Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Vet Visit Birding Trip and a Tern for the Worst

...after my loonacy post I decided I should use more bird puns.

I made kind of a trip to get my dog neutered, but since it was an hour and a half drive I just stayed in the area until the deed was finished, which took four-and-a-half hours.  So I planned a birding trip to coincide with it.  As well as an exotic meats trip.  Anyway...

First stop, Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve!  Gordon Bubolz greeted me upon walking through the door with a very up-close-and-personal Sandhill Crane!
Sandhill Crane

It's not prime season necessarily, but there were still other birders there, one of whom told me there were wrens and thrushes.  While I was talking to him I saw a Golden-crowned Kinglet, a new bird for me.  "New bird for me" is kind of a theme in this post.
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet
 I walked down some of the trails and found a sign explaining that there were nest boxes specifically set up for bluebirds, which had declined in population due to invasive starlings and sparrows.  Sure enough, there were a couple of these, although they were shy so I didn't get any clear pictures of them.
Eastern Bluebird.
I walked around the lake, trying to get better pictures of Kinglets.  I saw a Brown Creeper on a pine tree, another new bird for me, but I couldn't get its picture; it kept creeping to the other side of the tree whenever I tried!

I continued my trek and found what I believe are Hermit Thrushes.  I'm going with Hermit Thrush, but they are certainly thrushes.  Once I saw one, I saw several, and I stayed a while to listen to one sing.  They have wonderful, melodious voices.
Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush
Here's where I started getting pictures with mistaken identity. I wound up taking a picture of a House Wren while totally thinking it was a thrush, even though the two are only superficially alike.
House Wren
Then I photographed what I think is a Swamp Sparrow, new bird.
Swamp Sparrow
 Then I took a string of photographs of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, another new bird.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Also at Gordon Bubolz I saw Buffleheads, Mallards, American Robins, American Goldfinches, a Downy Woodpecker, and some other various animals.

At this point I left and went to a store called "All Things Jerky."  It's not so much a jerky store as it is an exotic meats store.  A friend of mine told me I should go because it would be a worthwhile stop in my quest to eat as many members of the animal kingdom as possible.
Meat sticks. And a box of insect larvae.
Upon my departure I went to Telulah Park, which was swarming with Yellow-rumped Warblers, another new bird for me.
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler
And also I saw another Ruby-crowned Kinglet:
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
At this point the vet called me and said that Ike was ready to go home.  Hooray!  So I left to pick him up.

But before I close this entry, I did see a Forster's Tern yesterday, another new bird for me.  This was at Lakeside Park West, which I've just begun to realize is a goldmine for birds.
Forster's Tern
At Lakeside Park East I saw some prettier Horned Grebes:
Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe with Bonaparte's Gull
Horned Grebe
Finally, the pelicans have begun to change into their badass plumage:
American White Pelicans
To recap, new birds to go on my life list today include:
  • Forster's Tern
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Swamp Sparrow
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Brown Creeper