Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pre-winter Bird Update

Hello folks! (Mind if I call you 'folks'?)

As fall migration cooled down for warblers, things heated up again quickly as the sparrows and the waterfowl started to arrive into the mid-Atlantic region. Here are just a few highlights from some of my more recent adventures.The above two photos are perhaps the last two photos taken of the Howard County CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, a long-awaited life bird for me. I observed this little fellow last Saturday, November 14th. This sparrow not been reported since then. Perhaps one reason why might be the lark chunk of it's head feathers that went missing? Some thing, be it a Cardinal or a Cooper's Hawk, nearly did in this wayward migrant.Forgive the awful photography, but I just wanted to show you a PINE SISKIN that appeared on my sock feeders last week in the midst of a downpour. I remember that last year the only time the Siskin flock ate at my house was when the weather was raining.Mikey Lutmerding found this EARED GREBE at Piscataway Park in Prince George's County, MD. It's located just across the way from George Washington's place. Sadly, I found this rare grebe diving in the midst of a river of garbage.On Saturday, Chris Murray and I birded both Montgomery and Frederick County in central Maryland. A BROWN CREEPER is always a nice find (below), as is a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (above).A WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW graced us with it's presence at Lilypons Aquatic Gardens later in the afternoon. Despite the thick, overcast skies, the sun managed to peak out for a second... long enough to get one photo of this bird in actual sun light (the middle of the three photos).Note the bi-colored bill, the jet-black feet, the very light reddish-brown wash on the sides and this bird's stunning red head. Indeed, this is one fine looking sparrow.And perhaps my favorite of all of our wintering Sparrows, this AMERICAN TREE SPARROW was, for us, the bird of the day. That is until this bird almost bit me!When I tell you that this TRUMPETER SWAN (one of a pair) owns the pond at Riderwood... I MEAN IT! Warn any relatives that you might have living at this famous assisted living facility in Silver Spring! These stunning beauties will bite.

Good Birding,



Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Most perfect pic of a Kinglet!

Thanks for the funny comment on my shopping adventure.

Love to You and your gorgeous wife along with Declan and Isla.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS - might see you at Sharkey's tonight!

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Happy Thanksgiving to the Haas clan from Baghdad! Love those pictures. Makes me yearn to get back and do some serious early winter birding.


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