Posts Tagged ‘birds’


Monday, May 14th, 2018


Black Swift (Cypseloides niger)


I was feeling kind of run down yesterday afternoon; a lot of pollen in the air and my allergies have been kicking in from all the time I’ve been spending in sparrow habitat. Then I got a text from Eric: “Seems like a good swift day. Eight Black over Franklin Trail.”

That was all the incentive I needed. Ninety minutes later, a little out of breath, I met up with Eric on his way back down and we checked out a total (while I was there) of 10 Black Swifts migrating north over the Santa Ynez mountains. Such awesome birds; more than any other (except I guess maybe some long-distance pelagics like albatrosses) they’re creatures wholly of the air, always flying. I’d seen White-throated and Vaux’s Swifts before, but this was my first time ever seeing their larger cousins.

Reposted from

Black-chinned Sparrow (Spizella atrogularis)Photo by Flickr user…

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Black-chinned Sparrow (Spizella atrogularis)

Photo by Flickr user Tom Benson


Brad Hacker recently reported hearing some of these up on West Camino Cielo near Refugio Pass, so this morning I got up there as the sun was rising and sure enough; I was barely out of my car when I heard the bird’s distinctive song – until now something I’d only heard in recordings.

I wasn’t able to see the bird, but the song is distinctive enough that I’m fine with counting it.

Reposted from

birdsandbirds: MacGillivray’s Warbler (Quite grumpy looking) H.J…

Friday, May 4th, 2018


MacGillivray’s Warbler

(Quite grumpy looking)

H.J Andrews Experimental Forest, OR


You remember my friend Eric? The same one helped me see my county-year Swainson’s Thrush and Calliope Hummingbird? Today around noon he texted me: “You don’t still need macgillivray’s do you?”

Yeah, actually, I did. People have been reporting them all over. Not a lot of them, just 1s and 2s in the appropriate brushy stream-side habitat. I’ve been looking, sifting through lots of Common Yellowthroats and Wilson’s Warblers, but so far no luck.

Anyway, I headed to the 8th Street bridge where Eric had just seen three of them, and shortly thereafter he refound one of them for me. Thanks Eric!

Reposted from

brooklynbridgebirds:Swainson’s ThrushBrooklyn Bridge Park, Pier…

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018


Swainson’s Thrush
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1


My friend Eric told me he’d seen Swainson’s Thrush in Carpinteria Creek near Lillingston Canyon Road, so today I did the crack-of-dawn thing, dropping into the creekbed and walking along it for a mile and a half. I saw lots of great birds, including three Swainson’s Thrushes, the last of which posed politely and turned several times so I could appreciate it from all angles.

I also saw a couple of Purple Martins flying by with a flock of swallows, which was neat even though I’d already seen them this year, and something truly adorable: A female Anna’s Hummingbird bathing in the creek by hovering and lowering herself slowly into the water while paddling upstream with her tiny feet.

Reposted from

debunkshy: Olive-sided Flycatcher (Dane County year bird #231),…

Sunday, April 29th, 2018


Olive-sided Flycatcher (Dane County year bird #231), photobombed by a proud Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Pheasant Branch, WI


He had been reported at Los Alamos County Park, which was sort of on the way for my trip home, so I stopped in to see if I could find it. It was very windy, which had the birds under cover and made it hard to hear vocalizations, but it still was fun (fact: birding is always fun).

I’d given up and was walking back to my car when I saw a bird fly to the top of a tall radio antenna on a hill west of the park. It was pretty far away, but in the binocs I could see the short tail, big head, and white belly contrasting with the dark sides. Yay! The universe rewarding me again!

Reposted from