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Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 ITA Div. I Pic of the year

Just found out, browsing twitter

https://mobile.twitter.com/MauleIan/status/735310495041900545


Is that Adamovic(not sure. Stresnakova?)? Supposedly the team could be even better this season.

Super Bird Fests link

https://www.fws.gov/refuges/news/SuperBirdFests2016.html

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The best Bird Spot in the U.S. - Magee Marsh

US Today's Readers' Choice is as follows:

  10Best Bird Spot

Magee Marsh, Ohio
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Penn.
Bosque del Apache, N.M.
Platte River Valley, Neb.
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas
Sanibel Island, Fla.
Dauphin Island, Alabama
Cape May, N.J.
Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas
Southeastern Ariz.

Magee Marsh doesn't boast tremendous bird species. It's far behind other mega spots such as Cape May.

But what makes MM special, is it's ability to produce VAST arrays of...

Warblers!  MW is the Warbler Capital of U.S., and MM represents it.
So naturally it hosts one of the biggest Bird Festivals in May, for more than a week.

http://www.biggestweekinamericanbirding.com

Last year, they found about 256 species, and warblers? 36!!!!!

Boardwalk section is jam-packed during the festival, and is led by one of the preeminent experts, Kenn Kaufman!! How can you beat that(Well, Cape May Festival does have Pete Dunne and David Sibley..!!!)?

And he just recently had a bird walk there, for more than 4 hours! Let's see what they've got;

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area--Boardwalk, Lucas County, Ohio, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:35 AM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
20
Duration:
4 hour(s), 15 minute(s)
Distance:
1.0 mile(s)
Observers:
Kenn Kaufman
Species
58 species total
2
Canada Goose
27
Northern Pintail

Single flock flying over. All appeared to be males by size and structure, and in the remains of eclipse plumage as expected for this date, i.e. with the head / neck pattern not fully developed.
7
Double-crested Cormorant
1
Great Blue Heron
2
Great Egret
2
Bald Eagle
1
Sandhill Crane

heard
8
Ring-billed Gull
24
Mourning Dove
1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
20
Chimney Swift

All flying eastward, paralleling the lake shore, in groups of one to three or four
3
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1
Belted Kingfisher
1
Red-bellied Woodpecker
1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
5
Downy Woodpecker
1
Hairy Woodpecker
6
Northern Flicker
3
Eastern Wood-Pewee
1
Eastern Phoebe
3
Blue-headed Vireo
2
Philadelphia Vireo
4
Red-eyed Vireo
7
Blue Jay
5
Tree Swallow
2
Black-capped Chickadee
14
Red-breasted Nuthatch

Scattered singles and doubles throughout the area
1
Brown Creeper
2
House Wren
1
Golden-crowned Kinglet
4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2
Gray-cheeked Thrush
3
Swainson's Thrush
1
Wood Thrush
15
American Robin
6
Gray Catbird
50
European Starling
1
Ovenbird
5
Black-and-white Warbler
2
Common Yellowthroat
9
American Redstart
4
Cape May Warbler
3
Magnolia Warbler
10
Bay-breasted Warbler
7
Chestnut-sided Warbler
15
Blackpoll Warbler
5
Black-throated Blue Warbler
4
Yellow-rumped Warbler
4
Black-throated Green Warbler
3
White-throated Sparrow
2
Song Sparrow
1
Scarlet Tanager
5
Northern Cardinal
10
Red-winged Blackbird
12
Common Grackle
2
Brown-headed Cowbird
1
Purple Finch
6
American Goldfinch

Only 12 warbler species?? Still better than So. Cal lol. Apparently produces more during Spring migration than Fall.

Let's compare with Fort Rosecrans Cemetery in San Diego now(it does have an impressive list of warbler appearances, just not simultaneously in such variety like Magee).

