Monday 28 May 2012

Back to the Alvar

I joined this years Carden Alvar counts yet again.
This time, however, I drove up a day early with Mark Field to get some sneak peak previews before the counts on Sunday morning.

With well over 200 people birding the area this weekend there was bound to be some good birds found. A Kirtland's Warbler was seen briefly on Saturday afternoon, and a Prairie Warbler was singing, probably on territory, on Saturday and Sunday - but I didn't get to see it.
But that's OK, I've already seen 460+ species this year ;)

Some of the interesting species I did see/hear:

White-winged Crossbill - 1 bird found by young birder Luke Berg during our point counts. A pretty good find!
Least Bittern - calling Saturday night at the Sedge Wren marsh
E. Whip-poor-wills - plenty of them singing throughout the night - I love their songs!
Long-eared Owl - singing us to sleep
Golden-winged Warbler - singing as we woke up :p  +4 more GWWA's throughout Sunday
Wilson's Phalarope - on the way back home we stopped by Reesor pond to see the female that had been reported there earlier in the day.

I've actually seen/heard at least 6 Golden-winged Warblers so far this year and have yet to see or hear a Blue-winged Warbler. Although that'll hopefully change soon.

The bad news is that I lost my iTouch - I relied on that for recording songs/calls I couldn't ID, and I found the birding apps to be very useful. Now that I've lost it I know how much I 'need' it!!!

Some pics:

Of course, one of the main attractions is the Loggerhead Shrikes. My group may have found a new nesting site :)

Upland Sandpipers are always common:

A Great Horned Owl is nesting literally next to a heronry. Apparently someone saw it fly to a neighbouring nest and 'pluck' a Heron chick from the nest!

The herons are apparently raising a Western Grebe ;)

Blanding's Turtle:

Barn Swallows:

Bull Frog: