Thursday, August 17, 2006

Back in the Saddle Again...

So after a brief hiatus in activity, Katie and I decided to get a movin, and got back on the bike. It was a much better experience than it was last week, when all the sitting from the two days before stole the desire to sit anymore from our bottoms.
It was an absolutely beautiful day for riding. We started out early (for us) at about 9:50 or so, and carried on our way. Katie talked the whole way down, practicing her words as we rode along. Once we arrived at Lake Hollingsworth, we both began watching for birds. I know Katie is looking at them because of the interest she shows, especially for the larger waders and the "Water Chickens", coots, moorhens, and gallinules. Today I actually kept a list so I could see on paper the species I saw in the water, and on the shore.

It was a day of the "Usual Suspects":

Common Moorhen
Snowy Egret (Katie really liked this one, I showed her the birds black legs with yellow feet, and she pointed at it.)
Common Grackle
Great Egret
American Anhinga (Well represented, at least 7 sunning birds scattered about the lake)
Tri Colored heron
Great Blue Heron
Mallard Duck (Not the fat barnyard kind either, also some possible intergrade between mottled and mallards)
Purple Gallinule
White Ibis
Pied Billed Grebe (Very close to shore, and eating a fish)
Mottled Duck (A family, seperate from the mallards.)
Boat Tailed Grackle (not looking very boat-tailed right now :))
Blue Jay
Northern Mockingbird (Possibly a thrasher as well, couldn't nail it, Katie and I were moving too fast.)
Mourning Dove
Double Crested Comorant
We added Little Blue Heron (imm, changing to blue) to our list.
American Coot.

Our birds of note were
Very young and fuzzy Common Moorhen chicks (I didn't realize they would breed this late)
Various Larids, Probably ring-billed gulls, possibly a laughing (one was just small enough to be) and a tern, Probably Forster's. It's hard to tell with a 15 mo old on the back of the bike.
Something very migrantish. Mostly yellow, felt heavy like a vireo, but all I caught were two quartering glances, no head views, and the yellowness of the bird stood out. Two shades of yellow. Dark olive, and light olive my first impression was "Prothonotary Warbler" (FOS!), but the left part of my brain kicked in, and said "nope, no, don't rush to judgement, evaulate, then catagorized" I didn't get enough input to finish the evaluation.
Saturday I plan to go snag some migrants as I get
"Back in the Saddle Creek Park Again..."
Take Care!
GB & KT Hoyt

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