Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Warbler of Maine

First I will list there name where they were first seen and then if it was a life or year bird, or neither.

Yellow Warbler- Cape May, New Jersey- neither

Yellow-rumped Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- neither

Tennessee Warbler- Glassboro Woods, New Jersey- life bird

Blue-winged Warbler- some back road in New Hampshire- life bird

Black-throated Green Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- life bird

Black-throated Blue Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- life bird

Prothonotary Warbler- Glassboro Woods, New Jersey- life bird

Wilson's Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- neither

Canada Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- life bird

Worm-eating Warbler- Glassboro Woods, New Jersey- neither

Yellow-breasted Chat- Cape May, New Jersey- neither

Chestnut-sided Warbler- Acadia National Park, Maine- life bird 

Black-and-White Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- year bird

Palm Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- life bird

Northern Waterthrush- Driving by a random bog in Maine, neither

Louisiana Waterthrush- Beach Pond State Park, Rhode Island- year bird

Magnolia Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- life bird

Cerulean Warbler- unknown state park, New Jersey- life bird

Nashville Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- year bird

Northern Parula- Bangor City Woods, Maine- neither

Blackburnian Warbler- Bangor City Woods, Maine- year bird

Pine Warbler- Jake's Landing, Maine- year bird

Prairie Warbler- Jake's Landing, Maine- life bird

Yellow-throated Warbler- Jake's Landing Maine- year bird

Ovenbird- Glassboro Woods, New Jersey- year bird

Common Yellowthroat- Glassboro Woods, New Jersey- neither

American Redstart- Acadia National Park, Maine- life bird

Recommended Places to bird:
Jake's Landing
Bangor City Woods
Machias Seal Island
Acadia National Park
Cape May

American Redstart, Acadia National Park, Maine

Thanks for reading and good luck birding
Skyler Bol
Ft. Collins , CO

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Salida and Steamboat Colorado, year birds and more

       About 1 week ago our family decided to go down to Salida, Colorado on the Arkansas River. Although the main purpose for the trip was not birding it turned out to have two life birds for me. At the first birding location, Centennial Cemetery (near Buena Vista), we located a nest of Lewis's Woodpeckers, life bird #484. After observing this odd and I guess unique woodpecker for 30 or so minutes we traveled on to Ice Pond.  Besides a few Yellow-headed Blackbirds and 3 more Lewis's Woodpeckers no interesting birds were found. So we drove back to our friend's house. As the trip went on no other birds were found, until the very last 3 hours of our trip. As some of you may know, my dad is a photographer, so on our way out we stopped at a local skatepark surrounded by a forest of Pinyon Pines. As my dad shot pictures of a skateboarder doing tricks out on a half pipe I wandered off into the forest in search of the unpredictable Pinyon Jay. When the game trail I walked on curved to the left a blue bird flew out in front of me giving a call almost unmistakable. I had found what I was looking for. A Pinyon Jay sat 10 feet in front of me giving its noisy call as a group of 5 or so joined him a few trees away, score #485. Two life birds in one day in Colorado!

Steamboat Springs
     At 10:00 A.M. June 26, 2012 my mom and I left for Steamboat Springs, CO (going the route north of the High Park Fire burn zone through Laramie, Wyoming).This three hour drive goes right through the heart of the shrub lands, and the Rocky Mountains through North Park. It is surrounded on both sides by either coniferous forest of the high mountains or grassy shrub lands of southern Wyoming and North Park. A small town named Walden lies right in the center of North Park and is surrounded by both large lakes and tall grass and sage brush. As a small diversion we visited one such lake, known as Lake John. As we drove the winding road out to the reservoir we passed an irrigation ditch with two large chicken-like birds sulking in the grass, Greater Sage-Grouse quickly shot out of my mouth and the car came screeching to a stop giving us a view of a male and female Greater Sage Grouse, score year bird #390! As the trip progressed no other birds where found except a very anticlimactic Hammond's Flycatcher and a Red-naped Sapsucker.

The solution to the photo quiz: Lazuli x Indigo Bunting hybrid

Thank's for reading
Skyler Bol
Ft. Collins, CO

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Back from Maine with 26 Warblers!

After an amazing trip filled with memorable moments we traveled to: two countries, 10 states and 1 providence. We traveled over 2,000 miles and saw 198 birds. My Year list is now 389 and I am going to Arizona in late July for summer Mexican migrants. My life list soared to 485 and I am way over my schedule. I hope that birding is going well in the rest of the country for my followers and that one day you might be able to do a big year of your own! 
On another note earlier tonight I observed a group of 50+ Barn Swallows fly just over my house in a giant flock. All the birds flew in unison and gave Barn Swallow calls. It was also just before rain started to come down and thunder and lightning were going as they did this behavior. To me this seemed a little odd, any ideas? 

