Western Kingbird in my county

Birds can be very interesting when they show up out of place, but they are especially exciting when they show up nearby and no long drive is necessary to see them. So is the case with this Western Kingbird, which I managed to see on the way home from breakfast this morning.




Success at last! Ash-throated Flycatcher

The Ash-throated Flycatcher proved an easy target for my camera. I am heading off to New Jersey early tomorrow with my girlfriend so I need sleep and will post more of my adventures over the weekend.


Natty Geo Hummingbirds

The last National Geographic has a great article on hummingbirds with some of the most beautiful hummingbird photographs I have ever seen. Apparently, these hummingbirds are captured, carried to the photographers SUV which is equipped with flowers and proceeds to photograph them. The goal is to document all the species of hummingbirds in order to better conserve them.

To see more photos as well as videos click on the Steely-vented Hummingbird above.

Strike three for Thayer’s

Well, I have been to Memorial Lake 3 times now to see the Thayer’s Gull and last night was the closest I have come to see it. It showed up as it was getting dark and Tom Johnson gave me a call that he was seeing it from across the lake. My mistake was trying to see it from where I was rather than whipping over to his location. By the time I finally did go over to the other vantage point it was much too dark to get a satisfactory look. I am fairly positive that I actually saw the bird but I don’t like to count things when I am not 100% positive that I know what I am looking at.
There were good numbers of other gulls as well. I counted at least 50 Great Black-backed Gulls, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls along with 100’s of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls. A small group of A. Coot and 2 Common Mergansers boosted the diversity a tad.

The only other exciting news was the report of an Ash-throated Flycatcher in Lititz, PA. If I can manage to find this bird tomorrow it will be a life bird!

The Chase is on!

Yesterday Tom Johnson reported a California Gull at Memorial Lake State Park along with the Thayer’s Gull that has been frequenting the area. I am off to meet him and hopefully see both birds.

The Christmas Post

Now that Christmas is officially over I feel as if I should past what I got today. Highlights include a brand new eastern edition of Sibley’s, a tiny little camera case, an awesome Mountain Hardwear down vest, and some clothes. But the most exciting present of all was a year’s subscription to Birds of North America (BNA) Online from Cornell Lab of Ornithology from my parents. For all you users of Ebird, they are offering the year subscription for only $25 which is really a steal for all the info you are getting in return. There is a book version of the which runs a couple thousand dollars and about 18,000 pages. I think that is a little excessive for a home library. But with the online version you get all this info as well as updates, sounds and videos of the birds.

Strike on shrike

I have a brand new miss for my list. There was a Northern Shrike reported around the same area as that mystery empid (probably Least Flycatcher) during the Solanco CBC. It was in an easy to locate area and close to my girlfriends house so I decided to give it a shot today. There was at least one other birder on location trying to find the shrike but we both came up empty handed. My ability to show up after a bird has disappeared continues to amaze and frustrate me.

Here is a picture of the N. Shrike taken by one of the guys who found it. I have seen shrikes on various occasions but I am still looking for one in Pennsylvania. Seems like it has been a good year for them with several being reported across the state so maybe I will find one yet.