Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gull Identification Challenege

Usually these challenges happen in the winter when there is a larger variety of gulls, but I saw a challenging bird at a beach club in New Jersey that may be a Lesser Black-Backed Gull. The bird was about the size of a Herring Gull and had dark grey wings, but not as dark as an adult Great Black-Backed Gull. It had no brown on it except for a few streaks on the neck. The bill seemed to be all black and the legs looked yellowish. The bird was about as timid as most of the other gulls, allowing me to approach up to 10 feet from the bird. Any suggestions of what it may be?

(UPDATE: Realized it was just a young Herring Gull with abnormally dark wings)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Updated Northeastern Lifelist

Just felt like today would be a good time to update my Northeastern Lifelist mentioned in another post. This includes all birds seen in New England, as well as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Also, a few species have been removed because I am uncertain of their identity.

Snow Goose
Barnacle Goose
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
American Black Duck
Northern Shoveler
Blue-Winged Teal
Northern Pintail
Ring-Necked Duck
Scaup sp.
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-Breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Pied-Billed Grebe
Western Grebe
Red-Necked Grebe
Wild Turkey (CT)
Common Loon
Red-Throated Loon
Greater Shearwater
Cory's Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Northern Gannet
Double Crested Cormorant
Brown Pelican (NJ)
Glossy Ibis
Great Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
Green Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret (NJ)
Black Crowned Night Heron
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Broad-Winged Hark
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
American Coot
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
American Oystercatcher
Solitary Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Ring-Billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-Backed Gull
Least Tern
Common Tern
Royal Tern (NJ)
Black Skimmer
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Monk Parakeet
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo
Black-Billed Cuckoo
Barred Owl
Long-Eared Owl
Northern Saw-Whet Owl
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-Headed Woodpecker
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker (MA, PA)
Olive Sided Flycatcher
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Willow/Alder (Trail's) Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great-Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Cassin's Kingbird
Couch's Kingbird
White-Eyed Vireo
Blue-Headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-Eyed Vireo
Yellow-Throated Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow (PA)
Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-Capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-Breasted Nuthatch
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Winter Wren
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Golden-Crowned Kinglet
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Swainson's Thrush
Herimit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Blue-Winged Warbler
Golden-Winged Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Connetucut Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-Sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-Throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Black-Throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Palm Warbler
Bay-Breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Black-and-White Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Canada Warbler
Yellow-Breasted Chat
Eastern Towhee
American Tree Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow
White-Throated Sparrow
White-Crowned Sparrow
Dark Eyed Junco
Scarlet Tanager
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting
Red Winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark (NJ)
Common Grackle
Boat-Tailed Grackle
Brown Headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
Purple Finch
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Species: 192 and counting (150 in 2014, 54 in 2014)
186 were seen in New York

A few possibly seen species:

Grasshopper Sparrow
American Bittern
Iceland Gull

Camp Birding

Hey Birders! When I went to my summer camp in Pennsylvania for 4 weeks it was an awesome experience. I noticed what a woodland environment looks like without the "Central Park Effect". I also noticed that birds stared to sing less and less as summer progressed. During the first week I heard Red-Eyed Vireo, Red-Winged Blackbird and several species of warblers frequently. But near the end, I only heard the occasional vireo, blackbird, and goldfinch. Targets for this trip were Bald Eagle, Purple Martin, several species of warbler, and a few species of flycatcher.

The first was not a problem, as there was a nesting pair around camp and their chattering could constantly be heard around the lake. The Martin wasn't found. Other swallows were abundant and their presence seemed to follow a pattern. Tree Swallows in the morning, Barn Swallows nesting in a building and hanging around there all day, and Rough-Winged Swallows in the late afternoon/evening. We also had resident kingbirds, Red-Eyed Vireos, and even a wandering Green Heron. Here is my bird list for the period I was there.

Species: 44

Canada Goose
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-Tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (heard)
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-Eyed Vireo
Blue Jay (heard)
American Crow
Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Tree Swallow
Black-Capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-Breasted Nuthatch
American Robin
Thrush sp. (heard , likely Hermit Thrush)
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing (heard)
Chestnut-Sided Warbler (heard)
Yellow Warbler
American Redstart
Black-and-White Warbler
Ovenbird (heard)
Common Yellowthroat (heard)
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal (heard)
Red-Winged Blackbird
Brown-Headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole (heard)
American Goldfinch