Friday, March 30, 2007

March 30, 2007: Nashville, Tennessee (Radnor Lake) (6 PHOTOS, 5 BIRD/ANIMAL)

After the conference, I had the time to make another quick stop at Radnor Lake, before returning to the Nashville airport to fly home. Similar birds today.

BIRDING: Same common birds as the day before. CAROLINA CHICKADEE, CAROLINA WREN, DOWNY WOODPECKER, TUFTED TITMOUSE. Also lots of CANADA GEESE, close views of WOOD DUCKS, and BLUE-WINGED TEAL. Also I heard a BARRED OWL calling but I could not locate him. Also a fleeting view of what I think was an EASTERN TOWHEE.

Wood Ducks (above and below)
Blue-Winged Teal
Turtles sunning an a log

More signs of spring

Tufted Titmouse

Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 29, 2007: Nashville, Tennessee (Radnor Lake, NHL Hockey) (12 PHOTOS, 3 BIRD)

Not much free time today, because the conference was in session all day, and I had two presentations to finalize and give. After my presentation, I did have a brief chance to visit Radnor Lake, one of Nashville's premier birding areas, just south of town off Granny White Pike (Map).

This is a nice walk through a wooded area around the lake. This can be very productive during migration. It was a quiet day bird-wise, but still a nice afternoon for a quick walk.


One of the many Northern Cardinals on the hike
Singing Carolina Wren
A view of Radnor Lake
Canada Geese at the lake

Later in the evening, we went to a Nashville Predators Hockey game versus the Detroit Red Wings. This was a great battle for first place in the Western Conference, which Detroit won 2-1. Below are some shots from the arena and game, including Nashville's only goal.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

March 28, 2007: Nashville, Tennessee (Narrows of the Harpeth Park, Flight Info) (9 PHOTOS, 6 BIRD/ANIMAL)

Today I left Buffalo (early, of course, on my typical 6:20am Northwest flight), for Nashville, TN for a conference. The Buffalo-Detroit flight was delayed because of repairs to the backup fuel pump. By the time we took off, we landed in Detroit an hour late, making me miss the connection to Nashville. Luckily, Northwest was great about it and I got on another flight just over an hour later, arriving at BNA Airport around 11:15 instead of 9:45.

Since I had some free time before checking in for the conference, I headed out of town to the west, on US-70 to White Bluff. I had gotten suggestions that Carl's Perfect Pig was a great BBQ restaurant in that town. (Review) (Map). It lived up to its reputation! The pulled pork was especially good, highly reccomended! Their homemade sauce was also quite nice. During this whole trip, it was pouring rain, and heavy thunderstorms were nearby. Luckily, this cleared up, allowing me to proceed with my planned stop at Narrows of the Harpeth State Park, in nearby Cheatham County. Spent a few hours here birding and hiking around the tunnel and pond area, before heading into Nashville and the conference.

BIRDING: There was quite a bit of activity at Narrows of the Harpeth. On the drive in, an impressive number of TURKEY VULTURES roosting from the storm. Also EASTERN BLUEBIRDS and EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, and various blackbirds. In the park I found many singing NORTHERN PARULA and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS. Also CAROLINA WRENS, CAROLINA CHICKADEES, TUFTED TITMICE, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS, and DOWNY WOODPECKERS. I had a flyover BLACK VULTURE among the TURKEY VULTURES.

Two photos of a Yellow-Throated Warbler below. (Narrows of the Harpeth - there were many!)
There were also many Northern Parulas at the Narrows (not the best photo, but this is the best I got!) A bad photo of a Carolina Chickadee This Carolina Wren was building a nest in the pictured crevace of this cliff
An unidentified snake on the trail to the falls/pondThe trail leads to this falls leading out of the Narrows tunnel: A man-made tunnel constructed in 1818 connecting the Harpeth River at the narrows.

This pool is where the falls leads to This sign of spring (Virginia Blue Bells) is still more than a month off in Western New York!



Sunday, March 25, 2007

March 25, 2007: Western NY Birding (Batavia, Rochester) (14 BIRD PHOTOS)

A little bit of free time, and a trip to Rochester meant some birding! We stopped at a few places briefly, though we did not have a lot of time. Temperature was upper 40's, but the promise of warmer temps and bright sun never materialized until later in the afternoon.

First the Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant had a nice assortment of watefowl. Most represented seemed to be HOODED MERGANSER, COMMON MERGANSER, and RING-NECKED DUCK, and quite a few BUFFLEHEAD, SCAUP, GOLDENEYE and SHOVELERS. We saw MALLARD and CANADA GEESE of course, and one pair of BLACK DUCKS. Also some First of Season TREE SWALLOWS were hunting bugs off the pond ice, and we also flushed a RED FOX. We saw one HORNED GREBE, and a bunch of Killdeer. Light conditions were poor, so we didn't get many shots.

Flying Common Mergansers
Horned Grebe
An assortment of ducks, including Scaup, Goldeneye and Bufflehead

A brief stop at the Owl Woods at Braddock Bay in Greece did not yield anything. They were not raptor banding because of the conditions, and we did not find any owls during our brief stay.

Time running out we opted for a quick stop at the Irondequoit Bay outlet. Many fewer waterfowl than a few weeks ago .. the common PIGEONS, MALLARDS, CANADA GEESE, RING BILLED GULLS, and MUTE SWANS were there of course, with one AMERICAN COOT, and some domestic geese.

Out toward the channel there were a few LONG-TAILED DUCKS, and one HORNED GREBE.

Female Long-Tailed Duck
A nice shot of a male Long-Tailed Duck
Down he goes!

Horned Grebe (above and below)

Mute Swan
Greylag Goose

Ring-Billed Gull
An unhappy domestic (Swan Goose / Greylag Goose?)

Another mad Canada Goose!
First of Season White-Throated Sparrow (for us)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

March 10, 2007: Phoenix Birding (Gilbert Water Ranch, ASU Ponds), Flight Home (30 Bird Photos, 2 Aerial Photos)

With some time to kill before my flight home, my friend Mike Hawk and I did some birding in the morning. Though I had been there multiple times already, I was not tiring of Gilbert Water Ranch at all (great place!) so we met there in the early morning. We would be glad that we did!
While a lot of the same ducks and shorebirds and waders persisted (see previous days), we also added the much desired STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE, and HARRIS SPARROW. We also saw ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, COMMON SNIPE, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and SAY'S PHOEBE, species that had eluded me previously.


Great Blue Heron

Some more nice shots of Black-Necked Stilt
Common Snipe This female Cardinal kept pretending to be a Pyhrruloxia! The bird of the trip! This is a Streak-Backed Oriole! (above and below)

Orange-Crowned Warbler
Say's Phoebe (not the best shot, but the only one I got!)
Least Sandpiper
KilldeerAbert's Towhee (above and below)
Long Billed Dowitcher
Yellow-Rumped Warbler (Audubon race)
Green Heron
Black Crowned Night Heron
Greater Yellowlegs
Green Winged Teal
Ruddy Duck (male above, female below)

Harris' Sparrow! (unusual this far west) (above and below)
With a little more free time available, we decided to try the ASU Research ponds in Tempe. Not a huge variety, but nice looks at LESSER SCAUP, RING NECKED DUCK, MALLARDS and CANADA GEESE amd AMERICAN COOTS.
Lesser Scaup
Some nice Mallard shots

A Ring-Necked Duck, in a more natural setting this time!
An American Coot with his big feet!
Finally, I left Phoenix, flying home via Detroit. Only a few photos on the trip home, as it was mostly cloudy and or in the dark.
Rio Salado Natural Area, Phoenix