Monday, August 21, 2006

Lucky 13 and a 'Tern' for the Better...

One trying, one good adventure today,
The Katie and I walked a bit of Lake Hollingsworth today, and it tried our patience a little bit. It's amazing how hot it ges so quickly 10:30 is too late to go out really, it gets to be 90 quick. We managed about 30 minutes out, driving to the lake and back included. That netted 13 species: Osprey, American Anhinga, White Ibis Common Moorhen, Mottled Duck, Great Egret, Great-blue Heron, boat-tailed Grackle, Purple Gallinule, Green Heron, and Mallard Duck.
Now you will only count twelve kinds of birds in that list. That's because today I saw the first Blue Wing Teal of the season! These little squealers are one of my favorite ducks. I really like all ducks, and because Anas Discors is an early migrator it's one of the first ducks that's not a mottled, or a domesticated duck. They were still a little young, three of them in all.
After Kelly returned home, I decided to do a little biking and a birding solo style. This time I stayed out an hour and fifteen minutes, and saw more bird species.
The ride down Collins St. caught me a Cardinal, a female, flying into a group of bushes. Once I got to the lake, I noticed, right off the bat, Common Moorhens, Mallard Duck, and Limpkin. Right past the Limpkin, a couple of White Ibis. Then a family of Pied billed Grebes swam through the weeds, the juveniles still begging from the adults. I got some video of it, we'll see how it turns out. Can we say "YouTube"? Although, it would be nice to have something high resolution. They are really kinda pretty when they are young. The heads are streaky, and they look interesting. Adult pied-bills are definately built for survival, not aestetics. I guess what they lack in appearance they make up for in style, sinking out of sight and all. I also taped an American Anhinga in a tree. Got a great look at a calling, and flying Belted Kingfisher. Far away in the rushes, I spied Red-winged blackbirds, and boat-tailed grackles, still looking shabby. Moving along, I took a right and peddled down the lakeshore multiuse path. The peddle produced Double Crested Comorant, Great Egret (got video), mottled duck, tricolored heron, Purple gallinule, and Great Blue Heron.
Things got really interesting on the North side of the Lake, toward the Florida Southern college campus. I found terns! Three species, to be exact. Two of the species were definately Forsters and Gull-billed (A great bird for me, lifer!), the third I'm not sure about. Peterson had me thinking "Royal". It had a fully black cap, and solid colored Orange bill, but Sibley said that they should have lost their solid black cap by now. It showed no crest, but I know that's not a good diagnostic tool all the time. I'll have to chalk it up to "dunno". While I was deciding what to call who and what, I did spy near me, a Little Blue Heron. Fully blue, and beautiful. Also noted were hovering Ospreys, and a Snowy Egret. I saw rain accross the lake, looked like it was coming my way, so I skeedaddled my way around. When I got around, the rain threat appeared less, so I managed to pick an American Coot out of the weeds. On the ride home, I picked up a few more "yardbirds" so to speak, Mourning Dove, Northern Mockingbird, and Blue Jay.
In all, a different day.
I would like to say that it is important to have good quality optics out there. My bins are great, but a scope would have been better on those terns. I tried using the video on the terns, but it didn't do too well, come to think of it, it doesn't do well unless there's a lot of light, and the object is within say, 30 yards. Those terns were a good ways out, prolly at least 50 if not 60 or more yards. The pitching bouys, constant wind, and overcast skys didn't help any. So, someone please feel free to donate a diascope!
until then,
GB & KT bid you good birding.

I start school tomorrow, so there prolly won't be a report.
One day this site will look like These guys. Well the picture parts at least :)
Another good site with lots of pictures is this Canadian. I don't think I've ever seen a Brown Thrasher look that good!

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