Friday, December 30, 2011

A big year for Durham?

After the crazy streak of rare shorebirds on upper Falls Lake this fall I realized I had a pretty decent Durham County list going for the year.  And with Nate Swick of the Drinking Bird doing his Triangle Big Year, John Vanderpoel on the brink of setting an ABA record, and with that awesome, star-studded, money-losing movie coming out, I figured why not jump on this band wagon?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Carteret County Rail and Sparrow Extravaganza

Jacob Socolar, Mark Kosiewski, Ali Iyoob, Michael McCloy, Nick Flanders, Paul Tallie, Elisa Enders and I set out on an epic birding trip down to Carteret County with the audacious goal of finding six rail and six ammodramus sparrow species in two days.  
The team

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Bird Count!

I joined Tom Krakauer and Ken (whose last name I can’t recall) in Quail Roost up in northern Durham County to help with the Durham Christmas Bird Count.  I already commented on the beauty of this part of Durham in my post about the spring count here.  
Quail Roost Farm

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Terrible pictures of Beautiful birds

I finally made it down to New Bern to see the Anna's Hummingbird that has been visiting the Berher's yard (lifer #1539!).

It didn't visit the feeder while I was there, but helpfully announced its presence by making some bizarre vocalizations from atop a tree in the yard.  It sat for several minutes and I was able to view it through my scope and take some distant photos. 
I guess the Anna's just wasn't thirsty today?
After awhile it zipped off with a flurry of angry-sounding tweets as if on an urgent mission. I might have stuck around hoping to get a view of its gorget illuminated by sun, but I had my own pressing plans...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fall Recap: chases and finds

With the November bird eating competition completed and Frasier Firs going on sale everywhere, the fall is certainly behind us. It has been a busy one for both work and birds and I just haven't had a chance to post some rather remarkable sightings.

I made a trip out to see the Allen's Hummingbird in Catawba County with Mark Kosiewski. This may have a set a chase-distance record for both of us, so I'll admit we were both a bit hesitant when we were making our plans.  But this was not only the second NC record for the species (which I've told told is a tricky find even in its native California), but also a gorgeous adult-male!  Plus success was virtually guaranteed since the individual was regularly returning to Dwayne Martin's feeder outside of his Riverbend Park office.