Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Number is Growing! Now, 68!

Despite a rainy morning and a long walk, I was rewarded to spot my first Golden-crowned Kinglet as I was hiking with the local Audubon group! A gorgeous bird that waited very patiently about 10 feet from the group so that everyone could take a look. After becoming discouraged that others had earlier saw a lot more birds than I did, I extended my day to look for more. My efforts paid off when I spotted my first Bonaparte's Gull, Horned Grebe, Pie-billed Grebe, and Field Sparrow. I can't wait until next week!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Costa Rica! Here I come!

I'm booked! It's official! I, along with two of my best friends will be heading out to the Guanacaste area in Costa Rica during the first week of June! I am absolutely beside myself with excitement and am not sure June can get here fast enough! This will be my first official trip outside of the United States for the primary purpose of Birding!!! Wow!

Has anyone ever been to this area? If so, suggestions on birding spots will be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Easter Gift? Three more Lifers! 63!

Could a day get any better? My family and I went to Mass, Celebrated the Resurrection, ate lunch out (my kids behaved perfectly!) AND, I was able to get and hour in at Eagle Creek with two of my kids and my dear, dear friend, Mr. Vortex Scope! I was instantly gratified to see birds all over the water and immediately started huffing and puffing trying to get my scope set up before a single bird flew away - none did. Most were American Coots, but just as I expected there were several other notables mingling with the group, including: American Wigeons, Gadwalls, Green-winged Teal, Mallards, Canada Geese, Hooded Mergansers, and Red-breasted Mergansers. We then walked to look at the feeders and there it was - a single Pine Siskin waiting patiently to be added to my life list!

We walked to the next observation pavilion and there they were, another group of blessings - Common Loons! Beautiful Common Loons, swimming in plain view as if they had nothing better to do than pose as models for my Vortex! Lifers!

Oh yeah, and how can I forget about yesterday at the Mississinewa Reservoir? My first Double-crested Cormorants mingling with a large group of Ring-necked Ducks! I was also able to witness a very large group of Eastern Bluebirds that made me almost cry that I didn't have a camera, there was blue everywhere - I mean everywhere! Absolutely amazing!

How blessed we are to have such beautiful creatures all around us!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The number is 60!!!

Today, we spent the morning birding the Salamonie Lost Bridge West area (Andrews, IN) and had a GREAT time! Yes, that is me waving with the big smile! I am a happy man when birding! We saw 29 species total, however, the highlight was the Greater White-fronted Geese we saw in the Marsh area. This, along with an Eastern Bluebird and Red-headed Woodpecker took my life list to 60.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spring Forward! I am at 57!

Like any other Sunday, this morning I woke up, went downstairs, started a small pot of coffee (shade grown, of course) and went to the window to see what birds have chosen to dine with me this morning. All of my devoted friends were outside – House Finches, American Goldfinches, Mourning Doves, Northern Cardinals, E. Starlings (not my friends), a Common Grackle, and the very rare House Sparrows. Then, as I was sitting down to watch my visitors I noticed that the time on the TV box was different then that on my phone – we SPRUNG forward! My morning suddenly went into complete chaos, now I was late for the bird hike! I scrambled around the house, grabbed my birding bag and took off. I got about a half a mile from the house and realized that I forgot my wallet so I had to turn around and go back. Finally, I was on the road to go birding. I arrived at the park with not a birder in site; I was running about 45 minutes late so this didn’t surprise me. Long story short, I went birding alone.

My day quickly made a turn for the better when I spotted a Gadwall and an American Wigeon! Both lifers for me! It continued to get better as I spotted two immature Bald Eagles fly very close overhead and a lone Snow Goose (blue form) – lifers for me as well. Finally, to top off what started out to be a very disastrous day I had a Killdeer fly in front of my car and a Northern Mockingbird show up at my feeders this evening. I can’t wait until next Sunday!

This brings my life list to 57!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Finally! A Robin!

My prayer has been answered! Today while driving to one of my stores I spotted a Robin amongst a flock of Common Grackles.... the excitement about made me drive off into the opposite field!!! I also had a Red-winged blackbird at my feeder yesterday.... Grackles, Robins, Red-winged blackbirds, I am going into overload!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I can't find the Robins!

OK, for about three days now I have woke up to the sound of Robins communicating to the neighborhood that they are back! I jump out of bed, look out the window - no Robins! Yesterday, I even snuck to the back yard as stealthy as possible - no Robins! Am I hearing things? Is this a side effect of becoming a birder? Am I suffering from spring migration withdraw?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Great Day!

I had a wonderful morning today. I met up with the local Birders at Eagle Creek Park and was able to add several birds to my life list including... Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Wood Duck, Redhead, Red-breasted Merganser, Black Duck, and a Herring Gull. I also saw several large (noisy) flocks of Sandhill Cranes fly over our neighborhood and spotted a Turkey Vulture while driving South on I69. Spring is in the air! This takes my Indiana list to 48 and my life list to 50!

Common Grackles!

First of the year! Today, there were 3 Common Grackles at my feeders, pecking away at whole peanuts. This take me to 40 Indiana, 42 Life.

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal