Friday, November 19, 2010

The birds are a movin' !!

Today was a busy day, so I wasn't able to get out to bird until about 1pm. It was still cloudy, cool and dreary. I have noticed that the birding usually stays good all day in such conditions and today was no exception.

I started off by checking out the beach at East Fork. The colder weather finally brought some birds down here. The first bird that I IDed as I got out of the car was an Osprey flying toward me from the west. They are not easy to find in November here.

November Osprey
November Osprey

I could notice a lot of loons out on the lake, so I got out the scope and WOW! I lost count of the Common Loons at 100. I was able to also ID Gadwall, American Widgeon, Ruddy Ducks, 2 Redheads (ducks), Horned and Pied-billed Grebes.

Common Loon
One of the 100+ Common Loons


I then walked to the brushy/grassy western side of the beach were a lot of grassland/open land type birds are often found. I wasn't disappointed. I noticed a small bird running in the cockle burrs as I approached. It did not fly, but ran. I got the binos on it and was able to ID it as a Savannah Sparrow. Savannah Sparrows are also hard to find this time of year in this area. It then flew into the lake and started bathing right in front of me. It appeared to be having a good time, as it was chipping loudly the whole time.

Savannah Sparrow


Savannah Sparrow bathing in the lake
Savannah Sparrow bathing in the lake

It then flew up to perch on a rock giving me awesome views!

Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow

Before leaving, I took a drive down to the close by boat ramp to see if anything was "hiding" over there. The water is low, so I was able to walk out on the mud/sand farther then usual. Here, I found my (surprisingly) first and only coot of the day on the mud with some Mallards. They always look so odd on land.

American Coot
American Coot

The sun had come out while I was at this location and while looking out on the lake, I could make out the profiles of something interesting. The birds finally swam closer in and I was to ID them as Red-breasted Mergansers. No sooner have I IDed them, they took off flying to the west. I will leave you with the only picture I was able to get of them. It was a nice day to be out birding!

Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers in flight (flying away from)


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8 comments:

  1. Your weather conditions on this day are also considered by some to be ideal for photography. Enjoyed the documentations of your experience.

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  2. A good days birding, thanks for sharing the experience. The Osprey is truly a magnificent bird.

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  3. Wonderful shots!
    You would be welcome to contribute and help to begin a new endevour called "World Bird Wednesday" a chance for bird photographers to share and spread word of their blogs to others!
    Visit http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/ and check it out!
    Springman!

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  4. You do the kind of birding I could only dream of being able to do.. what a great day....Michelle

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  5. You really did have a great day of birding and photography. Loons are on my "want to see list" list and you had a hundered of them!
    It really is something when a bird like that sparrow gives you shot after classic shot like that. You can't be lazy and get pictures like this. Thanks for taking us along! Happy WBW!

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  6. I love the bathing sparrow. Great pictures!

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  7. Bird migrations are really interesting! I really love the Loons, they are my favourite birds :)

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