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The Birdie Thread.

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The Birdie Thread.

Postby phalarope » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:44 am

I have been feverishly trying to plan the most strategic plan to add more birds to my life list while in Nawlins for NADWCon. 7a species on the target list for late August - early September. Not gonna be able to get to habitat for all of them, alas. But today - TODAY - I managed to reduce that target list to 7 . . .

A mere 2 hour drive :roll: from home, a painted bunting has been frequenting a backyard feeder near Aberdeen. HUGE rarity in Maryland. Major kerfuffle amongst the birding community, because information about it has been disseminated by what is called 'slow release'. What that really means is, if one is not considered one of the birding heavy hitters, one may never learn about said rarity until it is long gone. There are reasonable arguments for this tactic, but it always results in anger, hurt feelings, and resentment on the part of SOMEBODY. I am one of the great unwashed who were not informed until someone posted a picture of the birdie on Facebook, and all hell broke loose. I'm not on FB, but the flame war that erupted on the birding listserve made the bird's presence public.

Sooooo, I followed the visitation rules, made my 2 hour drive and arrived 20 feet from said feeder around 1130. It snowed in that county on Wednesday, and there was still plenty of snow on the ground. Thank Om I wore warm boots. The homeowner welcomed me and noted the bird had been at the feeder "5 minutes ago". There was loads of bird activity at the feeders. Yay!! This should be a cakewalk - watch bird for a half hour, head out to nice restaurant for lunch, scope out another birding hotspot I've never been to, leisurely drive home through pretty country. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!! No such luck. The bunting was conspicuous by its absence. Fortunately another birder showed up a few minutes later to keep me from wimping out, because after about 45 minutes my feet were frozen anyway, I was beyond annoyed at the noisy neighbors next door, my stomach was complaining bitterly, and I was pretty well convinced that the bird had gone off for its mid-day nap OR had decided that, after a hearty breakfast of seed, today was a good day to hie off back to where it belongs. :evil: 110 minutes in, the pretty little thing appeared in an evergreen tree right in front of us, eyed up the situation for several minutes, giving us great views, and flew in to the feeders where it perched for about 10 minutes snarfling seed. Did not really need binoculars, haha. YAY! Double YAY! Painted bunting in Maryland!!! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: Get back in car, defrost feet, eat iron rations of roasted peanuts, put Stephen Fry reading Sherlock Holmes on the Kindle, and depart for home.

What I had forgotten in my mad desire to add to my Maryland list was that I had never, ever seen a painted bunting. For some reason I thought I had seen it on one of my trips out West. As I updated my sightings database, I got a green FIRST SIGHTING button and the software played a little tune. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: Species 785 on my Life List!!! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: Species 331 in Maryland. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

And one less to agonize about in Louisiana. :sunny:

I don't carry a camera, but the actual bird's mug shot posted here is on the interwebz - it's the one that isn't a house sparrow. :wink: Pretty pretty, don't you agree?Image And yes, it's had multiple bands (rings) put on it, and surprisingly didn't depart in high dudgeon after being captured and handled.
Cheers -
Carol (phalarope)
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby phalarope » Sun Mar 19, 2017 01:05 am

Catch-up wrote:By the way, is it morning doves or mourning doves?
It's mourning. The name comes from their call, which is pretty mournful. :wink:
Cheers -
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Sandra » Sun Mar 19, 2017 06:10 pm

i think i saw some turtle doves the other day - bit bigger than the collared dove with a dark back

Only problem was I was driving and couldn't just stop and stare, but it's lovely to see birds enjoying an industrial estate
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Catch-up » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:17 am

Oh Carol, that is one pretty bird! And, thanks. I thought it was probably mourning.
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby chrisboote » Fri Mar 24, 2017 06:00 am

Don't know if any of the birds listed here http://www.graaffreinet.co.za/listing/c ... rk_birding are on your life list, but in the last three days we've seen Boqmacquarie, black harrier, tons of pale chanting goshawk, red bishop, western osprey, red hoopoe, giant kingfisher, southern loorie, booboo, cape vulture, one grass owl, weavers of all varieties by the hundred, blue crane, goliath heron, pied crows everywhere, black kites, and once, hovering above us for ~20 minutes, a martial eagle
Plus lots of common birdies (sparrows, cape glossy starlings, red wing starlings etc.) and even more species I can't identify
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby phalarope » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:08 pm

You're in South Africa - I didn't need to open the link :wink: - and I wanna wanna wanna see a booboo! And all the others you listed, too.
Cheers -
Carol (phalarope)
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby steeljam » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:47 am

The RSPB Big Bird Watch results have been published.
https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/ac ... h/results/
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby chrisboote » Mon May 15, 2017 09:39 pm

I now have a pair of jays nesting in my garden

This makes me happy
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Sandra » Tue May 16, 2017 01:55 pm

Looks like the nest box is now empty - one of the blue tit parents turned up with food, popped in and out a few times, very confused that he/she hadn't been mugged inside the box :D .

I assume he/she eventually heard a fledgling calling as it flew off after a minute. I expect I'll see them eventually - along with the sparrow fledglings already filling my garden.
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Grace Speaker » Tue May 16, 2017 02:24 pm

The family of baby starlings that have noisily been nesting in the eaves above my bathroom window left this nest this morning and have been busy harassing their parents round the garden :D
Am very happy about this as at one point last week I feared they may have been abandoned and went up into the loft to check that they were OK - for sets of beady eyes and beaks greeted me hopefully and then a parent turned up, so I left them to it.

There seems to be a much larger number of starlings about than usual this year - all squabbling over the fat balls in the bird feeder for a start. The poor little blue and great tits are hardly getting a look in, but at least there's other seed & nut feeders for them elsewhere in the garden.

Thankfully I have at least one male chaffinch regularly sitting on the fence and shouting "Cheap, cheap, cheap brassiere!!" which always makes me smile :D
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Sandra » Tue May 16, 2017 02:53 pm

:( Merry has seen the fledglings begging in the garden... She is now complaining that the babies are starving!

Putting out food does not fix this problem - because they didn't come back - it's raining... And Merry is still squawking that the babies are starving!"

In a few weeks (when the gape has faded and the babies stop begging) it'll get better, but for now - THE BABIES ARE STARVING!!!!
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Catch-up » Wed May 17, 2017 10:25 am

We walked the rescue dogs last night. The barn swallows have started to fly in and next in the lower part of the barn where the kennels are. I took about 500 pictures trying to catch them flying in. I have 500 pictures with no barn swallows.
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Grace Speaker » Wed May 17, 2017 10:46 am

Catch-up wrote:We walked the rescue dogs last night. The barn swallows have started to fly in and next in the lower part of the barn where the kennels are. I took about 500 pictures trying to catch them flying in. I have 500 pictures with no barn swallows.
:lol:
My resident Robin Redbreast is a very friendly chappie and often flies over to sit only a few feet away and sing to me - he's not fussed by the strimmer or the lawn mower and just carries on tweeting . . . unless I try to take a photo, then he immediately buggers off! :roll:
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby chrisboote » Wed May 17, 2017 01:13 pm

Probably on an exclusive contract with BBC Springwatch

We now have two antagonistic robins. Both males, one young, one older (has a white 'medal' on his breast)

The young one screams, shouts and mock attacks the older. The older wolfs up his meal worms then flies straight at the younger who scarpers and hides in the bushes, only to come down and hoover up the remaining pieces of mealworm after the elder is gone

The jays are now three. One pair and a young opportunistic one that by behaviour I guess is male. The pair take it in turns to go for the peanuts and stringed almonds, but as they sometimes come together we can see one is larger than the other. The interloper only comes into the garden when the larger one isn't there. I know of no reliable way to tell male and female jays apart
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Re: The Birdie Thread.

Postby Grace Speaker » Wed May 17, 2017 05:23 pm

AAAAAaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
:evil: :evil: :evil:

Am heartbroken! Have just gone into the dining room to find carnage - blood and feathers all over the floor and in the middle of it all one of the little baby starlings that only fledged this morning! :cry: Poor little thing! Killed on it's first day out of the nest by one of my murderous moggies - the little bastard!

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