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Discovering a secret birding spot.

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Old Wednesday 20th April 2005, 13:24   #1
lvn600
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Discovering a secret birding spot.

Two questions:
1-If you were on a venture in your own area to find a new secluded or unnoticed birding spot not frequented by other birders what type of habitiat would most intrigue you? 2 What was you biggest surprise find in an area no one would suspect and What type of area was it?
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Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 00:12   #2
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For example I once went to check out a bog that was off the beaten path that I never really heard anyone mention before. While I was there I saw an owl although I didn't know what kind it was other than it wasn't a great-horned. In the same place I saw what I think was a Virginia Rail. Finding these birds in a spot that hardly anyone knows about was a thrill.
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Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 00:13   #3
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1. It would have to have water of some sort with natural shores/banks, but really I'd be looking for a spot that offers a mix of habitats.
2. Alas, the only one I can think of was the rare wheatear I saw one October's day on the roof of the neighbour's house here (housing estate, basically). Unfortunately the b****r flew away before I'd clinched the ID (though I'd safely eliminated Northern).
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Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 02:54   #4
Terry O'Nolley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluetail
b****r
For the life of me, I can't figure out what cuss word went here.........

But to answer the questions:

1) Alongside intra-city railroad tracks - even in an urban area can yield a lot of bird species. There is usually narrow patches of trees and scrub brush that is totally ignored from the other side of the tracks.

2) A small patch of woods directly across the street from where I live! That is where I found the red-tailed hawk nest and spotted at least a dozen species within just 30 minutes of walking. (I live in a suburban area - not rural)

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Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 03:35   #5
cavan wood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry O'Nolley
For the life of me, I can't figure out what cuss word went here.........
has to do with an alternate entrance, either human or animal...but we digress.

1) If I can pick the area it would be mostly mixed wood, but includes a bog or marsh. Even better if it's adjacent to shoreline. The wetlands intrigue me because there are so many hiding places for the birds and other creatures, and some of the birds that hang out there tend to be shy or elusive.

2) I think my biggest surprise for a bird (not that the location and situation wasn't right), was in an abandoned field next to aspen woods on the edge of an abandoned farm. I had set up a camera in a nearby barn and was focusing in on a deer carcass that I had found in the woods after hunting season. I had dragged it to the field in hopes of drawing in coyotes for photos. While I was looking through the camera and focussing on the carcass, a mature bald eagle landed in the view and began to feed. I could hardly believe my eyes. I had to pull my head back from the camera to make sure it was real. Never did get a coyote photo.

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Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 23:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavan wood
has to do with an alternate entrance, either human or animal...but we digress.
Ahhhhhh! I get it now. In the US that term isn't really a cuss word - it is sort of just a funny word everyone uses - that's why I didn't think of that as being a word that needed *****ing out


Quote:
Originally Posted by cavan wood
While I was looking through the camera and focussing on the carcass, a mature bald eagle landed in the view and began to feed.
Wow! I had heard that the bald eagle is also a scavenger but I never really wanted to believe it. Great job in getting pictures of this. Do you think you could post a few?
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Old Friday 22nd April 2005, 01:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry O'Nolley
Wow! I had heard that the bald eagle is also a scavenger but I never really wanted to believe it. Great job in getting pictures of this. Do you think you could post a few?
They're on kodachrome slide, 20 years old, and I'm a total amateur, but I'll give it a try tomorrow.

Scott

p.s. I hate to burst your bubble, but my understanding is they are primarily a scavenger. Still wonderful creatures though, as are coyotes, even if they do piss a lot of people off.
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Old Friday 22nd April 2005, 03:30   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavan wood
They're on kodachrome slide, 20 years old, and I'm a total amateur, but I'll give it a try tomorrow.
Thank you! I'd love to see them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cavan wood
p.s. I hate to burst your bubble, but my understanding is they are primarily a scavenger. Still wonderful creatures though, as are coyotes, even if they do piss a lot of people off.
Primarily? That is truly depressing :( Our national bird - a glorified vulture Oh well - what can you do?
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Old Friday 22nd April 2005, 03:48   #9
samuel walker
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i have a few.They took awhile to find All have a water feature and yield a goldmine of birds.The first one I found was nearby it contained marsh,river and forest.I kept driving past a section of park thinking it had promise as a habitat.My wife and I ditched the car near it one day and walked around the edges.At that time I was trying to get a sighting of my last local woodpecker,The redheaded.She knowing this pointed one out as we had walked into a colony of them.from that time on I was hooked on the patch and kept returning.Into the first week I came across another human who was equally smitten with the place.He had several years experience with the place and led me to its highlights.As warbler season arrived I found myself running into more humans.Cripes, this is ruined I thought.It was clear we were all looking for the same thing a refuge from cars,bikes and runners.We have all pledged that we would not disclose the location except to serious birders we knew and never post the location to the general public on the local birding sites.It 's too good to be a secret forever and I expect the two leggers to keep coming.
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Old Friday 22nd April 2005, 10:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry O'Nolley
Thank you! I'd love to see them.




