Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow and Ivory Gull plans

Sorry for the lengthy delay; it has been uneventful for the most part. The huge snow/ice storm the northeast recently experienced dropped about a foot of snow at my house. Here’s proof:

As I was shoveling the driveway yesterday, I started asking myself “is this worth it?”…shortly after a half-dozen White-winged Crossbills flew over – yeah, it was worth it.

This weekend I will be chasing the Ivory Gull in Plymouth, Massachusetts so keep on a look out for a trip report and photos.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Santa Cruz birding

After much needed rest, I finally got around to writing up a report on my trip to California. Since I haven’t birded the west coast before, I added quite a few lifers – 27 to be exact.

After flying into San Jose, I met up with my friend, Oscar Johnson and continued to Santa Cruz – my home for the weekend.

Saturday was spent birding around town at the UCSC campus, Arboretum, Natural Bridges Beach State Park and nearby Monterey County.

Here’s what Santa Cruz looks like where I had the majority of my lifers. Birds such as Pelagic and Brandt’s Cormorants, Rhinoceros Auklet and Rock Sandpiper were added to my list. Rock Sandpiper is a really good bird this far south and our bird is most likely the most southern known bird in the world right now.

Elsewhere around town we had other west coast specialties including Chestnut-backed Chickadee, California Quail, California Towhee, California Thrasher (seeing a pattern here?) Wrentit and Golden-crowned Sparrow.

For the rest of the day we birded northern Monterey County around Moss Landing (above). Highlights there included a Barrow’s Goldeneye and this mixed flock containing Tricolored Blackbirds.

Sunday was spent chasing a couple birds we missed and Yellow-billed Magpies. We started off at a county park in San Jose were we easily bagged a Nuttall’s Woodpecker and Red-breasted Sapsucker. We continued up the foothills near Joseph D. Grant County Park eventually finding two Yellow-billed Magpies, my last new bird of the trip.

Within an hour I was already in the airport waiting to board my plane.
Here are a few more photos from the weekend:

California Sea Lions with cormorants and Western Gulls

Bobcat at the Arboretum

Near Joseph D. Grant County Park

Thursday, January 8, 2009

California or Bust

Tomorrow morning I’m off to the airport for a weekend trip to California. You may be asking yourself, “Why would he fly all the way out there for a weekend?” Well, I have a round-trip ticket that expires Saturday and since I haven’t birded the west coast yet, I decided that’s where I'm going.

After contacting a friend in Santa Cruz, I scheduled my flight to San Jose. I’m not quite sure where we will be birding; possibly around San Francisco, San Jose or Santa Cruz.

This is what it looks like in Ohio; I’m glad to be going somewhere that’s warm and sunny.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Burton CBC

Jim and Bret McCarty joined me on New Years day to count for the Burton CBC. We covered Headwaters Park and a few surrounding roads. The highlight would definitely be the four White-winged Crossbills that landed for a minute and continued flying southeast; this was along Rt. 322 at a Headwaters Park trailhead. Here’s our results (NOT the whole circle’s results).

1. Canada Goose – 614
2. Mallard – 97
3. Cooper’s Hawk – 1
4. Red-shouldered Hawk – 1
5. Red-tailed Hawk – 11
6. Bald Eagle – 1
7. Mourning Dove – 33
8. Rock Pigeon – 2
9. Belted Kingfisher – 1
10. Red-bellied Woodpecker – 12
11. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 2
12. Downy Woodpecker – 20
13. Hairy Woodpecker – 5
14. Northern Flicker – 4
15. Pileated Woodpecker – 2
16. Blue Jay – 51
17. American Crow – 71
18. Tufted Titmouse – 32
19. Black-capped Chickadee – 101
20. Red-breasted Nuthatch – 11
21. White-breasted Nuthatch – 33
22. Brown Creeper – 2
23. Carolina Wren – 1
24. Golden-crowned Kinglet – 13
25. Eastern Bluebird – 12
26. American Robin – 1
27. European Starling – 278
28. Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1
29. Northern Cardinal – 44
30. American Tree Sparrow – 66
31. White-throated Sparrow – 7
32. Song Sparrow – 7
33. Swamp Sparrow – 1
34. Dark-eyed Junco – 95
35. House Finch – 7
36. White-winged Crossbill – 4
37. Pine Siskin – 10
38. American Goldfinch – 17
39. House Sparrow – 52

Total Species: 39
Total Individuals: 1,723

By the way, when we started it was only 3 degrees.