Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Chasing Chukars

I'm not sure where these Chukars came from, but they are in the wild and for the purposes of my Americas year of birding, I consider them countable for my list.  The biggest obstical to overcome was findng them a couple of days after they were reported on OntBirds.  The location was pretty easy to find, and when I arrived there were two birds that could have been female Chuckars or juvinile Wild Turkeys making their way through the tall vegitation at the bottom of a hill.  Though I got a couple of photos, they were pretty inconclusive.

I kept walking along the path to the north and eventually came to a corner, with a field in the distance and as I turned, a bird flushed, and it was unmistakable.  A football shaped, chunky quail like bird flew across the path and into the high vegitation.  I could clearly see the black mask across the eye, but it was gone before I could even think of taking a photo.  Still it was the Chukar, and a new bird for the ABA Life List: 624 and new for the year: 502.

I went back today and finally got a photo of a pair of them in a storm retention pond.  The pond is at the bottom of an embankment at about a 20 degree slope, which is exaclty the environment Chukars like to be in.   Perhaps there are females around and the birds will breed in the area, giving the new neighborhood a fine exotic bird to see as people walk the path.  Or, as many people fond of game birds are wont to do, maybe just good eats.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Good Birds in Florida

Was nice to get some birding in on a recent trip to Florida and add enough birds to pass 500 species for the year, with the addition of 4 new species, Purple Swamphen, Monk Parakeet, Shiny Cowbird and 501: a Burrowing Owl I had missed on two other trips to Powerline Rd, north of Tampa.   No photo of the owl, as it was on a post way out in a farmer's field and by the time I got the scope on it for a digiscoping shot, it flew off into the tall grass.
Here are some of the photos I did get:

Limpkin with a Snail

Oops, lost it...

Purple Swamphen

Young Red-bellied Woodpecker eating a berry


Shiny Cowbird

Gray Kingbird

Yikes, what just happened?

Another View of the Shiny Cowbird

Monk Parakeet

The post where the Burowing Owl would come after the Meadowlark left

Dumpster Diving female Grackle