This morning I had a flock of about 10 female White winged crossbill eating Hemlock cones from the ground. I would have liked to have seen some males, but this was a girls’ breakfast event.
I grabbed my coat and bounded out the door and up the ladder to get a closer look. After some discussion, two squirrels took a flying leap out of the box and two others decided to sit tight. We had some more discussions about property rights, after which I finally left the owl box with the lid still open. After lunch I looked at the owl cam and the owl box was squirrel free once again. I suspect this will be an ongoing war, although I’m basking in the knowledge that I won the first battle.
One of the Red shouldered hawks was most co-operative as he allowed us to drive right up to him. I was trying to sneak a shot as he bolted, but the raptors just sat there even as we drove right up to him. He was on the passenger side of the road and all I could hear was Patrick’s camera merrily clicking away. I managed to get some shots through the windshield and Patrick snapped a few more from the passenger side for me. It’s amazing how most birds bolt at the sight of you and others couldn’t care less. Birding involves a lot of luck, a dash of patience and quick reflexes. I don’t often see Red shouldered hawk, so this was a real treat for me.
I don't officially have a life list of birds, but I saw a whole bunch of new birds while out in MA during the Superbowl of birding weekend. I’m including birds that I can’t remember seeing, although I’m sure I’ve seen a few in NJ on birding trips.
My current system of tracking birds is simply checking them off in my field guide. I’m pretty bad at keeping up with my checking off process and inevitable I miss some along the way. What process do you use to track your bird lists – handwritten, spreadsheets, word documents, software, manual checking? What recommendations do you have for me before I dive into the process?
Here are my lifers for the trip:
Northern Hawk Owl
I would have to rate the Northern Hawk Owl as my top life bird for the trip with the Snowy owl right behind it. We didn’t get a good look at the Snowy, but it definitely was one. If we had seen the Ivory gull I think it would have been a dead tie.
Let me know what you think about my life list issue – thanks.
Patrick and I headed out to Collingswood early this morning filled with the hope of seeing a very cool little bird. We got to the house at around 8 and stood around scanning for the Towhee. Patrick had seen it briefly before in another state and this would be a lifer for me. Initially we were just seeing Juncos, White throated Sparrows and House Sparrows, but then something zoomed in and Patrick got right onto it – BINGO Green Tailed Towhee.
You’ll be forgiven for thinking that this is just another sparrow-looking bird, especially when you take a quick glance in bad lighting conditions.
Their scientific name roughly translates to “colorful chirper,” and their common name attests to the bright yellow-green of their tail. A group of towhees are collectively known as a "tangle" and a "teapot" of towhees.