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego County, California, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:45 AM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
4
Duration:
4 hour(s)
Distance:
3.0 mile(s)
Observers:
Susan Smith
Comments:
Rainy, intermittent heavy fog, becoming breezy (rainfall from tropical storm Paine) , temp about 71-73 deg F. With Jan Nordenberg, Marcie Mason and Janis Cadwallader. Wind variable 0-6 mph, from NW, then SE, then picking up to 6 mp from WNW at around 11 am.
Species
48 species (+3 other taxa) total
20
cormorant sp.
3
Brown Pelican
1
Cooper's Hawk
3
Western Gull
1
Eurasian Collared-Dove
5
Mourning Dove
7
Anna's Hummingbird
2
Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird
1
American Kestrel
2
Western Wood-Pewee
4
Pacific-slope Flycatcher

heard vocalization of these.
20
Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher (Western Flycatcher)

these were almost in every tree!
8
Black Phoebe
4
Say's Phoebe
1
Cassin's Kingbird
1
Western Kingbird
1
Hutton's Vireo
6
Warbling Vireo
5
California Scrub-Jay
10
American Crow
2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
1
Barn Swallow
10
Bushtit
4
House Wren
4
Bewick's Wren
4
Wrentit
30
Western Bluebird
4
Swainson's Thrush
4
California Thrasher
8
Northern Mockingbird
30
European Starling
2
Phainopepla
16
Orange-crowned Warbler
1
Nashville Warbler
1
Common Yellowthroat
1
Northern Parula

Rich Norgaard found and ID'd this bird at about 10:30 am today along the south fenceline on the east side (SE loop). We think this was the the same bird Jan N. had seen briefly earlier in the day at about 8:30 am in the same location, but it disappeared. After talking to Rich, we went back at about 11 am and refound it in the same place. Looked to be a first fall female, completely lacking chest band, but crown grey-blue with just a hint of green; bright yellow chin and breast; triangular green patch on back contrasting with the bluish-grey head, wings, wings coverts and upper tail. Bright white wing bars.
1
Magnolia Warbler

In Ficus tree in the SW loop area on the west side, near two large Dome-shaped pines beside the loop road. Probably same bird found by R. Norgaard a few days ago. Good looks and cooperative bird that we watched for about 15 minutes. First fall male/female type. Yellow from chin to vent, with muted streaking on flanks with yellow rump. White undertail coverts, and distinctive Magnolia Warbler tail pattern with basal half white, terminal half, black. Looked like central retrices missing (retrices sharply pointed, further indicating HY). Crown and cheeks grey; white eye ring; whitish wing bars.
15
Yellow Warbler
15
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
5
Wilson's Warbler
6
Chipping Sparrow
4
Dark-eyed Junco
2
Savannah Sparrow (Savannah)
4
Song Sparrow
6
California Towhee
4
Spotted Towhee
1
Western Tanager
1
Black-headed Grosbeak
1
Hooded Oriole
16
House Finch
4
Lesser Goldfinch

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Birding Hotspots in North America

Click on the names and you can see detailed itineraries. Just reading is fun enough!

http://wingsbirds.com/leaders/

For example, Jon Dunn's tours;


Tours


Local birding spots at RGV area

WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD Van_1 ScopeUseful_1
Fee $65/ Wednesday, Sunday – Cameron County with Michael Marsden & John Yochum 6:30am – 1pm
Thursday, Saturday – Hidalgo County with Dan Jones & Huck Hutchens 6:30am – 1pm
Every birder has those out of the way, known only to a few, locations that are close to home and sure to yield a productive day of birding. If you are lucky enough to live in the Rio Grande Valley, these secret jewels become as familiar as your own backyard. Join some of our leading local birders as they share with you a rare opportunity to bird the less traveled roads of Hidalgo or Cameron County.
Note: There are no target lists but a variety of habitats will be visited on each trip and participants (no more than eight on each trip) will see many Valley specialties and perhaps a surprise or two.

If you browse the ebird reports, you'll recognize those names. Hutchens I'm seeing a lot at ELG hotspot reports lol.

According to ebird, ELG top birders

Top eBirders

Updated 8 sec ago.
1Huck Hutchens

204
2John Yochum
185

Hidalgo county top birders

1Dan Jones

389
2Mary Gustafson

388
3John Yochum

371
4Huck Hutchens

359

Cameron county top birders

1Dan Jones

391
2John Yochum

366
3Mary Gustafson

363
4Michael Marsden

343
5Madeleine Sandefur

333
6Huck Hutchens

330

Cameron County has the highest species # in Texas.

