Sunday, January 22, 2012

Slow Going

Hairy Woodpecker- male
It's not that I hate the cold...  I just don't like it.  Instead of hitting all those great little spots that I see posted about or finding some of the rarities, like the Harris's Sparrow that have been seen in Connecticut, I've been hiding out inside in the warm.  I haven't even been taking the normal quick walks around work, instead I've been hiding in the gym working out. 

Hairy Woodpecker- showing off
With the snow yesterday, I headed out this morning to clean off the sidewalks.  After a few eerily quiet minutes a Hairy Woodpecker called and called and called.... finally after about 15 minutes it worked it's way over to the suet to feed for a few minutes.  A neighbor suddenly came outside spooking the Hairy back up into the tree.  Where it called, and called, and called some more.  Then, it flew off making a noise I had never heard before.

Then, I heard a a Hairy Woodpecker call in the same tree the other one had flown out out of.  Sure enough another woodpecker was up in the tree.  It was a male and the other one had been a female.  Pretty exciting that in my practically urban neighborhood is a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers.  Anyway, it was a first of the year for me.  My CT total is only up to about 55 species.  I guess I need to get outside next weekend!
Showing off his red.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A CT Big Year

Ring-billed Gull- Birdseye Boat Ramp, Stratford
For a little extra birding motivation, I challenged a friend to see who could get the most species of bird in a year of birding in the state.  My state, Connecticut and her state...  Oregon!  Looking over the last three years of eBird records, Oregon has consistently had about 50 more species recorded than Connecticut.  So, She has the advantage.  I'm not too worried though because within a couple of hours I can chase down almost any bird in my state.  (If I actually do it).  Making it across Oregon to chase a bird takes a little more effort and planning.

Canada Goose- Wooster Park, Stratford (partially leucistic)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker- Brewster Pond, Stratford

So, after a week of only incidental birding, I got out this weekend and found some birds!  Saturday I spent a few hours hitting up some town spots.  Today I went out and chased some rarities. The first bird I targeted was the Yellow-throated Warbler seen in Madison, CT that has been visiting a feeder since October.  The bird was there when I got out of the car and I got my bins on it.  About 30 minutes later it came back grabbed some  suet and headed off again.

Canvasback- Frash Pond, Stratford (verification picture)

Sanderling- Long Beach, Stratford

I also made the haul up to the Enfield/ Somers area to chase the Pink-footed Goose.  This species usually spends its' winters in northern Europe.  Apparently, at least one goose got turned around and headed here instead.  I finally saw it after spending 2 hours driving around 3 towns.  Thanks to yet another very nice birder, I looked through his scope and saw a very distant view.  I'd like to thank the Canada Goose for moving out of the way right before the Pink-footed Goose wandered behind the reeds.  No photo but maybe here's a link to someone elses blog who saw it earlier in the week.  Yay Life Bird!!!

Yellow-throated Warbler- Madison

OOOOhhhh yeah, In case you were wondering...  I'm up to about 53 species.