Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More birding at the Wilds

I took my camera along on this trip to the Wilds, hoping I might get a decent shot here and there of a bird, but of the 90 species that we saw and heard, I only got photos of a handful of them. I am getting better at accepting the limitations of having a lens that only goes to 200mm.

Here's a Great-crested Flycatcher that we saw at camp early Saturday morning.

We got some GREAT looks at this Prairie Warbler who planted himself in a couple of different Autumn Olives right alongside the road!

I think this dude was having a bad hair day. Look at the weird way his head feather are laying. He's almost got a mullet going!

My best photos by far (with the exception of the sparrows in the hand) are those of the Eastern Bobolink. The field where we stopped to observe them was absolutely rife with them! The males were really pulling out all the stops to get the attention of the ladies. I was really excited to see and hear the Bobos, and to add this strange-looking bird to my life list.

A female Bobo, trying to decide on one suitor among many.

"Hey laaaaadies!" he's saying. Wow, for the longest time I've been trying to think of what famous person these birds remind me of with their clownish yellow cap, and it just came to me: Dennis Rodman.

Not exactly a compliment to the Bobo, but I see what I see...
And what is it with me and talking about the birds' "hair"?!

Check out those fantastic markings and colorings! If I was a girl Bobo, I think I might be impressed.

Either off to try his luck with a gal, or to go clobber on another male who's trying to take away his gal.

Here's a run-down of some other cool things we saw and heard:
  • Great look at an Eastern Kingbird flycatching.
  • Chimney Swift aerial mating display.
  • American Woodcock mating display flight heard (some of the participants witnessed on Saturday night, but I was in bed by then).
  • Awesome views of the Yellow-breasted Chat and Kentucky Warbler (usually very elusive).
  • Sighting of a wild Bobcat on the Wilds property (this is NOT a species they manage, it was a wild Bobcat).
  • Pair of Kestrels near a nest box, the female with a rodent in her talons to feed to the young.
  • Great views of Cerulean Warbler and Northern Parula Warbler.
  • Mama Wood Duck and 7 of her babies on one of the many lakes at the Wilds.
  • An insane replication of Barred Owl and Eastern Screech Owl songs by one of our trip leaders, Al Parker. The Screech Owl songs actually brought the real deal in right above our heads!

And here is a list of all the birds that I added to my life list over the weekend (for some reason I failed to do the Life Bird Boogie for any of them):
  1. Swamp Sparrow
  2. Warbling Vireo
  3. Acadian Flycatcher
  4. Eastern Bobolink
  5. Grasshopper Sparrow
  6. Henslow's Sparrow
  7. Savannah Sparrow
  8. Eastern Meadowlark
  9. Green Heron
  10. Orchard Oriole
  11. Rough-winged Swallow
  12. American Kestrel
  13. Horned Lark
  14. Kentucky Warbler
  15. Louisiana Waterthrush
  16. Yellow-throated Vireo
That's it for the birds, but I captured photos of some other things during the weekend. To be continued...


Shellmo said...

Lol on the comparison of the boblink to Dennis Rodman! I see it in the hair -ha,ha! You did get great photos - I like when his wings are spread out. Like that prairie warbler too - I don't know if they come to Mich so I will have to ck my bird book.
P.S. When in July will you be in northern Michigan???? Hoping we can meet up 1 day! :-) And I'll bring my puppeh!

Laura said...

I would have joined you in the "Life Bird Boogie" for the Grasshopper Sparrow! At least I got a "Life Bird Knuckle Bump" from hubby:)

Tom said...

Heather- Quite an impressive collection of bird images, including several that I've never photographed. I love the prairie warblers and bobolinks. Well done. I really need to visit the wilds again- It's been about 15 years since I was last there.


Gabrielle said...

Hi Heather - Nice photos of the bobolink! It is always a treat to see them. But I may never look at a male without thinking of Dennis Rodman again! Hee-hee.

Nature As Is said...