Marsden's recent reports; you can guess where he'll lead the participants!

CC: San Benito- Resaca Shores yard, Cameron County, Texas, US Map )
Date and Effort
Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:30 AM
Protocol:
Historical
Party Size:
2
Duration:
1 hour(s), 20 minute(s)
Observers:
Michael Marsden
Comments:
calm, cool
Species
45 species (+1 other taxa) total
90
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
incl the pair with 6 ducklings
5
Mottled Duck
adult with 4 ducklings
3
Blue-winged Teal
4
Plain Chachalaca
1
Neotropic Cormorant
1
Great Blue Heron (Blue form)
1
Great Egret
1
Snowy Egret
1
Tricolored Heron
juv
1
Black-crowned Night-Heron
adult
4
Roseate Spoonbill
over N
1
White-tailed Kite

1
Killdeer
1
Spotted Sandpiper
7
Laughing Gull
1
Caspian Tern
40
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)

over NE
1
White-tipped Dove
120
White-winged Dove
12
Mourning Dove
2
Eastern Screech-Owl

trilling softly from each side of resaca
15
Chimney Swift
2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
3
Ruby-throated/Black-chinned Hummingbird
1
Buff-bellied Hummingbird
1
Green Kingfisher
5
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
7
Red-crowned Parrot

over NE
6
Great Kiskadee
2
Couch's Kingbird
2
Green Jay
1
Bank Swallow
25
Barn Swallow (American)
5
Cave Swallow
1
Black-crested Titmouse
2
Carolina Wren
1
Northern Mockingbird
9
European Starling
1
Northern Cardinal
5
Red-winged Blackbird
300
Great-tailed Grackle

over - mainly NE
140
Bronzed Cowbird

over NE
2
Hooded Oriole
1
Altamira Oriole
2
Lesser Goldfinch
4
House Sparrow


Rio Hondo Cemetery area, Cameron County, Texas, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:00 AM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
1
Duration:
30 minute(s)
Distance:
0.2 mile(s)
Observers:
Michael Marsden
Comments:
hot!
Species
31 species (+2 other taxa) total
1
Neotropic Cormorant
1
Anhinga
2
Great Blue Heron
1
Snowy Egret
1
Black Vulture
1
Forster's Tern
2
Eurasian Collared-Dove
8
Inca Dove
1
White-tipped Dove
35
White-winged Dove
6
Mourning Dove
1
Common Pauraque

female
6
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
4
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
1
Myiarchus sp.
6
Great Kiskadee
6
Couch's Kingbird
4
Tropical/Couch's Kingbird
1
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
1
Green Jay
1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
3
Barn Swallow (American)
1
Black-crested Titmouse
2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1
Curve-billed Thrasher
1
Long-billed Thrasher
4
Northern Mockingbird
2
European Starling
1
Wilson's Warbler
10
Great-tailed Grackle
2
Bronzed Cowbird
1
Hooded Oriole
4
House Sparrow


Yeah, cemetery(although that cemetery is useless to me, since most of them are also spotted here in LA lol)! Cemetery is an ideal spot for birding; easier to spot the birds! Fort Rosecrans Cemetery in San Diego is probably he best known cemetery among birders lol. Right now, it's crazy with Fall migrants there! Local expert Gary Nunn is spotting lots of them lol.


For fun comparizon, here's So. Cal top guns;

SD County

1Matt Sadowski

459
2Barbara Carlson

455
3Don Adams

450
4Jay Keller

442
5Eitan Altman

440
6Brennan Mulrooney

436
7BJ Stacey

435
8Gary Nunn

430
9Richard Norgaard

427
10Justyn Stahl

413

Lol I met Sadowski at La Jolla during the National(do you remember my recap?)! He spotted like 68 species more than Dan Jones.

LA County

1Kimball Garrett

511
2Jonathan Feenstra

479
3Jean Brandt

477
4Mike San Miguel

465
5Wanda Dameron

462
6David Bell

455
7Mark Scheel

445
8Frank Gilliland

438
9John Garrett

435
10Susan Gilliland

432

Now you see why I keep saying that I'm blessed! Feenstra, Bell, Scheel, the Gillilands, Garrett are all Pasadena Audubon members :)

Upper Rio Grande

UPPER RIO GRANDE bus_1 Transit_1_2h WC_1 LunchBox_1 ScopeUseful_1

Fee $85 / Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 5am – 2pm
Luckily for us, birds don’t recognize our international borders. The river’s wooded edges and the arid uplands of Starr County are rich with both riparian sub-tropical and desert southwest species. Visit the birding places with the famous names: Salineño, Chapeño, and Falcon. Cognize our international borders. The river’s wooded edges and the arid uplands of Starr County are rich with riparian, sub-tropical and desert southwest species.
Targets: Muscovy Duck (rare), Scaled Quail (rare), Hook-billed Kite (rare), Gray Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk (rare), Red-billed Pigeon (rare), Common Ground-Dove, White-tipped Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Green and Ringed Kingfishers, Cactus Wren, Verdin, White-collared Seedeater, Black-throated Sparrow, Pyrrhuloxia, Hooded, Altamira and Audubon’s Orioles.

====
It's a totally different habitat, almost a desert. Takes 2 hrs by bus from Harlingen, hence the indecently early start time, 5am lol. Scaled Quail, Zone-tailed Hawk(which does get reported at So. Cal area now and then), Red-billed Pigeon, White-collared Seedeater, Audubon's Oriole aren't mentioned at other sites. Definitely worth checking, for sure.

Estera Llano Grande SP late October

Let's salivate again, shall we?  Darren Dowell here spots similar amount of species at Peck Pit(didn't I praise the venue again and again lol. Where else can Bobolink and Sabine's Gull be spotted at the same time??!!!), but at ELG, 26 species are new to me!

Estero Llano Grande SP WBC (LTC 054), Hidalgo County, Texas, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:02 AM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
1
Duration:
6 hour(s), 20 minute(s)
Distance:
3.0 mile(s)
Observers:
Huck Hutchens
Species
82 species total
40
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
2
Gadwall
30
Blue-winged Teal
10
Northern Shoveler
3
Green-winged Teal
12
Plain Chachalaca
1
Least Grebe
4
Pied-billed Grebe
300
American White Pelican
1
Great Blue Heron
3
Great Egret
8
Snowy Egret
1
Tricolored Heron
1
Green Heron
2
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
5
White-faced Ibis
8
Roseate Spoonbill
8
Turkey Vulture
1
Osprey
2
White-tailed Kite
1
Cooper's Hawk
3
Harris's Hawk
7
Sora
1
Purple Gallinule
Continuing bird, HY bird and photographed
5
Common Gallinule
50
American Coot (Red-shielded)
3
Black-necked Stilt
12
American Avocet
4
Killdeer
1
Northern Jacana
Continuing bird- photographed
20
Least Sandpiper
6
Wilson's Snipe
1
Spotted Sandpiper
1
Forster's Tern
1
Eurasian Collared-Dove
3
Inca Dove
4
Common Ground-Dove
5
White-tipped Dove
200
White-winged Dove
12
Mourning Dove
2
Eastern Screech-Owl (McCall's)
5
Common Pauraque
10
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
2
Buff-bellied Hummingbird
1
Ringed Kingfisher
2
Belted Kingfisher
1
Green Kingfisher
20
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
2
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
1
Peregrine Falcon
2
Eastern Phoebe
2
Vermilion Flycatcher
14
Great Kiskadee
1
Tropical Kingbird
3
Couch's Kingbird
2
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
1
Loggerhead Shrike
1
White-eyed Vireo
6
Green Jay
2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
20
Barn Swallow
1
Cave Swallow
5
Black-crested Titmouse
2
House Wren
1
Carolina Wren
2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
2
Clay-colored Thrush
4
Curve-billed Thrasher
14
Northern Mockingbird
12
European Starling
1
Black-and-white Warbler
2
Orange-crowned Warbler
2
Nashville Warbler
1
Grasshopper Sparrow
1
Northern Cardinal
2
Painted Bunting
500
Red-winged Blackbird
50
Great-tailed Grackle
2
Brown-headed Cowbird
1
Baltimore Oriole
2
Lesser Goldfinch
20
House Sparrow
 
Are you submitting a complete checklist of the birds you were able to identify?
Yes