Thanks for reading!
Skyler Bol
Ft. Collins CO                               pics below from trip

Machias Seal Island, Canada
Atlantic Puffin (life bird)
Razorbill (also a life bird)
Black Skimmer, Cape May New Jersey
Forester's Tern (same location)
Also seen:
Black Bear
White-tailed Deer
Harbor Porpoise
Gray Seal
Harbor Seal

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chico Days, a sucsess!

I would like to start out by thanking all of the wonderful people who donated their time to band birds at Chico Basin all around the country. I truly wish that I could do that every day of my life.  I got the experience of taking a Swainson's Thrush from the net and letting it go, and watching it fly through the forest with agility matched by no other animal. I also got to do the "run" and carry the birds in little bags as shown below.

Blue bag: Lazuli Bunting
Orange/Brown bag at bottom: Bullock's Oriole
Other bags: Swainson's Thrushes and Gray Catbirds
Although many great birds were found here, this was definately the rarest.
Worm-eating Warbler
My list is now at 305 and we are heading to New Jersey up to Maine for 8 days in about 1 week, the day after schools gets out! Before I end this post I have a bird identification challenge for all of the birders who read my blog. Here is the picture from Chico. Take a guess at what this is in the comment section below (hint, hint, it is not what you think it is)

any guesses?
Have fun birding!
Skyler Bol
Ft. Collins, CO
birds: 305

Friday, May 11, 2012

Update: I am at 280 birds and it is May 11. This weekend I am going down to Chico Basin Ranch for rare warblers. Some of my most recent birds have been a Northern Parula at Sean Walters house (thanks Sean), and a Least Flycatcher at Norma's Grove out in the Pawnee National Grasslands. Our next trip will be to the northeast flying into Philidelphia ad birding southern New Jersey on June second. I WILL post what birds we see at Chico Basin Ranch. I also just had a day last weekend with 100 birds to. I might do a blog post for that too. Skyler

Monday, April 16, 2012

Big Day records shatered

              The next stop in our California trip was San Francisco where we stayed at a friend's house and went to a birding location 1 mile from her house called Heather Farms Park. Here the only bird we got that we didn't see the rest of the trip was a Red-breasted Sapsucker (an awesome life bird). On our last day in San Fran we woke up at 7:00, had a nice birding session at Heather Farms and then casually found our way to Point Reyes. We were unaware that our biggest day of birding ever lay in front of us.  As we puttered along, we passed the Golden Gate Bridge which turned out to be a wonderful back drop for an amazing life bird, Western Gull.
Gulls are one of my favorite species of birds because they are a challenge to even some of the best experts.  I was turned on to the wonder of gulls by local gull expert Nick Komar.
             At our next stop, our campground, we located a Fox Sparrow an a Hermit Thrush. We then continued on and found 3 species of loon (RT, C, P loons), Godwits, Black Oystercatcher, 2 Scoter (WW and S scoters), Greater Scaup, and White-tail Kite all in Tomales Bay. As we made our way to the light house we located all falcon species commonly found in North America except the Gyrfalcon. This was amazing finding all of these falcons, especially the many Peregrine Falcons on the sea shore. Other birds at the light house were; Brant, Glaucous Gull, Thayer's Gull, Pigeon Guillemot, and DC, B, and P cormorants. 
                  At a local trail head we also located GIANT ELEPHANT SEALS, a Chipping Sparrow, and 1 American Pipit. this ended the day section of the birding and opened up a whole new type of birding, owling. After a failed attempt at a nearby campground we came back to our KOA and found my life Saw-Whet Owl and a wonderful pair of Great-horned Owls. With these two birds our final  number was 120 in one day! That beat our old score in Texas by 20 birds! What a great day! Here are some pics from the day.
Brant in Bodega Bay sitting in a rainstorm like the rest of the birds

Common Loon

young Snowy Egret

Surf Scoter
Just as a side note I hope that all of you, my readers, have the chance to see an elephant seal, what a cool animal!

Skyler Bol
Good luck birding

P.S. Thank Christian Nunes for the free membership to WFO for young birds!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Photos from Colusa

Here are some of the birds we got pics of at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in California:

American Bittern, one of the 6 we saw that day!
Northern Pintail

Finally a White-faced Ibis. Does anyone know why birds such as ibis and small grebes have red eyes?

Have fun birding and getting outside. I also got 2 new year birds today, Barrow's Goldeneye at Fossil Creek Reservoir and a Franklin's Gull found by Cole Wild at Ketcher Pit.