Monday, November 12, 2007

Mystery bird and a lifer

First, I saw a red-shouldered hawk! He was on a fenceline next to the highway on my way to work--woo hoo! Lifer! I'm reasonably certain on the ID as I'd boned up on them before my last field trip, when they were expecting to see red-shouldereds. (Then I ended up not going on the trip, and they ended up not seeing any of the potential lifers I'd wanted to see. So it all worked out.) Wish I hadn't been running late; otherwise, I would've stopped for a photo. Next time.

The mystery bird: This morning when we got in the car, I looked across the yard and saw a dark blue bird, like indigo-bunting blue, only the bird was larger than a bunting--maybe starling size, but with a long tail. He was eating seeds among the dried-up goldenrod next to the fence. I didn't have my binocs with me (dangit!), and we were as I said running late, so I just stared at him with my feeble eyesight. I have looked at the bunting pics online, and I know he was larger, slimmer, and had a longer tail. Almost like a grackle shape. Maybe he WAS a grackle? You know how they have that blue-black tinge to them. But up here in November? And it was completely overcast this morning, but he was decided blue even in the dim light. I wish I'd had my binocs to get some idea of beak shape, etc. but I didn't. Any guesses as to what I saw? Then I could look for photos and see if I could make a guess-ID.

I'll also do a run through the WhatBird ID site. I wish I'd had more time and my binocs this morning.... So frustrating!

Oh--one more thing--off to a good start on this year's Project FeederWatch. I had a good variety of birds at the feeder. I absolutely love doing PFW, because I really like keeping those records. I know I should probably do it even during the off-time of PFW, but for some reason, I don't. Maybe the added knowledge of knowing I'm contributing to a body of statistics spurs me on, even when I am sleepy, to get up and watch my feeders.

22 comments:

dguzman said...

Oh gees, the WhatBird search gave me a bluethroat (?) and a prothonatary warbler. So much for that. Dang, I hope he's there again later or tomorrow!

Patrick Belardo said...

Delia,

I would definitely consider Common Grackle. They are around for sure this time of year.

dguzman said...

That may have been it, Patrick. But he was just so indigo-blue! The lighting was terrible though. I'll have to watch for grackles at the feeders. It's been a while since I've seen one!

Susan said...

Congrats on your lifer! I've seen some red-shouldered hawks in Florida, but not here in NC.

Mary said...

Common Grackles can look deep blue in the right light. I had plenty of them here in the spring.

Congratulations on your red-shouldered hawk! Aren't they beautiful? And loud, too. I saw my first one in Maryland last May.

Susan Gets Native said...

Good job on the RS!

Grackles could still be passing through. They are decidedly bluish in dim light.

dguzman said...

Thanks for the tip on the grackles everyone--I'm guessing that must've been it. There were no birds at the feeder this morning, though--weird. Must've been a hawk somewhere.

Earl Cootie said...

Lucky you! We're so limited on our hawk varieties over here.

T.R. said...

I just came across your blog today. Fantastic and very inspiring. I just started birding in September when I moved back to Oklahoma from New Mexico and discovered that hiking was going to be a challenge. I was hooked with my first outing with the local Audubon group. How did the Cape May weekend come about? What an entree for you into both the bird and blog world. I have not discovered any bird bloggers in Oklahoma to cavort with - so might envious. Best Wishes

dguzman said...

Hi T.R.--Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, you missed out birding in New Mexico, which I'm told is some of the best birding in the US! However, I'm sure you'll find some great species in Oklahoma. I'm originally from Texas myself.

I don't know any bloggers from Okla, but I'll send 'em your way if I meet any. Can't wait to check out your blog.

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