Monday, May 12, 2008
Here's my list of birds seen and/or heard this weekend (Thanks to Kathi, this list is way longer than it would have been if I had been alone):
Bold = LIFER
(there are only seven lifers...I must have miscounted. But still....)
Tundra swan (yes, I saw a live one)
Wood duck (In a TREE, no less)
Great blue heron (100's)
Great egret (100's)
GOLDEN EAGLE (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Dunlin (500 +)
Yellow-rumped (Hey, Delia! I saw yellow-rumped warblers!!! Hee hee)
Red-winged blackbird (there were at least two RWBB's every five feet. And that's not an exaggeration)
House sparrow (very very sparse, thank goodness)
And now, some pictures:
I don't have an ID for this one yet. Anyone want to throw in? It's either some sort of empidonax or a female warbler of some kind.
UPDATE: Kathi can't comment (Blogger's acting like Frogger) but she agrees that this is some sort of empidonax)
Yep, another dead tundra swan. I Chimped, but the body was too torn up to figure anything out. I looked for bands, but this one is anonymous.
This one was alive, but looked bloody! I watched, and it seemed to preen most of this stuff off. I assume that it just had its head stuck in some mud underwater, and not injured in some way. I observed it for quite a few minutes, and it seemed just fine. Scared me, though.
Ovenbirds are just color-crazy. This one was stylin' with that brown-bordered orange head.
I would very much like this to be a gray-cheeked thrush. It's not outside the realm of possibility, since Kathi saw one the day before. Anyone?
UPDATE: A Swainson's. Crap.
Poor grackle. He got into a tussle with someone.
A muskrat and a lesser yellowlegs....an odd couple.
Feel free to sing "Muskrat Love" by Captain and Tennille. I'll wait.
It was getting late in the day, and I knew that I had to start for home soon.
I walked the lake trail that Kathi had pointed out to me earlier, and I am glad I did.
First, I saw the terns that we had glimpsed the day before, but couldn't ID.
Common terns, soaring and plunging into the very cold water for fish. They didn't even care that I was standing just beyond the water, snapping photos and giggling like a maniac.
They reminded me of the black skimmers the Flock saw at Cape May.
Gorgeous, elegant, graceful birds.
I was preparing myself mentally for the actual removal of body and soul from MY Lake Erie ( I never want to come home after being there), when I noticed that the terns had disappeared before my eyes.
A medium-sized bird was flying parallel to the beach with strong, purposeful wing beats. Hmm. That looks like some kind of dark gull. No, wait. That looks falcon-ish.
A peregrine falcon. Just for me.
(This is the best I could do. My eyes were all teary and I was jumping up and down and struggling with my new birding bra and trying to get the camera up to my face)
Peregrines hold a sacred place in my heart. Lucy was the first one I ever laid eyes on, and her mixture of sweetness and nervousness, and yet that unabashed fierceness, has endeared the species to my soul forever.
So I stood there on a lonely beach on Lake Erie, buffeted by cold wind and freshwater spray, and cried because a peregrine falcon had just passed by. Yeah, I'm all crunchy on the outside, but there's a chewy, gooey center in there somewhere.
Tomorrow: The eagle that didn't get away!