I have finished filing all of the GBBC checklists into eBird, so I can finally report to all of you how it went. Overall, it was pretty good weekend.
On Friday, February 17, a group of us birded the chat trail and barrow pit in Lake Wichita Park. One of our group is fairly new to birding. I enjoy having new birders in a group--it really helps to go with others when you're first learning. Sue got a lifer marsh wren. One of the highlights was a hairy woodpecker. Although you don't see one every day, I don't think most of the regular birders in the area think of them as rare, but eBird does. Several of the group independently identified the bird, but no one thought to take a picture of it, so we'll see whether they accept the sighting. We had a good morning for woodpeckers overall, with the hairy, a couple of downy woodpeckers, a northern flicker, a ladder-backed woodpecker, a northern flicker, and a red-bellied woodpecker. We didn't do as well on the duck side of the house, but a quick sighting of a great-horned owl in flight made up for the lack of ducks.
|Foggy morning at Lake Arrowhead SP|
On Saturday, a few of us tackled Lake Arrowhead State Park. Thick soupy fog made visibility poor and prevented being able to scan the lake and opposite shore for birds. Since the picture to the left was taken with my cell phone, if you haven't been to Lake Arrowhead SP, you probably don't recognize how foggy it was. From this spot, we should be able to see over the lake, but there is just a wall of white. We saw some good birds regardless. The long-eared owls were still on site. There were a lot of people who traveled from elsewhere in the state to get a good look at the owls. One is remarkably mellow about all of the coming and going. Sue King, who had the lifer marsh wren on Friday, picked up another lifer with a golden-crowned kinglet here. We spent a great deal of time studying a flock of sandpipers. To all of us the legs appeared dark and we made an identification of semipalmated sandpiper. The editor for eBird thinks the legs are yellow in the photo. We are still in discussion at this point. The list at the end of this post is accepting the sandpiper as we identified it because the legs were definitely not yellow. But the editor has only the photo and range maps to go by, and semipalmated are not supposed to be here right now. But, as the saying goes, the birds can't read the field guides. However, it is possible the sandpiper is something else, so we will see. I sent out a call to those who were there to forward any clear pictures they might have.
On Sunday, several of us met out back of Wild Bird Rescue for a GBBC in a Big Sit format. It was pretty disappointing in terms of numbers, although James got a lifer with a yellow-rumped warbler. A Bonaparte's gull and a couple of Forster's terns were highlights for me.
|River up in Lucy Park|
|Recent rains mean quishy areas in Lucy Park|
I am hoping by next year's, GBBC the Nature Bluff area will be ready for visitors.
So what did we see? I am hoping I don't inadvertently leave a bird out, but here goes:
Great blue heron
Great horned owl
Eurasian collared dove
Tufted titmouse (both regular and black-crested)
If my count is correct, that's 58 species.