After revising my Bigby list, it appears I have met my goal of seeing 150 species within biking distance of my house! Northern Cardinal at work this morning was #150. Maybe I can get to 160 by the end of the year?
I did my first solo border crossing yesterday, hoping for more of the missed species and some specialty breeders. Had some luck, finding Sedge Wren, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Upland Sandpiper, and Connecticut Warbler, in addition to a bonus species - 2 Western Meadowlarks. I also managed to not get any bug bites despite the hundreds of mosquitoes at every stop along the backroads. I ended the morning with 85 species, giving me a 24-hour total of 110! And I wasn't even trying for a Big Day!
Work this morning yielded Mourning Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Northern Cardinal, and some others - not new for the year but nice to know that they are there. It's great to work at a golf course - outside all the time and in the middle of perfect habitat for a lot of species.
I finally got to do some birding, to look for summer breeders. Had it not been for a rarity showing up, I probably would have stayed home and sat in front of a screen most of the afternoon. As it turned out, I got home from writing my second exam, and checked my email to find "Franklin's Gull - echo bay area" as a title! Reading it quickly, Bob Knudsen reported that somebody called him with the news and he checked it out. The time? 9:00 a.m., June 19...it's only 11:10 as I'm reading this! So, by 12 I'd gotten permission to use the truck, eaten, grabbed my stuff, and gotten underway. I stopped in at Echo Bay first where there were 20 Black Terns, about the same as last year, and a few Marsh Wrens singing. Next stop, FRGU! It was there right when I pulled up, and John was already there digiscoping it (#265 for SSM!). Nice bird, adult in full breeding plumage. I got a few crappy pics that I'll try to post sometime soon. After that I decided to cruise around and try to find some other birds that I'd missed in the spring migration. Had some luck, adding Great Crested Flycatcher, but missed Eastern Pewee and Sedge Wren. I also found 4 Yellow-billed Cuckoos and 3 Warbling Vireos, the former is pretty rare around here, but last year and this year have been an explosion of Tent Caterpillars, making more food available. Warbling Vireos are also pretty hard to find away from the Locks, which is the only reliable site to see them around here. During my 4 hour cruise-around, I managed to see 83 species, including 12 species of warblers. I also saw some Chimney Swifts flying around my house this evening, so I finished the 'day' with 84 species, pretty good for mid-June.
I haven't been able to post for a while, the motherboard on my computer got fried, so this is the first post from my new computer while the old one is getting fixed. Unfortunately, no files uploaded on this one yet, and since the other one is still broken, I have no photos to post! I'll be sure to get on that when it's fixed.
Here's a shot of a Costa's Hummingbird I took last year at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It's a captive, and I didn't get to see them in the wild unfortunately. I was just experimenting with combining colour and b&w. Let me know what you think!
Well, I got home at 10 pm on June 2. I've been busy catching up on sleep and homework, and helping out with a track meet for gym class, so haven't had time to go through the photos yet, but we had a great trip to North Carolina, with 169 species total (between Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina (what happened to West Virginia you ask? We went through it in the dark both ways. Either that or I was asleep.), with 142 in North Carolina itself. I added 33 lifers on the trip, with #550 being Cerulean Warbler in Gratiot SGA in southern Michigan. Not a bad milestone in my mind! Best bird of the trip was by far the Black Rail that we saw for about half a second (that's about half a second longer than most people see it for!), although Swainson's Warbler, Fea's Petrel, and South Polar Skua were close competitors. Big thanks to Kirk for organizing the trip, to John R. and Tim S. for the company (and John's driving), John Fussell for agreeing to guide us around, and Brian Patteson and the spotters (Kate Sutherland, Steve Howell, Todd McGrath, Ned Brinkley, Kevin Metcalf) for running the boat trips so well. I'll put up a trip report on my website when I get a chance, maybe this weekend as my brother is out of town for track and I'll get the computer for enough time!