Monday, July 13, 2015

Wild Turkey Yardbird #80

  Added a new bird to the new yardlist, the first since the end of May.
  What was I doing when I spotted it from my deck?   um.....grilling turkey.  Bet not too many birders add a species to their yardlist while cooking the same species.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Old Yard Review

  My one-third acre of paradise in Southgate has been sold.  In my ten years at that suburban Detroit location I observed 140 species of birds.  The best was the first and so far only Wayne County record Rufous Hummingbird that arrived November 7, 2011 and stayed until the 14th.  All photos in this post were taken from the yard.
The Rufous on fire

  Another bird that created a lot of buzz was a Yellow-throated Warbler that made a two minute cameo appearance on April 19, 2012.  I had been given a heads up to look out for this species, in my Sycamore trees, by Tex Wells when he stopped by to see the Rufous Hummingbird. The Yellow-throated is one of 21 warbler species that I've seen in the yard.

The house's location appears to be at the convergence of a couple of flyways.  Every April Common Loons flyover following three distinct flight paths. Two originate from Lake Erie to the south and east, while the other, a southwest to northeast path, possibly stems from Lake Michigan according to Loon Migration Researcher Kevin Kenow.
Best Loon shot  from my yard

Cardinal photobombed by White-throated Sparrow
  The remaining photos are in the order that the birds were added to the yard list.  It starts out pretty mundane with the everyday birds but it gets better as it goes on.
Mourning Dove

Rock Pigeon
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay

Black-capped Chickadee

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Northern Flicker and American Robin

Red-headed Woodpecker

Cooper's Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Dark-eyed Junco

White-throated Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Out of season Chipping Sparrow on February 3 2013

Hermit Thrush

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Chimney Swift

Carolina Wren

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
American Redstart
Baltimore Oriole

Female Black-throated Blue Warbler

Eastern Wood Pewee

Common Nighthawk
Great Egrets

Magnolia Warbler
   Every September during the Broad-winged Hawk migration I would see a few small kettles.  Once had a group of 500 fly over.

Nashville Warbler
  On September 23, 2007 I added species #53,Scarlet Tanager, to the yardlist.  I only saw them two other times the last sighting September 23, 2014, seven years to the day of the first sighting.
Scarlet Tanager

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Red-winged Blackbird

Purple Finch

White-Breasted Nuthatch

  I would see Pine Siskins yearly.  In 2008 and '09, I had them return around the 20th of June after vacating the area in mid- May.
Pine Siskin protecting what's his.
  Besides being Loon Month, April is also sparrow month.
Song Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

   All three local Falcon species were on the list.

     Three years in a row I saw Merlins


Mute Swans
Cape May Warbler
Red-eyed Vireo with a Katydid
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Common Redpoll

Composite of a flock of White-winged Crossbills

Migrating Bald Eagle

Brown Thrasher
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Yearly Wilson's Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler
Swainson's Thrush
Lincoln's Sparrow

Rough-legged Hawk
Tundra Swans

Eastern Towhee

Blackburnian Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

Caspian Tern

Tennessee Warbler

Eastern Bluebird

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Rusty Blackbird
  The following photo was taken Oct. 28, 2012, the morning that Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast.  That morning I sat out in the yard with my camera after work to see if the Atlantic storm would push any birds toward the Great Lakes.  A few minutes into my observing session I spotted a strange bird flying toward the northwest over the yard.  I couldn't ID it through binoculars but I took a series of shots through my 500mm lens after it flew past.  I couldn't ID it with my photos either.  The day before a report of an Evening Grosbeak sighting at Pt. Pelee was posted on Ontbirds.  It was the first in a series of sightings of that species in the region that week.  Late that week Darren O'Brien reported some in his Washtenaw County yard.  I fired off a congratulatory email to him.  Suddenly I remembered the unknown bird that I had photographed earlier that week.  I sent the composite photo below to Allen Chartier and he confirmed it was a female Evening Grosbeak.
Evening Grosbeak

Northern Pintail

Blue-headed Vireo
  The Olive-sided Flycatcher was about the easiest addition to the list, as I spotted it from the dining room window as I was passing through on my way to the kitchen.
Olive-sided Flycatcher

Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher

Palm Warbler was a bird that had been on my yard nemesis-list for a while.  During spring and fall migration these birds are everywhere but my yard.  It wasn't until Sept. 30, 2013 that I added it to the yardlist and it returned the next day so it became part of the October list also.
Palm Warbler

Horned Lark
  Sandhill Crane was the last remaining bird that was on the nemesis list and I finally tallied them on 3/31/14 and like the Palm Warbler I saw some them two days in a row and they also made it on to two monthly checklists.
Sandhill Cranes

#140 Yellow-throated Vireo
   I hope that the new owner appreciates the birds that are drawn to it.