Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Squirrel Appreciation Day

This is my latest individual captured on the feeder cam. It's too hard to say (for me at least) if it was one of the same from last year.
winter coat
However, this is my first pic this year of a different individual than one I normally see. I used to see the fairly distinctive "short-haired" one pretty often.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January Rare Birds

Pacific loon

king eider

gray partridge

mew gull

glaucous-winged gull

black-legged kittiwake

ivory gull

Lewis's woodpecker

American 3-toed woodpecker

Bewick's wren

sage thrasher

curve-billed thrasher

green-tailed towhee

black-throated sparrow

lark bunting

golden-crowned sparrow

black-headed grosbeak

streak-backed oriole

Scott's oriole


Eurasian tree sparrow

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ding Darling

I got to see 2 reddish egrets in the flats along the wildlife drive!

Saturday, January 3, 2015


I confirmed my lifer of short-tailed hawk today in the Everglades! I thought I might have seen one or 2 on the drive over, but I finally got a good look while waiting for a boat ride through the mangroves. At first, it was backlit so I could only see a silhouette. Then, it banked and caught the sun, so I saw this all-dark hawk with a little white at the base of the bill. Great day!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ten Thousand Islands

We went to a park, where I think I heard a mangrove cuckoo...

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bird Highlights of 2014

Please note that none of the photos in this post are mine.

On the 1st, we finally saw the gyrfalcon of Buena Vista Grasslands, after a prior miss. I insisted this time that we leave at "zero dark 30" to get up there at daybreak, and it paid off! We saw it after about 30 min, when the passenger in a car in front of us was pointing at the ground. We couldn't see what she was pointing at, until the falcon rose from the ground to fly in front of us. Then, it perched in a tree on a cross street, so we got good looks from the road below.
taken same day we saw it
I at least had a "new life" experience on April 16th this year, by seeing a lifer "spotted" towhee. This bird was heavily debated, and probably came from a population where it's impossible to determine its lineage just by remotely observing it. Still, it had some spots on it, so it had a "spotted parent"  somewhere in its blood. A comment from the ABA Advanced Bird ID page suggested that perhaps this bird was under too much scrutiny.
The next week, I saw my lifer Smith's longspurs not far south of Madison. Then, we went on an ultimate twitch to Crex Meadows for a garganey.
This was the fall of the Anna's hummingbird. I saw my lifer when one showed up at a backyard feeder in Baraboo, but I had only to wait a few weeks to see one right on campus.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

FL Panther NWR

We visited the refuge this afternoon, but it had less than 2 miles of trails, so we walked both of them.
the "long loop"
There was a long loop and short loop, and it was only a very small part of the land preserved.