Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Western Kingbird at Eastern Neck

It's an odd juxtaposition to have this flycatcher from the West, known as a WESTERN KINGBIRD hanging out at Maryland's EASTERN NECK NWR. But it certainly was a treat getting to see and photograph this bird today. George Jett drove and me?... Well, I just looked around for a puffy yellow bird.

Once we arrived, we got out of the car from our long drive and had a nice stretch. We weren't the only ones.We looked everywhere for this WESTERN KINGBIRD. Tree tops. Fence posts. Chimneys. Wait, there is that EASTERN PHOEBE again.Wrong fly catching bird! Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy watching an EASTERN PHOEBE hunt. Despite the cold weather of late, this PHEOBE was still finding some good eats. It might help to answer the question, "What does an WESTERN KINGBIRD eat in the winter?"But I had a job to do, and find this bird I must. Soon enough I spied this puffy lemon yellow thing perched in the snag of a small tree on the edge of the field. Could it be?This slightly off-course migrant wasn't all that easy to find, but the best ones never are...I assure you, that even though we stood side by side taking photo after photo, that George's photographs will far surpass these you see here. But that's okay... he's got some experience with bird photography. This was George's 304th bird photographed in Maryland in 2008. He's got a month to go and his original goal was 300. Time to blow the doors off of that goal and move on to the next. I expect he'll surpass 311 by the time that ball drops in New York City.Keep in mind that George is doing all this in order to raise funds for ABC, the American Bird Conservancy. So any chance I get to find him a bird, I'm quite honored to do it. This WESTERN KINGBIRD was Maryland State Bird #297 for me in 2008 and it was my 299th species in Maryland. Oh, stop yawning! It's been an amazing year and I'm proud of my results. I've learned a lot, driven many miles, seen some incredible areas of my state and enjoyed it all.

Lastly and most important, I hope you have a Wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!



1 comment:

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Dan - 3 more to go. You can do it!

Happy Happy Thanksgiving to you and the gang. We're thankful to have good friends like you, and we hope we can get together soonest.


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