Doper Birding Thread 2012

For some reason I’ve never seen a thread here on birding, but there’s one now! I live in Jacksonville Florida BTW.

So, what have been your recent sightings of note? Me, I noticed at twilight a few nights back a number of wading birds flying towards a certain direction west of my apartment. This usually indicates that they are going to a nighttime roostery, which is typically situated on small islands with trees in the middle of a pond. After I drove around a bit I was able to roughly cross-correlate their flightpaths, and then I went to Google maps and tried to find a pond fitting the requisite description, where I indeed found 3 candidate ponds in the correct direction.

Went out the next evening and, after driving around in the residential subdivision in question for a bit, found them! Managed to find a good vantage point and just watched them stream in over the course of an hour-my rough count (blocked by vegetation) indicated about 200+ white ibises, 90 Great Egrets, and around 30-50 each of Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, and Snowy Egrets. No Great Blues tho, which usually tend to do their own thing anyway.

NE Indiana… We have a pair of Red-Bellied Woodpeckers who are apparently setting up house in a tree in front of my workplace. Don’t know how notable it is but I thought it was pretty neat. :slight_smile:

Also, I had my first Red-Winged Blackbird sighting today. Seeing them return is more of a sign of spring than the Robins are, since I have Robins here almost year-round.

We’re casual birders who were lucky enough to live in equatorial Africa for a couple of years and go on several safaris to see things like the lilac breasted roller, the blue turaco, hornbills, red bishops, mousebirds, and dozens of others. Uganda has more bird species than the entire United States and places like Botswana, Tanzania and the like are a birder’s paradise.

Living in Alaska, we had a lot of bald eagles and ravens and the more common redpoles, chickadees, etc. In the northern part of the state I saw snowy owls. Here in Portland we commonly see Anna’s hummingbirds at our feeder, along with chickadees, bushtits, scrub jays, and juncos. The other day we saw a purple finch and its mate out there, which is uncommon in the city. We occasionally will get a northern flicker to visit, as well. A few blocks from here is an area called Oak Bottom, which is a wetland area that has a lot of water birds visiting, too many to list here.

The Yellow-crowned Parrots that hang around my neighborhood were squawking up a storm this morning. I wonder if they’re scouting for a nest site.

My most interesting sighting in recent months was when I was in New York over the holidays. I went with a friend to Jones Beach on Long Island where we got a Grace’s Warbler. (I do two Christmas counts each year - the Panama Pacific Count, and the Bronx-Westchester count. I have a great composite list for the two counts.:))

I had a spectacular birding trip last year when I went to Peru for an ornithological congress in Cuzco. Before the meetings I did a week’s tour with some friends of mine, starting in Lima, going on to Cuzco, then down the precipitous Manu Road down the east side of the Andes and into Amazonia. Highlights were a Diademed Sandpiper Ploveron a frozen bog at almost 13,000 ft, a Cock-of-the-Rock lek in the cloud forest, and a group of four Pale-winged Trumpeterswalking in a stately procession down the trail in front of us in Amazonia. Although I’ve been to Peru before, I broke a personal milestone on the trip: I reached 3000 species on my life list.

Here in Mass., the spring birds are slowly filtering back. Nothing terribly exciting, but it’s good to see the redwing blackbirds back (a bit earlier than usual). Still a handful of snowy owls and a couple of short-eared owls in the area. The local eagles have apparently been mating. There have been a few outlier warblers this winter that never bothered leaving and lucked out in the very mild weather.

I was in Taman Negara, peninsular Malaysia’s National Park, last summer. Among the birds I recall encountering were hornbills, sunbirds, and a tiny one with a lovely song called an Abbot’s Babbler.

Around here in NE Kansas, the usual. Three kinds of woodpeckers in this urban block, so that’s pretty neat. Saw an eagle in town yesterday. The most unusual bird I’ve seen here in town was a Bell’s Vireo, last spring, at a woody stretch of riverbank. Not outside its known range or anything, just “unusual” in that they’re hard to notice.

Congrats, Colibri, on hitting 3 large! Quite a feat.

Equatorial birds are amazing, aren’t they? That lek is really wonderful. Unless one was passed out drunk, it was impossible to sleep in in Uganda because of the cacophony every morning outside our windows. The variety is staggering and the calls from birds like hornbills are too loud to ignore. I have a tape around here someplace that I made prior to leaving.

Yes, it helps to have spent a lot of time in Central and South America. Panama has more species than all of the US and Canada together. My country list for Panama alone is 831. I have a couple of friends who do a lot of birding tours who I think are well over 5000 by now.

While I’ve spent most of my time in the American tropics, I’ve been to Africa a bit too. I had a project in Gabon for awhile. We had several species of big hornbills flying around and trumpeting, plus those amazing Blue Turacos. I’ve also birded a bit in Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, the DRC, and a couple of other countries.

One place I haven’t spent much time is the Asian tropics. I’ve only been to India. Malaysia and Borneo are high on my agenda, and also Papua New Guinea.

North central Iowa. I heard a cardinal the other day but haven’t seen any returning birds yet. On the other hand, I haven’t been more than a block from my house for a couple weeks.

Does anyone know when the orioles show up? We had some for the first time last year, but I don’t remember when they first showed up. I’d like to get the feeders out for them, make sure they stick around.

Yay, this is the thread I will post a picture in, when I get one, of the white birds I’ve seen hanging around the area; I love them, but am SO ignorant, I don’t know whether they’re ibis’ or small cranes or WHAT. Always wondered, though :slight_smile:

Don’t know where you live, but egrets are very common in much the US.

Cool. I just remembered a few other interesting birds I saw there: a Bronzed Drongo, a White-rumped Shama, an Asian Fairy-Bluebird, and an Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher. You’re probably too expert for this, but for my purposes, Strange and Jeyarjasingam’s bookwas great.

Then there’s this book, which I’ve thought about purchasing someday, but something about the author just rubs me the wrong way… :wink: (kidding)

I’ll sign off with a mildly amusing birding story. I was driving along the Pacific coast of Mexico, near the Oaxaca/Chiapas border, when my true-birder companions said, “hey, stop at the next kilometer marker.” So we did, and within thirty seconds they had spotted a rare bird (rare because its range is so small): Rosita’s Bunting. It was funny because, despite it being such a prize, it was absurdly easy to track down – right exactly where their book said they could find it. Or maybe we were just really lucky.

Central Ohio here.

Had a gorgeous cardinal in my backyard the other day. Attended a meeting at a park yesterday. There was a bird feeder outside the window and we saw a bluebird couple as well as some woodpeckers (not sure what kind).

My garden is planted to attract both bird and butterflies. I routinely have goldfinches, especially in late summer/early fall when many of my flowers have gone to seed.

It’s very cool to read about everyone’s sightings around the world.

Hey, the Englemans are very nice people.:wink:

Whew…as soon as I posted that, I realized I might have broken a SDMB rule there! Don’t worry, won’t happen again.

Nah, I’m semi “out” anyway. I’ve posted links to my books myself, and Cecil has blown my cover too.

S. California, so south that when I sneeze, Mexico gets sick. :stuck_out_tongue: Can’t recall whether I see them in the summers or not, but definitely all winter, hanging out in the fields, probably where it’s the only wet spot. :stuck_out_tongue: I was wondering if they’re egrets, but as I always see them while driving to/from work, I never stop to take pics, and can’t quite tell if they have the tail-ruff on their heads. Now I’m laid off, so…I will try to get some pics. There have been GORGEOUS moments when I see them taking over a tree, all snoozing just before dawn.

If you don’t get the photo, have no egrets.

There’s a cool book called “Wild New York”, about all the wildlife you can see within the five boroughs of New York City. The chapter on shorebirds and wetland birds of Jamaica Bay and surroundings is titled…

…“Egrets, We Have a Few”. :stuck_out_tongue: