Monday, June 25, 2007

SEVERN RIVER BRIDGE PEREGRINE FALCON UPDATES

Please visit my Severn River Peregrine Falcon Update Website: HERE. I've been rather busy these last few days and weeks since I discovered them on the bridge here in Annapolis.

View numerous photographs of the Severn River Peregrine Falcons: HERE

Good birding,

Dan

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Annapolis (pair of) Peregrine Falcons

For the second day in a row, I was on a local cruising yacht in Annapolis performing music, this time with my band. Ah, the joys of being a birding musician.

In any case, the gig was going along well. Nothing new to report. I forgot the words to "Me and Julio." I've only sung it about two milliion times. When out of the gray blue sky, I noticed this amazingly powerful bird zoom over my head. It was a PEREGRINE FALCON. I had to finish the song, sure. But I also had to make sure I saw what I saw, so I skipped a verse and a chorus.

I looked up and spotted the perch where the bird had landed and my Suspicious Mind (another hit that the crowd just loves) was confirmed! It was indeed a PEREGRINE.

On the way back (see, we get to pass under the bridge twice on the trip), I planned accordingly and made sure I was in between songs to get a better view. Mickey, the drummer, yelled at me to look over there! Ah, better news: TWO PEREGRINE FALCONS!

The photo above is of the two PEREGRINES. The female is on the left, and the male is perched on the right.

I admit that I couldn't get a solid view of the second bird, so when the gig was done, I rushed over to a friend of mine's beach (with permission).

I have no photo skills like say a Bill Hubick (www.bill hubick.com), but I did manage a few ok shots: Peregrine Falcons.

On the way back to the car, I watched a Northern Rough Winged Swallow flying about, and a Belted Kingfisher literally wrestling with a fish in the shallow part of the nearby cove. I also enjoyed observing a Great Blue Heron fish like a true pro.

What a day! Now, I'm off to play Middleton Tavern. I doubt I'll see any great birds... so maybe I'll remember more lyrics.

Great birding all,

Dan

Monday, June 11, 2007

catbird gone

I've got a bit of sad news this monday morning: the catbird nest is no longer a functioning household.

Sometime Sunday night or Monday morning, a local house cat raided the nest. The evidence is clear: only one egg was even slightly damaged, the nest is a mess on one side and there are no catbirds in sight. If it were a raccoon, the eggs would be gone along with the bird. That cat is soon only going to have 8 lives left. It has a date with a bb gun in it's future.

I'm thinking next year, I'll keep any nesting birds from these areas in my front yard. Last year the cat ate the wren's nest in my japanese fir tree. This year, the catbird has apparently suffered the same fate. Damn predators.

On Greenbury Point, where I do Bluebird and Tree Swallow nests, the birds have suffered the same fate in far too many cases. The Raccoons have destroyed more than a few nests. The House Sparrows have killed tons of Bluebirds and there have been more abandoned nests than I can count on my hands and feet.

I am seeking grant funding to put up some baffles on some boxes to keep the predators away, to put up some new boxes and to even take down a few of the boxes. I am making it a cause of mine to attempt to increase the success rates of these boxes on Greenbury Point. Wish me luck.

Oh, but to leave you on a brighter note, the Chimney Swifts in my West Annapolis neighborhood have fledged. They are flying about, like pros, all over the skies of my community... happily eating all the bugs! When things seem bad, don't worry... just look up. There is always good news to be found.

-Dan

Monday, June 4, 2007

catbirds on eggs

Ah, the day after a big Maryland rain. It's refreshing indeed.

Well, since we last chatted, the House Wrens have fledged a few hot chicks. The Carolina Wrens have returned. (Although, I don't know where they ventured off to these past few months?) The House Finches are EVERYWHERE. There are probably two or three broods of chicks out and about visiting my feeders. Today there were three Northern Cardinals chicks today testing their new flight feathers. And, yes, even the House Sparrows chicks are everywhere. I really don't care for them after seing how they mutilate my bluebirds. More on that in a later post. On the lighter side, there have been three ultra-daring, unbelievably brave squirrels. These past few days, the squirrels have 'almost' been formally introduced to my Golden Retriever Oiseau's brand new K-9 teeth on more than a few occassions. I don't mind, it keeps him occupied for hours staring out the door with awe at all of the baby birds and teenage squirrels running around the feeders. It's TV for dogs.

In any case, the big news today is that I found the Gray Catbird's nest in the rose bush in front of my house. See for yourself!





As some of you may know, I sing and play guitar in a few bands. I saw this comic this morning in the Baltimore Sun and I enjoyed it.




Be well. More fun stories to come...

Dan
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