Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ode to a Plov....er

I've been in Florida for a few days and got out to do some shorebirding this morning.  I was hoping to find my Piping Plover that I found two consecutive years in a row, check it out in this post.  I arrived at Bunche Beach while the tide was  fairly low but it meant less birders around and better opportunities to get closer to the birds.  I didn't find my banded bird but I did find a couple of others.
Banded Piping Plover

I'll send in the sightings to the USFS and hopefully will get some more information on when they were banded and where. 
A different banded Piping Plover

One of the issues with birding today was the five Bald Eagles that were moving around.  Every time the eagles took off, the shore birds would all take off too.

One of the Bald Eagles on the beach

LIFE BIRDS.  First up is this Snowy Plover.  I was looking at a Piping Plover and noticed this smaller lighter bird behind it.  The second thing that caught my eye was the gray legs.  Going back and checking the field guide all the characteristics were good for Snowy Plover.  A life bird!

Distant look at the Snowy Plover

As the tide chased me in, I turned and saw this bird; slightly larger than the Piping Plover, darker, and strongly banded.  A Wilson's Plover!  Another life bird!  The Wilson's is not infrequent to this beach according to what I've heard, I just keep missing them. 

Wilson's Plover

Here's another shot of the Wilson's Plover.  I was so focused on the Wilson's that I didn't notice the Snowy Plover in the background until I was looking back over my photos.

Wilson's and Snowy

Here's a few more birds for the day.

Marbled Godwit

Semipalmated (?) and Least Sandpiper

Black-bellied Plover
Oh I guess I should write a poem about plovers now....
When talking of Plovers, where to start
Bodies so small and eyes so wide
They've stolen my heart
while I was watching the tide.
I got drawn in by the one with bands
Two years in a row she said Hi
On the beach of white wet sands
But alas it seems she's gone for her final fly.
I know, I know... I'll stick to my day job. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Birds? What birds?

The emails keep coming in about some amazing birdy visitors to my lovely state and I have seen only a few.  I haven't been out birding since the beginning of the year and I don't plan on starting till it's warm.  I'm in hiding!  Fortunately for the few blog readers who keep checking out my pages, I will be heading south to some warm weather and birds.  So, be prepared for some posts coming your way.  Oh and I have a post that's been in draft for a couple of months so I'll add pictures and post that tooo.