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Friday, September 4, 2015

Yellow-throated Vireo

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 Good birds are lurking around every corner, and I was lucky to see one of them. Not thinking about the possibility of a Yellow-throated Vireo, I first thought the yellow bird in front of me was a troublesome Blackpoll Warbler.
 A closer look through my camera confirmed it was not. I only got a few shots before it moved on. I really couldn't believe what I was seeing, so I checked my camera screen. In that split second, it vanished, and I didn't even see which direction it went.
Impossible to stay home during these good birding days. The season has started with a bang as yesterday Ken Knowles reported a great list of uncommon warblers to St. John's. Today, Andrea Dicks topped that with a Kentucky Warbler at Long Pond. Who knows what will be next? I hope I am in the right place at just the right time to see some good birds during this active migration season.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Family of Red Crossbills

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 A family of Red Crossbill has been seen regularly in Blackhead. On most any given day, they can be located around the cemetery area.
 The plentiful crop of cones seems to be drawing a number of finches to the area. The Pine Siskin are busily working the tree tops as are the Pine Grosbeak. The grosbeak are also quickly claiming the few ripe berries.
 Goldfinch and Purple Finch are also a mainstay in the area. It is unfortunate the culvert replacement project is going on at this time of the year. Unless it is finished quickly, it will certainly negatively impact the potential sightings of vagrants in this usually fruitful area.
 This is my first time to see an immature Red Crossbill. Each year I continue to stack sighting and sounds to my memory bank. Seasons come and go so quickly, it is the year-over-year experience that has been the most beneficial in the learning process.
Also noted is the return of the Golden-crowned Kinglet. I have seen about six so far.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Red-eyed Vireo - Cape Spear Road

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 Right on schedule, a Red-eyed Vireo showed up near Cape Spear. This affirms just how predictable birding can be. Of course, this is not true all the time. The surprising appearance of the Piping Plover just up the road proves that.
 The Cape Spear cabin location can also offer up some very nice, unexpected species as well. Last year, a Hooded Warbler, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Black-billed Cuckoo were spotted in the area. There have too many rarities found there to list.
 Birders often annually visit common locations to ferret out uncommon birds. This is, indeed, the most exciting time of the year to bird.
There have already been some very rare, great birds show up in the province. To add to the new White-winged Tern, another first-record bird was reported yesterday...a Broad-winged Hawk. What else is coming? It is important to cover as many locations as possible to find other hidden gems.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Piping Plover at Cape Spear

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 At this time of the year, birding along side the road is often engaging enough. However, an out-of-the blue report from a non-birder spiced things up a lot this morning.
Ethel D. and I had bumped into each other along the road and ended up in Blackhead. We had just hit a good band of birds when an unknown gentleman drove up and asked if I were a birder. He went on to tell me about a small bird running around the parking lot at Cape Spear. He didn't know what it was, but knew he had never seen one before.
Ethel and I rushed to Cape Spear and searched the lot and area but found nothing. Seeing Paul L. later, I told him the story. He headed to Cape Spear. Ethel and I returned to Blackhead.
 It wasn't long before Paul drove up and announced the unknown bird was a Piping Plover. I couldn't believe my ears. We followed Paul back who pointed out this great, friendly little bird picking at the gravel before the parking lot.
 Wow! I was just talking about this species last week, saying I would have to wait until I make it to the west coast before I can see this bird. I guess if you wait long enough they will all come to St. John's. Although, I think this might be the first ever for the Northeast Avalon.