Archive for September, 2008

Eastern Kingbird!

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Look what birdbrain caught in the bare-limbed tree shortly after 4:00 p.m. today: three shots of the game’s first Eastern Kingbird!

Image 49194

Image 49196

Image 49200

Congratulations, birdbrain!

Rufous Hummingbird?

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Yesterday and today a number of pictures were taken of one or more very interesting-looking hummingbirds. Reading through the chat, people seem to be pretty sure it’s a female Rufous Hummingbird, which I can certainly believe, though I’ve never felt confident in distinguishing female Rufous Hummingbirds from Allen’s Hummingbirds. But Allen’s would be extremely unusual (maybe completely unknown?) for Welder, whereas Rufous is listed as Rare in the fall on the Welder checklist, and I long ago gave in to the desire to ID these little gals based on geographic range if the season supports it.

I’m a little hesitant to jump completely on board with the Rufous Hummingbird classification, though, because to my eye, some of these images look to me like they might be a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, a bird that doesn’t appear at all in the Welder checklist, but that seems like a better possibility for a migration stopover than the Rufous, at least based on the Sibley range maps.

At this point a handful of images have been ID’d as Rufous, though, so hooray for the new species. I believe some of the people who are calling this a Rufous have experience banding hummingbirds, too, which is more than I can say. Anyway, here are some of the best images, courtesy of leacox, avatar99, idbirds, and annelizabeth, respectively:

Image 47172

Image 47179

Image 47459

Image 47828

Congratulations to everyone who got a shot of this cute little hummer!

Chris McLean’s CONE Welder Audio!

Monday, September 8th, 2008

loughman1 just sent me a link to the following awesome audio recording of the natural sounds of CONE Welder:

CONE_Vol_I_1.mp3 (18 MB mp3 file)

She wrote:

John: Chris McLean did some sound recording at Welder yesterday morning. He has loaded it onto a website, and hopes you will put the link in your blog. There will likely be more, so if you don’t think it’s appropriate – say so now!

Um, no, I can categorically state that this is not only appropriate, it’s the fulfillment of a wish I’ve had since I first started using the CONE SF system on Craig’s deck. Huge thanks to Chris (sprucebuddhas in CONE Welder).

I’m listening to the recording for the first time now. I’m hearing crickets or cicadas or something as a steady background, what I think is a Bobwhite singing in the distance… A lot of hummingbird chatter, and a distant singer that I don’t know, but which I’m sure someone more familiar with Welder birds will.

This is totally awesome. When I’ve had a chance to listen some more I’ll post a timeline with tentative IDs, and I encourage anyone else who’s interested in doing so to do the same.

Ooh. Is that some kind of flycatcher I just heard? A Great Kiskadee, maybe?

Hey! I’m pretty sure that’s a Red-shouldered Hawk in the distance! This is so much fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Meanwhile, Back on Craig’s Deck…

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

I noticed a photo of this attractive adult male Lesser Goldfinch in Craig’s personal blog today, and when I commented on the posting he pointed me to an additional photo of it at smugmug. Check it out:

Red-shouldered Hawk!

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Thanks to Chris McLean (sprucebuddhas), we have a new view of the Welder bird feeding area, and of a Red-shouldered Hawk watching for breakfast.

sprucebuddhas: โ€œWondering how birding was before 9:30 cdt this a.m. caught this culprit but unfortunately not the h-bird that was sitting on the branch next to him. He flew off while being photographed. Shy I guess.

It is probably one of the pair that is nested ~100m away and defied several attempts to capture to be fitted with a radio transmitter last year by one of the Welder fellows. He tried to capture with mice in a wire cage as well as a live barred owl on loan from a rehabber through Texas Tech.โ€