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Reports from at Home and Away

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Old Wednesday 31st December 2003, 12:24   #1
snowyowl
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Reports from at Home and Away

Yesterday I went to chase a reported Eurasian Wigeon and a Mew Gull. I saw the Widgeon but not the gull. I did, however, get two adult Blackheaded Gulls and an Iceland Gull.
All of these birds are hanging out at municipal sewage treatment lagoon.
I'll try again for the Mew Gull if I can talk my long-suffering wife into driving to town.

Last edited by snowyowl : Friday 2nd January 2004 at 12:09.
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Old Thursday 1st January 2004, 14:17   #2
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We went looking for short-eared owls at sunset yesterday. We saw one very briefly. Also saw a few Northern harriers.

Happy New Year.


Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyowl
Yesterday I went to chase a reported Eurasian Widgeon and a Mew Gull. I saw the Widgeon but not the gull. I did, however, get two adult Blackheaded Gulls and an Iceland Gull.
All of these birds are hanging out at municipal sewage treatment lagoon.
I'll try again for the Mew Gull if I can talk my long-suffering wife into driving to town.
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Old Thursday 1st January 2004, 23:22   #3
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Aha, so here you guys from Birdbuzz are hiding - I see there's a few of the regulars here.

Well, snowfall overhere, and very few birds heard or seen - they're not used to that sort of weather, and not even the Magpies or Blackbirds showed themselves. Only bird I saw was a Carrion crow (corvus corone), and something Finch-like that streaked past at treetop height and with lightning speed - couldn't see what it was.

I should go for a walk at the riverside one of these days, there should be Cormorants there this time of the year.

Happy New Year

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Old Monday 5th January 2004, 12:28   #4
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Went out on a CBC yesterday, the last of the year. It was pretty miserable all morning with rain and wind. Virtually no birds around. When we were about to shut down for the day, we spotted an immature Bald Eagle and about two minutes later a mature one took off from beside a pond and sailed over us. Definitely the highlight of the day.
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Old Wednesday 7th January 2004, 13:24   #5
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Good Sightings

My long suffering wife drove me to the National Park at Brackley, PEI on Monday (it's on the north shore of the Island). There have been repeated sightings of Short-earred Owls over there this winter. Never having seen one I was very keen to try. We had been there a couple other times lately to try for them but circumstances had forced us to go around noon rather than late afternoon as I would have preferred.
We sat in the van where the road runs along the dunes and watched. We could see 1/4 miles in each direction. A Northern harrier showed up and we watched him for a good 1/2 hour. He managed to catch a large rodent of some kind (rat size?). No luck with the owl. Finally, as it was getting late, I suggested that as a last resort before leaving, we drive the whole section of road that we had been watching. Just as we reached the point where the dunes change to some scrubby spruce, we saw him! It was sitting on a fence post almost at the tree line (which is probably why we didn't spot him.). The owl took off and started to hunt low over the dunes. The harrier came bcack and for a brief time I had both birds in my binos at the same time.
I was tremendously impressed by the graceful flight of the owl and with the length of his wings. Even having read the descriptions, I had expected a shorter, more owly wing. Being a bird of open ground rather than woodland, the longer wings make sense but still surprised me.
It's going to be hard for me to get a more exciting bird this year and here it is only January.
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Old Wednesday 7th January 2004, 19:02   #6
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What a terrific trip!! It's nice to have long-sufferings spouse. Mine has been cooking up a storm since my surgery! I read another note re: ptarmigans - saw them in the brown form on an Alaska trip 10 yrs. ago.!
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Old Thursday 8th January 2004, 05:24   #7
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We went looking for the short ears at the same place we saw them last year and there was one but he went by very quickly and I didn't get a good look.
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Old Thursday 8th January 2004, 12:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amasara
What a terrific trip!! It's nice to have long-sufferings spouse. Mine has been cooking up a storm since my surgery! I read another note re: ptarmigans - saw them in the brown form on an Alaska trip 10 yrs. ago.!
I've never seen a ptarmagan but a couple of weeks ago my daughter, a completely non-birder (she makes fun of us) asked me what I thought the white bird she had seen in a tree might be. I was very jealous. Never mind, this summer I hope to visit her and my son in Yellowknife and should be able to see at least the brown version.
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Old Thursday 8th January 2004, 15:55   #9
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In Williamsport Pa. in the north cenrtal part of the state there has been a Rufous hummingbird visiting a feeder for the last 3-4 months, we just had a report yesterday that the bird is still there it has survived through single digit temps at night and over a foot or more of snow.I went threw that town yesterday wishing along I could stop to see it but my large truck would never make it to where the bird is feeding, although I did see a Rough-legged hawk (light morph) for the third year in a row in the same excact spot hovering for prey only this year to be 3 weeks earlier.
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Old Friday 9th January 2004, 00:39   #10
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Wow!! How in the world can a little hummingbird survive these kind of winter conditions??? That's just amazing!

