phalarope » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:50 pm

Swans!! The tundra swans are back for the winter. 500+ in a cut cornfield, on a foggy day out in the boondocks, hootling away. What a lovely noise. :D :D
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Catch-up » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:47 pm

So nice Carol! We haven't had any birdies at our feeders or bath in a long time. I'm really sad. I wish I could figure out what's keeping them away.
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby phalarope » Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:49 am

The birdbaths have been getting lots of use from jays, titmice, wrens, doves, and similar. Then this showed up. It actually jumped into the bath and drank. So did its partner.

Vulture-5-for-web2.jpg


Black vultures are supposed to get their water from all the carrion they eat.... It must really be dry out there.
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby phalarope » Tue Sep 15, 2020 06:11 pm

I've tried to avoid tedious accounts of my slow trudge towards bird list milestones here, but I have reached a significant one and want to crow (haha) about it. :D

Because of various vagaries among listing platforms, plus the ever changing list of accepted North American species, I've always had to spend HOURS reconciling counts when I have seen a new species in Maryland (the only list I obsess about). I've been wobbling between 340 and 350 for years, chasing rarities because they're pretty much the only ones still missing. The past 2 new sightings, I didn't bother trying to reconcile the lists - too tiresome and always felt like I was going backwards.

Until yesterday, when I managed to score a Sabine's Gull on the Potomac River in front of Mount Vernon. This gull is a mega-rarity in Maryland - only the 4th state record. And a 100 mile drive from Chez McCollough, through Washington DC traffic. Ick. Beautiful bird, and, unlike other state boundaries that are set in the middle of water bodies, Maryland owns the entirety of the Potomac River, to the Virginia shoreline. So as long as it flew above the water, it was in Maryland. :P This was actually my 3rd new species since covid struck. Soooo, time to update the list.

Imagine my surprise when I realised that the gull was Maryland #351. :shock: :bounce: #350 was the very lost Anhinga that I saw at the end of July, that has been hanging out at a stormwater retention pond at an urban shopping mall north of Washington DC, yet another 100 mile drive from Chez McCollough. (It took 2 back-to-back trips in horrific beach traffic to get it). Now I can send a bragging note to the American Birding Association. :lol: :lol: :lol: It also moved me from 73rd to 69th among eBirders in Maryland.

There are still 101 species recorded from Maryland that I haven't seen here. Some may never show up again, but some are 'regular' rarities. Still lots to chase and see, but it will be a long time before I get to #375. Still chuffed, though. :D :D
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Carol (phalarope)
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Nonny Mouse » Tue Sep 15, 2020 07:34 pm

Hey great job! Congrats!

I've heard a raven in the neighborhood twice now on my morning runs. I love it when they hang out here.
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby phalarope » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:54 am

Thanks, Nonny! I think ravens are very cool. In Maryland they are in the 2 western counties, in the Appalachians. A pair has made its way to the Eastern Shore, but I haven't seen those particular ones yet. The corvids are an underappreciated group.....
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Carol (phalarope)
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby hansolobiker » Wed Sep 16, 2020 09:00 am

.....all 19 of them!
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Nonny Mouse » Wed Sep 16, 2020 03:48 pm

We have ravens all over the state, but they only come into the suburbs occasionally. They're my favorite bird, so hearing their low, almost lazy caw always makes me smile. It's actually a very relaxing sound.
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Sandra » Wed Sep 16, 2020 07:26 pm

We get magpies, crows (carrion) and rooks around here - I was happy to hear the bright call of jackdaws this summer, until I heard them I hadn't noticed they were missing - don't know why I hadn't seen them until this year.
(Not enough woodland around here for Jays, too far south for hooded crows and ravens are never seen in England (unless you are so lucky it's obscene - Chris) and I've never seen Choughs). Feels like I get a decent mix of corvids here.

Today we went to a bird park with my youngest niece and nephew, the fact that they have free flying parrots (and I had to rescue someone mugged by a sun conure at the gate) was wonderful to a 4yo. Macaws wanted the nuts we were sold at the gate, I had to threaten the conure with being left in the budgie walk in aviary (a threat that worked for about 60 seconds) and at the end i got to play with a pair of Hyacinths, a red tailed cockatoo, a galah and talked with an absolute tart of a molluccan. SiL got mugged by a Scarlet macaw but the 4yo was far more impressed by the 30 foot slide on the climbing frame.

A wonderful day.
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby chrisboote » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:17 am

Sandra wrote: ravens are never seen in England (unless you are so lucky it's obscene - Chris)


Well, anyone can occasionally see them in Windsor Great Park - a small colony started by a few escapees from the Tower breeding project is the most likely explanation

Crows, jackdaws, magpies, jays are all frequent visitors to our garden, but it's always a real treat when one of the ravens turn up

We also had a goldfinch again this summer - maybe two different ones, not quite sure - along with all the other various regulars

Lately we've had a red kite fly over most evenings, and a buzzard standing on our and a neighbour's roofs, looking longingly at the stuff we put out, but not brave enough to risk the garden
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