Friday, May 11, 2018

More pictures in eBird

This was supposed to be a useful link, but now it just comes out as a description of what I do many days of the year.

I've photographed birds mostly here, but there are a few foreign ones in the eBird list, Costa Rica and South Korea. Most of them are witha Canon 65x compact zoom camera. The autofocus drives me crazy most of the time.

I've located 181 birds in Nebraska for 2018. All but 2 were birds of the previous 3 years. Purple finch and the water thrush in link below were new.

On the other hand, it took me 13 years to get to 239 in Missouri, where now with more spare time and driving to locations all less than 30 miles, most only 10, I have 253 in 3 years. There is some overlap, but some 20 birds I only found in Missouri and some 30 only in Nebraska. Life birds are in a rougher list, so I have 517 total (some lack all but year and state where found). Of those I cataloged in eBird 466.

There are no birds in the Southern hemisphere, which I have never visited. But many of the birds I find do that too yearly.

I have pictures of 243. You have to click around here for photos.
https://ebird.org/profile/NjQwODUy/world

Hmm, I think that works only if logged into eBird. The pictures themselves can be viewed in dalily eBird lists without logging in:
https://download.ams.birds.cornell.edu/api/v1/asset/98879741/1200

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Pawnee Lake

This is the second most popular lake for birding in the county. Habitat is much the same as Branched Oak, but being smaller, you can manage what views of the lake you can get in 1-2 hours.  Areas start at the marina as Area 1 and then go clockwise (so you have to drive on blacktop around the lake to get to the separate Areas 2 and 3) The parking lot on the West side is closed in winter, so as soon as the lake melts, it is more of a hassle to see from the West side except the very South end by the dam. The pictures below the map can be enlarged by clicking them.


The birds have been good for a while. Loons were easy to find this week.



I had eared grebes there two years, this year had at least the one horned grebe.



I've had a Swainson's hawk there but can't find the picture just now. Pipits can be found at the rocks near the dam as well as spotted sandpipers in summer. Other sandpipers are few but there was a bit of mud this year. Baird's and Yellowlegs, both.





And there may be a lot of cormorants and pelicans.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Songbirds and signs of spring

Many birds today, counted 41 species in an hour. Just regular birds, a few sparrows. Aside from song sparrows a few fox sparrows.


Meadowlarks singing.


Where I expected maybe pipits, a Savannah sparrow.


Wood duck pair at Holmes lake.




Soon a whole lot more songbirds and shorebirds show up. Had Baird's and both yellowlegs.


Migration seems to be in full swing. On Apr 14th there was a large fallout of all kinds of migrants. I may be able to catch the tail end of this, as it is quite windy and the stopped migrants may stay an extra day. Other than that, summer residents for the county are coming, such as this Eastern Phoebe.


I always look at the red-winged blackbirds for yellow-headed blackbirds. Among grackles you may find some bird that looks different, such as this one:

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Praire Chickens

Out near McCook and near the Kansas border out there. They are a type of grouse of the open prairie. They are found in the sandhills, mostly the shorter mixed grass prairie.







It's almost impossible to catch the claws out fights in that light with my equipment. They did not want us using a flash. even if you had professional cameras. Here is a still from a video and the short video following.





A wider view of the lek and the goings on:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Spring almost here

Keeping track of waterfowl coming through, such as red-breasted mergansers:



Some pelicans

Tons of blackbirds, mostly cowbirds


And my nemesis purple finch, not a great day for photos then:





Monday, February 12, 2018

Last of the winter birds

I have not managed to find any real rarities, other than a difficult (for me) rusty blackbird. The picture is not terrific, so we will just post here the winter range:


It comes from the Canadian bogs and marshes, with some trees, to winter here. Omaha is certainly in the common area on the map, but here in Lincoln we are starting to be at the end of the range.

I am not great at finding horned larks in fields while sitting in a car. It gets a little easier with snow, and sometimes you find them right at the road side.


I did find a brown creeper. They need a little bit of a forest, a few back yard trees are not enough to keep them all winter. By spring they are gone.



I rarely find Longspurs so here are the only pictures I have of a Lapland Longspur from a  year ago:




In early March local birder Steve found a long tailed duck. A small Arctic bird I was able to add to my NE list:


It is headed North and stops at half frozen lakes on the way to dive for clams and such on the bottom.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Winter Hawks

Doing a Christmas bird count we found a Red-shouldered Hawk at Branched Oak. others have found it there as well. The bird seems to have wintered here. This was unusual before and the bird is never found West of Lincoln.



In various places in Lancaster county in Dec and Jan you can find rough legged hawks:


Other rough leggeds are quite dark. The upper side has some white spotting but the white spot on the rump is not always there:




Today I found an odd hawk that does not quite fit rough legged. The head is very light, most our redtails have brownish heads. The heavy streaking on the upper breast is not typical. I left it unassigned.