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!


  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.

    1. Thanks Laurence!

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