Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27, 2008: Birding Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

Today we took a walk at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. We got a few nice photos of flora and fauna on this beautiful April Sunday! We walked at the Kanyoo Trail, and Swallow Hollow Trail. (Maps below)

Some Red Trillium coming out early this year
Trout Lily
A vernal pool at Kanyoo Trail

Below: Some shots of Blue-Grey Gnatcatchers, which were common on the trail:

There were also quite a few Rusty Blackbirds migrating through today:

Aerial shots courtesy Microsoft Virtual Earth
Swallow Hollow Trail
Kanyoo Trail

Locations of the trails mentioned (Click here for an interactive map)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April 19, 2008: Braddock Bay and other birding

We started out at the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory for some songbird banding. It is early in the season, but we found a few things....

White-Throated Sparrow
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
A Merlin flew by while we were at the banding station

Next we headed to the nearby Braddock Bay Raptor Banding Station in the "Owl Woods". It was a busy day with lots of Sharp-Shinned Hawks banded, a few Northern Harriers, and one Red-Tailed Hawk! The first bird we saw banded was a Hermit Thrush!
Northern Harrier (above and below) Below: Banded Sharp-Shinned Hawks

Above and Below: Red-Tailed Hawk

There were Ruby-Crowned Kinglets outside the station - this was the best photo I could find
Above and Below: Northern Saw-Whet Owl in the "Owl Woods"

We stopped briefly at the Braddock Bay Hawk Watch Tower. Not much was going on, but we did have a brief kettle of Broad-Winged Hawks. This was the best picture I could get:

We got these nice shots of Wood Ducks (Melissa's photos) just outside Lakeside Beach State Park

Aerial shot of Banding Station via Microsoft Birds Eye View Image

The official Braddock Bay Hawkwatch Tower


Friday, April 18, 2008

April 18, 2008: Iroquois NWR Birding

We took a nice early Spring hike at Iroquois NWR this evening, and got a few nice shots, and a few "First of Year" bird sightings.

Early Willow blooms

Canada Goose


Flying waterfowl (Shovelers and Green Winged Teals)
Migrating Caspian Terns
Flyover female Shovelers
Greater Yellowlegs
Eastern Phoebe (first of year)

For maps of Iroquois NWR, see my April 22, 2007 post

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13, 2008: Buffalo Ornithological Society Bird Count

Today I assisted with the Region 12 area of the Buffalo Ornithological Society April Bird Count. Below are my totals. (Birds in caps are unusual for this count). I have a few photos taken during the count, also.

Canada Goose 61
Mallard 6
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 2
Red-Tailed Hawk 3
American Kestrel 2
Killdeer 2
Ring-Billed Gull 106
Rock Pigeon 17
Mourning Dove 8
Downy Woodpecker 7
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 6
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 52
Horned Lark 4
Tree Swallow 16
Black-Capped Chickadee 8
Tufted Titmouse 4
Red-Breasted Nuthatch 2
White-Breasted Nuthatch 1
Eastern Bluebird 5
Cedar Waxwing 6
American Robin 97
European Starling 150
Chipping Sparrow 8
Savannah Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 26
White-Throated Sparrow 1
Dark-Eyed Junco 9
Northern Cardinal 9
Eastern Meadowlark 4
Common Grackle 69
Brown-Headed Cowbird 1
Red-Winged Blackbird 91
American Goldfinch 9
House Sparrow 4

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

April 9, 2008: Flight Paths - Houston / Detroit / Buffalo

FLIGHT AWARE Flight paths from today's flights

April 8, 2008: Birding South Texas (Boca Chica Beach, Laguna Atascosa NWR)

After Sabal Palms, we headed out to Boca Chica Beach. First, we stopped at a small roadside stand for Mexican Food, just past Sabal Palms on Route 4 (Boca Chica Road). It was GREAT. I don't recall its name but the location will be indicated below.

The trip out to Boca Chica Beach, and the drive down the beach, which was fun. This is a very interesting drive, through coastal plain, that was well worth it.

After that we tried the Old Port Isabel Road near Laguna Vista, for Aplomado Falcons. No luck! The day ended at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, where we took the scenic drive there for some nice views and photos.

A long drive back up the coast to Houston wrapped up this trip (with a dinner stop at Rudy's BBQ in Corpus Christi)

Boca Chica Road (Texas Route 4)

Savannah Sparrow

Above and Below: Flyover White-Tailed Hawks (lifer!)

A distant view of the condos on South Padre Island
Driving along Boca Chica Beach
Least Tern
Ruddy Turnstone
Nice scene of the beach at Boca Chica (with a plover also enjoying the scene!)
Black-Bellied Plover
Savannah Sparrow
Piping Plover
Royal Terns
one of the few Ring-Billed Gulls we saw
Sandwich Terns
Royal Tern
A nice view looking south on the beach
One tern, one gull, and one pelican
Another Savannah Sparrow
The beach seemed like a strange spot for a Great Blue Heron!

Driving back along Boca Chica Beach
The White Tailed Hawk again
Savannah Sparrow
Above and Below: Prickly Pear Cactus

We got these great shots of a roadside Crested Caracara:

Driving north along Old Port Isabel Road
Northern Harrier

A flock of White Ibis

Eastern Meadowlark

Cassin's Sparrow

Laguna Atascosa NWR:

Above and Below: Green Jays at the feeder

A view of Laguna Madre from the Scenic Drive Crested Caracara on the beach

White-Tailed Hawk above and below (looks like he caught a mouse!)

LOCATION OF MEXICAN RESTARAUNT (On TX-4 Boca Chica Blvd, just east of TX-511, Indiana Hwy)