Saturday, February 23, 2008

Leaves and Fallen Trees? Even better... American Woodcock.

It looks pretty much like a log, some leaves and a bit of mud.But upon closer inspection you'll notice the AMERICAN WOODCOCK lurking on the hill.This bird flushed while I was searching (unsuccessfully) for a BOHEMIAN WAXWING within the enormous flock of AMERICAN ROBINS and CEDAR WAXWINGS. I know, you think I'm crazy for looking for such a bird here in Maryland. But yesterday we had two COMMON REDPOLLS visit our county. Why not a 'COUNTY BOH' here in the land of pleasant living?

In order to understand that reference, I suppose I should inform you that National Bohemian Beer was originally brewed in Baltimore, MD (the land of pleasant living, as it stated on the can!). We locals have always referred to it our local affordable brew as 'NATTY BOH'.I was more than delighted to capture this elusive bird this during my two hour hike around Greenbury Point this morning.

Other birds seen during my little adventure: WHITE CROWNED SPARROW, FIELD SPARROW, BROWN THRASHER, RED SHOULDERED HAWK and one slightly inebriated, yet still rather wary BUFFLEHEAD.Bud, the king of empty floating beer cans! I do hope that this BUFFLEHEAD will not forget to recycle his empties.Finally, I'll leave you with two photos of a RED SHOULDERED HAWK from this morning. Perhaps you will recall a post from earlier this winter when I kayaked through the thick mud of Back Creek here in Annapolis in order to save the life of a RED SHOULDERED HAWK? Well, I have great news about this particular raptor. After a month or so in rehabilitation, this hawk is ready for release. If you'd like to watch the big event, please feel free to stop by the Greenbury Point Nature Center at 1:30PM sharp this Monday afternoon. Linda Moore, from the Smithsonian Institution and the Virginia Raptor Conservancy (where the hawk was given a thorough washing after it's mud bath), will be letting this hawk fly off back into it's own familiar, and hopefully less-muddy, territory within the Annapolis area.Good Birding,

Dan

4 comments:

Warren & Lisa Strobel said...

Dan: BirdCouple = 112 species in '08. You = 114 species. Hmmm. GAME ON?

Nervous Birds said...

I would say yes, but by the time BirdCouple returns from North Dakota... I'll be toast!

Even still, I'm going to keep looking.

Bennet said...

I miss Nati Bo. I wish I was a birder when I went to St. John's, Maryland is obviously a fantastic place to be a birder!

BiscuitsBoy said...

Great pix of the woodcock! They are a rare find by day. Just came in from watching (a minimum of) three or (possibly as many as) five males doing their thing, which I never get tired of hearing/seeing. I have a secret spot to go view them at, in the Middlesex Fells Reservation, seven miles northwest of Boston and 200 yards from my house. Woodcocks arrived here March 10, about normal; nights have been cold. The woodcock is beyond question my favorite bird, and the first one I got really excited about.

Last year I was attending a social function in Boston on the night of the full Hunter Moon (October 6, I think); a very dear but maddeningly late and consistently unreliable friend was driving. I was simmering, as he came to fetch me 30 minutes late; then to add salt to the wound he chatted on the cell phone all the way into Boston-- banal stuff, too, nothing repeatable. Parking was a nightmare as the Sox (you know-- the World Champions...) were playing. Anyway we tried one last parking lot in Boston's South End. It too was packed; suddenly something dropped gracefully from the sky. "Stop the car!" I yelled. "That's a bird!" It was indeed. It was a woodcock, four feet from me, taking a break from its migratory flight. We had a moment for about ten minutes, then it took off again. My totem bird, in the middle of Boston, at eight o'clock at night-- how lucky am I? I told my friend when I got back to the car, "I'm so happy you're a mess, and always late!"

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