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What did you see in your binoculars today? (1 Viewer)

tenex

reality-based
It's just I'm in the wrong area of the country, though there are half a dozen I could go visit in The Tower ;)
Their wings are clipped; that really doesn't count. I was very sad (at 11) to hear it.

Back to what was seen today around local lakes: a bald eagle pair (female on nest), seven great blue herons in trees (two building nests), osprey pairs at two different sites with nests started, the resident harrier again this time harassing a cormorant, driving it into the water... the usual red-tailed hawks and a nice assortment of ducks and coots, several shorebirds, etc. Many of these from one spot thanks to new S2 scope, with Trinovid BR 10x42 along also.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
The Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) have returned to my area! I saw a pair in each of three different places today.

I also saw a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) in hot pursuit of a Common Raven this afternoon.

In addition, the usual assortment of Canada Geese, a Double Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) one Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) some Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser) with more females than males. (at least a 2:1 ratio) a Great Blue Heron flyover, (Ardea herodias), Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus)

I'm including proper names because so many here are in Europe or UK, and common names are nonsense, in my opinion.

If it annoys people, I shall stop including them. None for the two birds I assume everyone knows.
 

tenex

reality-based
Thanks for including the muskrat. We enjoy them too, along with weasels, turtles, and whomever else we happen to see.

I'm including proper names because so many here are in Europe or UK, and common names are nonsense, in my opinion.
Quisque suum habet gustum...
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
I have never seen a live weasel.

I found one that managed to get run over on the road once.

I took it home and made a study skin out of it.
 
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Maljunulo

Well-known member
Today's highlights were a lovely pair of Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) and a Female Wood Duck standing on a log having a prolonged preen for herself.

Heard some toads calling, and the Kestrel was still on station and hunting. Another (or the same) Muskrat. Glimpsed what was probably a Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) Couldn't get the glasses on it and I lost it, but it flew like a Kingfisher.

Male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) perched at the top pf reeds (Phragmites sp?) and proclaiming their territories.

Oodles of turtles, most of which were likely to be Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta)
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
I just returned from a West Texas outing. We identified 38 bird varieties and had a wonderful time in the wilds. Here are some of the personal highlights for me.

Gold-Fronted Woodpecker - These were numerous and active. I loved their distinctive call. It was a loud chatter that would catch my attention. These are large birds with a soft muted-gold head and a ladder-styled back. They were very alert and flirted with my best efforts by simply swiveling around the far side of the branch. With great patience, I was able to get very close views.

Yellow-headed Blackbird - The name does not do it justice. The "yellow" is more like a shimmering gold. Also the black mask across the eyes was a nice contrast. I would have named it "Gold-Dipped Blackbird" myself. Very, very striking at sunset.

Phainopepla - What a fun little bird. Imagine a Cardinal shrunk to 1/3 size and solid black. Add a very aggressive and active personality. This tiny guy seemed to corral and boss around a small flock of Cedar Wax-wings (which are stunning in their own right).

Green Kingfisher - This pocket-sized fisher was all business. We watched it off and on several days. This little female fished dawn to dusk at the same tree overlooking the clear waters of the rocky creek below. The green crest was particularly brilliant. She was successful in catching a minnow about 2/3's of the time from every effort.

Wild Turkey - This is the "western" variety of the species. We got the best views of the females, as they seemed less stressed by our possible presence. The female has been described as "plain" compared to the male, but that's not the way we saw them. This is the first time I really had a leisurely study of them. They were a color that doesn't readily have a name. Somewhere between gold and muted bronze. Each feather tip was etched in a black pin-stripe which accentuated the placement pattern and variety of feather types. It was like an elaborate and complex piece of patchwork art. I remember thinking how hard they work as the females cover a great amount of distance in their long, wandering scratch for food.

There were also a great amount of deer and Javelina about. Always welcome when they burst upon the scene. All together, a wonderful adventure!
 
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fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
A European robin on my balcony, two magpies 10m away and two great spotted woodpeckers who promptly absconded by the time I brought my spotting scope to bear (they were about 40m away).
 

CharleyBird

Well-known member
England
Magpies are such beaultiful birds. Yesterday one was hopping along the front window sill pecking at things, and all around the front garden. Bold as brass. They also make short work of fat balls in feeders in the back garden.
I think they're nesting in the neighbours monstrous mature leylandii.
(Nikon E2 8x30)
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Our neighbourhood abounds with Blackbirds and we have a pair building a nest in our back garden. We have Song Thrushes locally too but they are dominated by the Blackbirds and so tend to be discrete and even secretive. Lucky for us that a pair of Song Thrushes has taken to using our pond to bathe in and this morning at around 07:10 the pair flew into our Birch tree (planted by us 35 years ago) and promptly disappeared down into the undergrowth. No doubt they worked they way up towards the house and to the pond. I had a good look with Conquest HD 8x32s and then came away from the window so as to not take the chance of disturbing them. They are a really pretty Thrush and they remind me of the first picture of a bird I ever saw. I was about 5 years old and my mom showed me a drawing she had done of a bird she had seen and it was a Song Thrush.

Lee
 

tenex

reality-based
We have a pair of Spotted Towhees nesting in the juniper bushes by our driveway, after tense but ultimately victorious contention with the rear-view mirror of my car before I put a bag over it. One will perch there even as I stand watching or pass by, less shy than towhees usually seem (or possibly defensive?). Spiffy little birds. Talk about needing close focus.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

Only two birds of note, today, in the building's private park, which is about one hectare. The first was a northern flicker which was more than 35m, away, as it landed up a tree. The second bird was a northern mockingbird, which I first heard and identified by its varied call. It was hidden in some bushes. On a later round of the area, it landed about 5m, away, in deep shade. I got the glass on it, but I did not need it for identification but the binocular, an old 8x30 B&L, made it a definite confirmation.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 

jafritten

Well-known member
I've been in pursuit of a little owl for a couple of weeks. Today, I was lucky. I walked past a meadow orchard and scanned a couple of trees with my UV 7x42. I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted it in the third or fourth tree. Its crypsis is bewildering. I could hardly make it out between the branches. I usually carry a lightweight supertele in my rucksack, so here's a photo for you. Not really a wallhanger maybe but a very nice record shot anyway.
 

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Quak

Member
The loons are back on our lake for the year! Always great to see them come home. Saw some fat and sassy mallards and got a fly by from a wood duck as well. Finally got some northern Cardinals to our feeder this past winter. Sounds crazy but they are few and far between up here.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Some first of season birds for me today - Nightingale, N Wheatear, Eur Reed Warbler. Also fun watching a good number of Red & Black Kites, Kestrels, and Buzzards harassing each other a bit and taking turns being harassed by / harassing stacks of Carrion Crows.
 

quincy88

Well-known member
Nothing so far today, but yesterday I saw two life birds - Horned Lark and Wood Sparrow. Using my 10s. Also a handful of birds for the first time of the year - Pipits, Mountain Bluebirds, Merlin. We had a fun evening of birding after work.
 

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