Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring is creeping in...

It's wonderful how a little warm air and some sunshine lifts the spirits. Today at lunchtime, Lynn and I took a quick trip to the coast to check out the annual gathering of Bonaparte's Gulls at the mouth of our Oyster River.

Lots of folks were out walking, enjoying temps in the 70's!, and every single one of them had a big smile and a cheery hi. Strangers all, but it feels like we survived a really tough winter together, and have finally come out the other side.

Lynn's photo of Ken, Tom, Sue, Dorie

So, musings aside, we've had a decent week of birding here at West Campus. Five of us met on Tuesday, when it was actually still rather chilly, and checked for bird activity around "the leaf pile". The best find was the immature Cooper's Hawk Ken noticed, perched quietly in a nearby tree.

This weeks' birders:
Lynn, Sue, Tom Parlapiano, Ken Keuster, Dorie Petrochko
This weeks' birds:

Wild Turkey

Canada Goose
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull

Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Downy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Mourning Dove
Rock Pigeon
American Crow
Blue Jay
Cedar Waxwing

Black-capped Chickadee
European Starling
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
American Goldfinch

House Finch
Northern Cardinal
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco

Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Sparrow

Scanning Long Island Sound with only binoculars, we wished we'd come with a telescope, then noticed another birder also watching the gulls. We met Nick Bonomo and enjoyed good looks at a Green-winged Teal and Bonaparte's Gulls through his telescope. The Shorebirder blog that I follow is his - so it was good to meet another fellow birder and blogger.

Birds we saw at the coast and nearby marshes today:

Canada Goose
Black Duck
Green-winged Teal
Scaup species too far out
Herring, Ring-billed and Great Black-backed Gulls and
Bonaparte's Gull - a big feeding flock
American Crow
Fish Crow
Great Egret
Carolina Wren
Common Grackle

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