Primarily? That is truly depressing :( Our national bird - a glorified vulture Oh well - what can you do?
I guess it is The American way even the eagles only have time for fast food these days.-Larry
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Old Saturday 23rd April 2005, 02:16   #11
cavan wood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry O'Nolley
Thank you! I'd love to see them.
I'm having trouble getting the scanner to read slides, but I've been meaning to learn this anyway, so this is good incentive to keep trying.

Talk to you later,
Scott
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Old Saturday 23rd April 2005, 03:31   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavan wood
I'm having trouble getting the scanner to read slides, but I've been meaning to learn this anyway, so this is good incentive to keep trying.

Talk to you later,
Scott
If you really wanted to, you could always get prints of your slides and then scan them that way? Just a thought.

I have some land in Missouri that has always given me so much pleasure and surprise with the birds(and mammals) I see there.
Also, where my parents reside right now is a fantastic place to sit in the backyard for a bit and scan the trees and skies for unlikely birds in such a suburban setting. Although, I believe the whole of the suburb is protected as a flyway of some sort, but I have never met anyone else around there that was interested.

I would have to agree with others here, my secret spot would have to be someplace with a water, marsh, wetlands and forested area.

Surpirsingly to me, here in NY-sort of upstate-there is a plethora of small wetland areas(that was the suprpirsing part for me), mountain ranges, other types of bottom land and lovely forests. I am getting to know the areas, as I have hardly been here for two years, but I have found one spot that, although protected by the local birding club, seems lesser known.

Best
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Old Saturday 23rd April 2005, 17:04   #13
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Okay, I figured out the settings for positive slides, sort of. The scans are not as sharp as the slides, and of course I cropped to fit the 800 pixel limit, but until I get the whole technique perfected this will have to do for now.
Scott

Last edited by cavan wood : Monday 4th February 2008 at 03:37.
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Old Saturday 23rd April 2005, 17:33   #14
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very nice series of pics! - what a bird.
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Old Saturday 23rd April 2005, 18:07   #15
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Wow-that's awesome!
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Old Sunday 24th April 2005, 17:32   #16
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I always like seeing a photo with a second bird(that's a magpie in the second picture right?) in it when dealing with a raptor. I always get a sense of size and, well, immensity that way. Those are fantastic shots! Kudos!

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Old Monday 25th April 2005, 04:11   #17
cavan wood
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Thanks, for the nice comments. Yes, it's a magpie.

Digging these eagle photos up got me looking at a bunch of my old photos and thinking about some of my earlier adventures. I actually found a photo of one of the places I was thinking of when I first answered this thread. It's called craneberry bog, and its part of a provincial park next to Lake Huron. There's no real trail, just shoreline, so not many people went there.


Scott

Last edited by cavan wood : Monday 4th February 2008 at 03:37.
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Old Monday 25th April 2005, 07:10   #18
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I have a couple of spots. But being new to birding didn't really know what to look for.

Was sitting on the (flat) roof of my house one day & there was a terrible row (birds) coming from a short distance away.
Picked up the camera & tripod & went in search.

Found a chicken run (illegal I think in HK coz of avian flu) about 100yds away & saw at least 50 Red-whiskered Bulbuls & Tree Sparrows tucking into the food.
Thought about it a while & set myself up about 20m away on a terrace below the run.

Over the next four/five weeks took about 5,000 pics photos of a number of different species, mostly within a 2m square spot.
Best of all was an Orange-headed Thrush (pictured in my gallery) which is something of a rarity in HK.

Have moved away to another area now, & have been there for about 3 weeks - is a small farming plot bounded by waterfilled drainage ditches on all sides & 4 small ponds, surrounded on 3 sides by a belt of banana trees & on 2 of those sides by wetland & dense grass & bushes, 100 yds from the sea.
Hundreds of tourists pass by within about 50' on one side, & along an elevated path along another side of the plot. But all are oblivious to the little gem right under their noses.

Have taken another few thousand pics including the Brown Shrike & Cattle Egret (with frog) both in my gallery.

The farmer allowed me into his plot after we sat & ate bean curd together at a small cafe 20 yds away. He couldn't speak english, I don't speak Chinese, & he couldn't see the bird pics on my camera coz is as blind as a bat. But I somehow managed to get the message across as to what i wanted to do.
(BTW - he grows all the vegetables & gives them away free as a form of atonement for his ways as he draws toward the twilight of his life)

But the nice thing about the island I live on is that whilst there are a couple of serious birdwatchers here, it is all virgin territory.

So no birding sights, no guidemaps, no off-path people, no off limits....... all mine!!!!!!
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Old Monday 25th April 2005, 08:19   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavan wood
Okay, I figured out the settings for positive slides, sort of. The scans are not as sharp as the slides, and of course I cropped to fit the 800 pixel limit, but until I get the whole technique perfected this will have to do for now.
Scott

Oh, well done!

Alan
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