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Hiking today at Dye Creek Preserve, Butte Co. California.
There were amazing views and some interesting birds (excellent views of typical oak woodland species- Lewis’s and Acorn Woodpeckers, Oak Titmice, Bushtits, etc) at a preserve usually closed to the public.
Plus I actually remembered to take a picture! I keep forgetting that my phone takes decent photos and as a result I forgot to take pictures during yesterday’s Tehama County Big Day where we accumulated a total of 93 species! This included some unexpected treats like a pair of otters and excellent views of 6 new lifer birds for me and a “lifer” (I only count seen birds) Virginia Rail calling from less than five feet away!
I will remember to take photos tomorrow while birding and snowshoeing at Lassen Volcanic National Park, and hopefully remember the day after when I’m birding at some new spots in the area as part of another field trip
These trips are all part of the Snow Goose Festival (a worthwhile birding event!)
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This wandered its way across my facebook page and I thought I’d share.
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Things birders say…
This is amazingly accurate (all you birders and people who put up with us would agree).
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So I’m the first one to report the swamp sparrows at Colusa NWR to ebird… which is funny since its been seen multiple times since it was first spotted late last month.
and I had to explain in my email to the data checker that clearly people were just being lazy as it was written on the observation board multiple times and people must’ve thought the duck was important to report but not the sparrow… or maybe the fact that it was hanging out by a bathroom made it less glamorous. (and that I was confident in my identification skills and it was indeed a swamp sparrow)
Either way… apparently people think rare ducks are cooler than rare sparrows.
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Alas the trumpeters seem to have moved… but that’s whats chasing is all about… you win some, you lose some and seeing fields upon fields stuffed with dancing sandhill cranes and calling/flying tundra swans made for a good day.
In other birding news- I saw my lifer (and also vagrant) SWAMP SPARROW! he was just chilling near the Falcated Duck (who was awake and swimming… on his third visit my dad finally got to see him)… so many birders missed him because they didn’t walk on the little nature trail. I overheard someone mention it when I visited the site on the first but he eluded me… not so today!
I also now have 87 bird species on my list. (3 mammals, 2 fish, 2 herps)
Big plans for tomorrow- not looking for the tufted duck yet (he’ll be chased on Saturday weather permitting), but an opportunity to go to Monterey came up, so I will be chasing ocean birds, ocean mammals and other shore birds in a day long marathon of hot spots in the area which if my luck is decent I’ll get a lot of new birds for the year and a handful of lifer birds.
and since we’re in the area… Thursday I will track down a California Condor (hopefully)… its will happen this year and will be a great lifer bird as well as a great addition to the list.
I love that this year we got a whole month off, and didn’t start school on the 2nd.
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He was there and soo sooo gorgeous, sleeping, but still splendid looking.
Species count for the day: 74 Birds, 2 Herps, 2 Fish, and 3 Mammals.
Now to write up my field notes for the day, download pictures, ID the three unknown birds (which then might bring my total up higher for the day) and then make a post with pictures and a list of what I’ve seen for the day.
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As you may/may not know this year I did a mini-big year challenge with multiple species quests, I fell short on all three but did get to see some cool things. So I’ve put together a Naturalist big year challenge… anyone is welcome to participate with me on any level (say you just know birds, you can do just a bird version) as it’ll be a great reason to get outdoors and notice what’s around you.
I’ll be tagging all of my posts related to this adventure with “naturalist big year” and would love to know if any of you are going to be partaking in any aspect of the “big year” quest. :)
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Speed painting (~1hr drawing time) of a Falcated Duck (Anas falcata).
I’ve always used sketches to help me identify animals… I think I’ll do speed paintings to learn my sparrows, gulls, and other small birds that are hard to identify.
Falcated ducks are native to Asia, however over the last month or so a rare visitor to California has birders from across the state flocking to try to see the rare bird. Luckily he seems unphased by people and chose to hang out in a pond right adjacent to a viewing station. He eluded me for this year, but next time I go out I’m going to actually stay until I find him!
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ScienceDaily (Dec. 19, 2011) — In June 2011, a team of Chinese and Swedish researchers rediscovered the breeding area for the poorly known Blackthroat Luscinia obscura, in the Qinling mountains, Shaanxi province, north central China.
“The song is distinctive, and consists of rather short, quick, varied strophes that include both whistles and harsh notes. The strophes are delivered at a fairly slow, even pace. Several individuals were sound recorded in 2011, and two of these recordings are now made freely available. This will facilitate future surveys of this enigmatic bird species.”
Read more at Science Daily.
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