Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Birds while I Blog

Posted by Kirk
I've got some cool blog posts I am working on but they will take a while to finish up. The big post is about the dinosaur dig I was on two weeks ago. I promise to post something soon. It will have video and clickable satellite photos and be worth the wait.

In the mean time it is time for a simple bird count update. I saw five new species in North Dakota and two new species since I returned home. That means I have broken my personal best record for number of birds spotted in one year. Of course, this is my second year so one would expect that.

I wasn't in North Dakota to bird so all sightings were almost accidental. For example, two of the birds I spotted and identified for sure only when the van we were in stopped to open a cattle gate as we crossed through the Little Missouri National Grasslands. Here's the North Dakota list.

121 Western Meadowlark
122 Lark Bunting
123 Lazuli Bunting
124 Red Breasted Nuthatch
125 Swainson's Hawk

Yesterday while I was locking up the building at work I head a barred owl in the distance. I called to it only to be surprised when an owl answered from les then 100 feet away. These two birds called back and forth until the jays came and chased to owl away. I was surprised how rapid a call the owl in the distance used. I've never head the "who cooks for you, who cooks for you-all" spit out in three seconds like that.

Today I arrived at work and Paul told me there were Tennessee Warblers in the bog. I grabbed my binoculars and headed down. Sure enough they were dripping off the trees. The warbler migration has begun. I also spotted a beautiful great crested flycatcher and a catbird. The flycatcher was hunting close to the ground as the entire bog was etheiral nad filled with fog this morning.

So, for the numbers game that's:

126 Barred Owl
127 Tennessee Warbler