Thursday, May 29, 2008

Anyone want to name that bird? SOLVED

This little bird (below) was seen on Route 495 perched right next to a farm pond in Garrett County, Maryland. Feel free to Google Earth the exact location for yourself. The pond is located right next to the "d" in Bittinger Road, just between Glendale Rd and O'Brien Road.
If you'd prefer, simply click on any of the photos for the larger version.I figured that since migration is slowing down a bit, maybe you needed something to do?

Some of the emailed responses were: GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, SAVANNAH SPARROW and even a female INDIGO BUNTING. But there were SEVEN votes for a female BOBOLINK.

I hereby declare... this bird is a BOBO!

You want another? I've got some more...

Good Birding,

Dan

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Western Maryland Memorial Day Birding Expedition

Emery let me go birding for one last big 'end-of-migration' weekend this past Sunday and Monday. I did manage to get to the family BBQ/Birthday party on Monday night in Bethesda on time! I drove miles and miles and observed loads of birds. I had many LIFERS and several amazing encounters. Without going into it in too much details, let me show you some photographs. I promise to explain where ever necessary.BLACK CAPPED CHICKADEES occur in Maryland's Western Counties. There is a subtle distinction between this bird and it's Eastern Maryland relative, the CAROLINA CHICKADEE. One such field mark are these (above) slightly more prominent white edges on the secondaries (on the wings). I set my camera to 'blur' so as to illustrate this identification mark... not because I'm a bad photographer. Ok, mostly because I'm a bad photographer.An EASTERN "Western MD" BLUEBIRD. I liked this bird's burnt orange coloration on it's breast and how it matched the fence rust. Artsy, eh?A BROAD-WINGED HAWK with some feather issues. I saw quite a few of them out West. It is always a treat to see this raptor catching an afternoon thermal against a mountain's side.Two views of a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER. For whatever reason, these warblers were much more locatable than their Eastern Maryland relatives. Perhaps it was because there were a lot of them? Yes... maybe.The CHIPPING SPARROWS are certainly more 'punk rock' than the conservative ones we have here in Annapolis. Notice the mohawk? Yes, and even it's song has more of a grundgy-quality to it.An UPLAND SANDPIPER that found me in Pleasant Valley. And what a pleasant valley it was...A SCARLET TANAGER at Swallow Falls State Park. After visiting this park, I've decided that it's long past time to get the wife, the boy and a few good friends to head out West for some camping. There is one thing I will always be watching for from now on...Western Maryland's Black Bears are so adorable. My bed head from getting up at 6AM probably was the main reason this bear skee-dattled into the woods right after he (or she) noticed my presence.Ok, you want the truth? Well, I'll tell you the truth. The bear and I wrestled for several minutes. It was a draw. A tie. We had nearly the same amount strength, classic Roman technique and cuteness. Afterwards, we sat and ate some berries. Laughing frequently, we talked for hours about how we missed our honeys, what we liked to eat, why it is that people are always wanting to snuggle with us, etc. I even told him about Lisa Strobel's HONEY BEES. Once BEAR learned about Lisa's bees, he broke out in hives (get it?) and started to drool. Drooling much like you can see here (below), as performed by my adorable son Declan.And so, after we'd become fast friends (MAN and BEAR), we parted ways. I'll always remember the morning I spent with my friend, the BEAR. If only you could've been there...

Hunting these black bears should be crime.

Enjoy your first real week of summer!

Dan

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Long time, No blog... pt IV

So I've been rather busy these days. My sincere apologies for the noticeable lack of blogging. Migration has that affect on me. I promise to get back to my regular pace... just as soon as all of the birds are done moving North. It's just that lately, there has been much to do around the house. Keeping up the nest is hard work!In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these few photographs. Don't get me wrong, the family and I (dog included) have been having a BALL this spring.It's just... well, I simply don't have too much to CHAT about today.I can tell you this for certain... love has DEFINITELY been in the air (and on the ground, and in the water, and in the trees, and...) lately.Enjoy your May migration!

-Dan

Monday, May 5, 2008

Letter to My Wife Emery, Told in Birdspeak

Lover, out of ALL the chicks in ALL of the flocks in this great big world of ours, how lucky was I to have found you? VERY lucky indeed.I know that sometimes you like to do your thing. And, me? I like to do mine. But I'm so happy that we live in the same pond so we can share all of our wonderful experiences with each other.And, yes... far too often I go on and on about birds, or music, or Declan, or about keeping the house neat, or about the dogs, or about... well, you know what I mean.I'd bet that my all-day-birding trips make you pretty BITTERN sometimes too.It probably makes your head turn knowing that I want to go out yet AGAIN this coming weekend and do it all over again. It can be hard to SWALLOW sometimes, I know.Hey... wait. Don't perch so far away lover! I know that you and I are doing this balancing act, but trust me... I'm getting to the good part.I know that sometimes we don't always see things the same way...But Emery... ever since we BANDED together...And started our very own family...I would fly with you ANYWHERE, ANYTIME!I LOVE YOU EMERY. Thanks for letting me get my bird-fix this year.

Happy Mother's Day!
Love, Dan

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy May 1st

From 6AM to 8AM this morning, my friend Andy Sprenger and I birded two locations in Annapolis.Of note were two AMERICAN REDSTARTS, a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Year Bird #200) and a BLUE GROSBEAK (Year Bird #201) calling off of Forest Drive near Spa Road and four SOLITARY SANDPIPERS around a fresh lake in a field. The best bird of the morning: a beautiful, singing HOODED WARBLER behind the tennis courts at Truxton Park. It popped up several times in the morning sun for a superb show.
Andy had to get to work roasting the beans at Caffe Pronto, and I've got to get back to work too. ENJOY YOUR MAY 1ST!

Have a good morning,

Dan Haas

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