Lovely shots Heather I've never seen any of those birds before. Nice collection indeed.

Kelly said...

Awesome post....and fantastic birding. Boy....I wish I could have gone! You Bobolink photos are wonderful. Didn't you just fall in love with their song? It's one of my favorite.
Per your comment, cool that you met a Mason birder at the symposium! I actually live in Mason too--although I'm from Cincy and therefore consider myself a Cincinnatian and Mason just a suburb of Cincy ;-)
I'm finally starting to feel better. Yes...we all joked about getting "The Swine Flu" (but mine was just a cold turned sinus infection).

Monika said...

I think you've permanently linked the bobolink and Rodman in my mind, too. Funny stuff!

Congrats on the whopping 16 new life birds!

I'm glad the birding by ear weekend didn't get canceled; sounds like an awesome time!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I like your bird shots, though I, too, know the limitations of a 200mm lens. They almost look like paintings!
Sounds like you had a nice trip!

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Ha! We think you nailed that if that bird was a person...

Anonymous said...

Great shots Heather. It was a great weekend and I enjoyed meeting you. The weather couldn’t have been better. To think you added 16 birds to your life list and we didn’t get to see you do the Life Bird Boogie for any of them, oh what a shame.
Have you seen the Bobcat photos on Jim’s blog http://jimmccormac.blogspot.com/ ?
Jean (Deerfield Twp, just north of Cincinnati)

Anonymous said...

Ha! that's MAGNIFICO! A bobolink/Dennis Rodman comparison! Love it, even if it is a bit insulting to the Bobos!

Jim McCormac

dAwN said...

Hee hee..Dennis Rodman for sure!
Congrats on all your lifers...
great shots!

Kathiesbirds said...

Oh, congrats on the bobolinks! I am so jealous! You got such good photos of them. I fell in love wiht them in WV and couldn't get enough of them but we only got a brief visit in the mist! What wonderul views you had!

Heather said...

Shelley - Anytime a bird has it's wings and tail feathers all spread it and showing off, I just love it!

Laura - Cyber-Life-Bird-Boogie time! I was really glad to see all those new birds!

Tom - Thanks. So many of these new birds were added to my list because the habitat to support them doesn't exist in my neck of the woods. Definitely get to the Wilds - much has changed in 15 years!

Gabrielle - Ooops, hope I didn't spoil the Bobo for you with the Dennis Rodman comparison!

Crista - Thanks, I'm glad I could share them with you!

Kelly - Yes, I loved the Bobolinks, both for their looks and for that crazy song of theirs. They are indeed amazing.

Monika - I apologize to you too if the Dennis Rodman thing has scarred you in any way - hee hee! I'm very glad the trip didn't get canceled - it was touch and go right up until the last minute!

Nina - Thank you, and I'm glad there's someone out there to sympathize with me about my lens!
The trip was MY version of New River.

Warren and Lisa - Ha! I think you're right!

Hi Jean - Thank you for stopping by my blog! It was very nice to meet you and your husband too. It was such a perfect weekend. I really enjoyed Jim's post about the Bobcat sighting. Stop back any time!

Jim - Thanks, I'm patting myself on the back for this one. You're allowed to use the comparison yourself sometime, if you'd like (i.e. R2-D2 bird, OR Dennis Rodman bird).

Dawn - Thanks and thanks. I'm super excited about the lifers!

Kathie - I'm sorry your visit with the Bobos wasn't longer during New River! But just being able to hear that sound... I think it would be something extra special on a misty morning...

Julie Zickefoose said...

Love this post. The Rodman comparison is brilliant, as are the cropping and presentation of the bobo photos.
And I'm delighted to see things like the Birding by Ear weekend happening at The Wilds--something for so. Ohio to be proud of!

Heather said...

Hi Julie - Thanks for your nice comments. Yes, having such wonderful educational programs at the Wilds (for both kids and adults) is definitely a huge plus for southern Ohio!