Thanks for sharing that little miracle.
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Old Friday 9th January 2004, 01:03   #11
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Before we switched "channels" I wrote re: a book by Arnette Heidcamp - A Hummingbird In My House. I found a compilation of all her books - Hummingbirds, My Tiny Treasures. These are a MUST read for all birdlovers. I, too, wonder how the h.bird is surviving outside in this cold climate. Arnette lured them into her heated porch full of plants. She really put lot of thought and effort into caring for her tiny friends. Do look up these books on Amazon.com.
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Old Friday 9th January 2004, 14:30   #12
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There's an Allen hummingbird that's been hanging out in Cape May. Don't know if he is still there, will have to check the local board.
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 17:56   #13
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I reported about a Rufous hummingbird thats been visiting a feeder in Williamsport Pa (northcentral) Well yesterday was the last sighting of him he showed up for the morning feeding but failed to show in the afternoon.The home owner isn't sure if he perished or just took off the temps have been in the single digits fahrenheit and below zero at night with about 8-10 inches of snow.
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Old Friday 23rd January 2004, 12:59   #14
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I don't know what's going on but I just read an email from a local birder here reporting two more Short-earred Owls. That's at least six well seperated seperate locations where they have been seen this winter. The "official" occurence rate is given as Occasional which means that they are normally seen 1 -9 times per decade.
There have also been two Cardinals reported here this winter. There were also three Snowy Owls at one location last week. Now that I starting to drive again I may have to investigate those sightings.
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Old Friday 23rd January 2004, 21:14   #15
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Sounds like a worthwhile adventure Dan, happy hunting!
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Old Saturday 24th January 2004, 22:52   #16
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Just back from Scottish Inn weekend in Hocking Hills - saw several turkey vultures from O. River north to the
Hills ?? They aren't due back until March? Wonder if they're predicting an early spring - then again there's this forecast of 4-6 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain! We did get a pretty 2" snow last night at the Inn.
Also saw 3 cranes flying over frozen pond - not sure what kind - weren't listed in the Ohio bird book. Must go search my other books. The Inn itself was birdless!
The lone feeder they had was empty - hence no birds!
Did seach out 3 covered bridges and ate at a lovely place called Grouse Nest - which did have a lot of birdfeeders full!! I even hiked down to a gorge with frozen waterfalls - took 5 rolls of film plus digitals. My new knee did great (6wks post-op) BUT the other one
was complaining!
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Old Saturday 24th January 2004, 23:09   #17
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Glad to hear your knee is doing so well, Sara. I guess your wintery forecast will be coming my way-Joy!
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Old Sunday 25th January 2004, 12:12   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amasara
Just back from Scottish Inn weekend in Hocking Hills - saw several turkey vultures from O. River north to the
Hills ?? They aren't due back until March? Wonder if they're predicting an early spring - then again there's this forecast of 4-6 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain! We did get a pretty 2" snow last night at the Inn.
Also saw 3 cranes flying over frozen pond - not sure what kind - weren't listed in the Ohio bird book. Must go search my other books. The Inn itself was birdless!
The lone feeder they had was empty - hence no birds!
Did seach out 3 covered bridges and ate at a lovely place called Grouse Nest - which did have a lot of birdfeeders full!! I even hiked down to a gorge with frozen waterfalls - took 5 rolls of film plus digitals. My new knee did great (6wks post-op) BUT the other one
was complaining!
Sounds like a great weekend outing. I think I need something like that. I definitely have the winter blahs . It's pretty cold out, -25C, but sunny. I've just started back to driving so I'm not sure whether I should tackle the backroads yet, they could be pretty slippery, but I definitely need a birding fix. I've got my new binos and scope and I've been indoors so much that I've barely tried them out.
OK, I've talked myself into it, I'm going birding this afternoon. Now I wonder if I can talk my wife into going with me. I think she plans on quilting all day.
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Old Sunday 25th January 2004, 16:38   #19
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New binos and scope - do you have as many of them as you do feeders, Dan?

Sara - great to hear how good the knee is doing! Did you tell those people at the inn to fill up the bird feeder ;-)

I could use a bird fix too but there is an ice storm headed this way ;-(
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Old Sunday 25th January 2004, 17:11   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dianeh
New binos and scope - do you have as many of them as you do feeders, Dan?

Sara - great to hear how good the knee is doing! Did you tell those people at the inn to fill up the bird feeder ;-)

I could use a bird fix too but there is an ice storm headed this way ;-(
No, Diane, I don't. The only reason I mentioned how many feeders I own is because I was asked.
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Old Sunday 25th January 2004, 17:26   #21
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Dan - I hope I didn't offend you - I was just kidding.
I seem to be doing that online of late - offending people - but I don't mean to. Sorry.
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Old Sunday 25th January 2004, 18:37   #22
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I think we all could use a birding fix. I sure have the winter blahs. What I could use is some kind of birding class, on line. Any possibilities?
Glad to hear you are driving again Dan, but be careful!
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Old Sunday 25th January 2004, 22:59   #23
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Don't know about courses but you can do a virtual hawk watch of Cape May here -
http://www.virtualbirder.com/vbirder..._01/index.html
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Old Sunday 25th January 2004, 23:14   #24
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And the hawk mt virtual hawk watch
http://www.virtualbirder.com/vbirder..._01/index.html
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Old Monday 26th January 2004, 13:31   #25
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Diane - I've been trying to attach a digital to message and fianally got explanation that my file photo is too large - how do shrink it? Sara
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