Sunday, August 19, 2012

Distracting Birds at Mattamuskeet

Some of you may be aware that I've begun a research project on "bird biogeochemistry" at Lake Mattamuskeet, a site that just happens to be a fantastic for birding.

I try to be disciplined, keep my head down, and focus on the task at hand as much as possible while out doing field work, but when I notice a Least Bittern clinging to a phragmites stalk not 50 feet away... 
Least Bittern
...well then it's time for a quick break!
my first seen in NC
In the same area I got several great looks at a King Rail (lifer #1603!) that was sharing the marsh with me for the day (though using it for much different purposes). 

There were a few warblers around: Prothonotary, Yellow and some very friendly Prairies:

Prairie Warbler
I was surprised to have a flock of 99 dabbling ducks (mostly Blacks with some Green-winged Teal and possibly others mixed in) assemble near my site one evening. But I suppose this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of thousands that will arrive in November.

Toss in a flyby Sandhill Crane, a flock of 50 Boblinks and a couple early Sedge Wrens and I would say this lake has plenty of distracting birds!

2 comments:

  1. Good grief. You're over 1600 on your list and you still get to pick up lifers while you're at work.

    Super shots too. The thrill of seeing a Least Bittern never, ever ceases.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Laurence!

      There's still 2 more lifers I hope to pick up some day "while at work" : Golden Eagle and Sora

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