Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hawkwatching & Sandpiper Bully Video

Over the last couple of weekends I have been a lazy birder. I made stops at several different locations but haven't been birding for more than an hour or two at a time.

Now that I've The top photo of the Great Blue Heron was taken at the Portland Fairgrounds. I stood in the middle of the tall grass with its mouth open for 10 minutes. What do you think he's trying to say?
Every year at the Portland waste transfer station I seem to find a Black Vultures like the one on the left end hanging out with 2 Turkey Vultures. I only see them in August though. I'm wondering if they start to migrate in August.
On one particular day at Wangunk Meadows I found a frog that stayed still long enough for me to take its picture. I'm used to them diving into the puddles before I even see them.
I kind of like the way this butterfly cast a shadow in the dirt. I've seen these kind of butterflies before but don't feel like looking it up. What kind of butterfly is it?
I did put some effort into hawk watching today from about 10 am until 2:30pm. There was a Hartford Audubon sponsored gathering at Booth Hill in West Hartland CT. I was able to contribute by spotting quite a few hawks but let others handle most of the identifications. It's going to take me a while before I'm any good at identifying hawks in flight. Most of them were Broad-winged Hawks. We saw several kettles of between 20 and 30 hawks. The most we saw at one time was about 60. Many of them were flying high in single file. Total Broadwing count for the day was just over 1,000 birds. Other Bops we saw included Sharp-shinned Hawks, Osprey, Bald Eagles, Harrier Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Merlin, and 1 reported Goshawk which I didn't get a chance to see. We also saw Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks but they migrate later. There was one Broad-winged Hawk which we believe may have been a dark phase broadwing which is rare to see in CT. I plan to do some more hawk watching over the next couple of weeks. Trying to see how many hawks you can spot is kind of addictive. Especially when you have a whole group trying to do the same.
video
click to play
Here's a video that was taken in the rain at Rocky Hill Meadows a couple of weeks ago. I believe this a Pectoral Sandpiper chasing off a Least Sandpiper. I, along with several other birders saw 12 American Golden Plover and 1 Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the same morning.
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21 comments:

Kelly said...

I've never been hawk watching, but I think I need to add it to my to-do list. I'd love to travel to hot spot and see a day during migration. Your little open-mouthed heron is funny...looks like he's waiting for some food to hop right in!

Chris said...

Hi Larry,
Nice post and I would like to be able to go out birding at the moment, but the weather is pretty bad. Like Kelly, I've never been out for hawk watching. i just managed to see some time to time!

Vern said...

Was it a warm day? The Great Blue could be panting.Though I thik in birds it's called Gular Fluttering.On the other hand he could be just sticking his tounge out at you!

Jayne said...

Some nice sightings Larry! The butterfly is a Question Mark Butterfly I think. Google him. :c)

forestal said...

Nice post - i find it very difficult hawk Id as well

dan

Ruth said...

I think the Blue Heron is saying he has something caught in his throat! ;-) I have seen them trying to swallow the largest catfish. You would think there was enough mud for both of the sandpipers...

Jochen said...

The heron was clearly giving you a scolding: "Where have you been so long? Why have you not been birdwatching? Do you have any idea how difficult it was to get a Reddish Egret up here and then you don't even have the decency to show up and see it? Don't come tellin' me you've been hanging out with those warblers again and other songbird riffraff etc etc etc"

Jochen said...

And I'd say you are right about the Pectoral but can't be sure what the smaller one is, Semipalmated or Least.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Heron:
"Laaarrry- get off your lazy butt and get out biirrding!"

We rarely see Black Vultures up here but I'v noticed my beloved Turkey Vultures are on the move south. sniff...

Larry said...

Kelly-Hawk watching is definitely a different experience from other types of birding.It does get very exciting when a large number of hawks come through.

Chris-You should give it a try some time.

Vern-It wasn't that warm so I guess he was just sticking his tongue out at me.

Jayne-Are you answering a question with a question with a question mark???

Jochen-You'd probably make a good voice over actor for an animated film.

Jochen-I didn't really put much thought into it-could be a semi.

Lynne-By the end of this month I'll be back in the swing of it. Black Vultures used to be rare in CT. I guess there's been an excess of roadkill here.

Madi and Mom said...

Hi I just found your blog and I'm glad. as for adding a link to something on your blog this is how I do it.
When you have the blank box on your blog page to write on you'll notice a tool bar at the top. One of the icons looks like a little chain link. Highlight the word you want to link then click on the link icon
you'll get a box where you can type in the http address. Maybe you've discovered this by now.
Anyway I'm a backyard birder, novice photographer who enjoys writing. Come by to see us some time,
Madi and Mom

Lana Gramlich said...

I love all of the photos. The heron's asking for help getting a monster fish down his throat, I'm sure! Great capture of the frog! Can't help w/the butterfly, I'm afraid.

Sashindoubutsu said...

Nice photos, all are great finds, especially the frog.. It's a nice shot and could be contributed to biology books!^^

Larry said...

Madi and Mom-Thanks for stopping by and for the advice.I used to be able to just copy and paste links. Something changed.-I will stop by your blog-thanks.

Sashindoubutsu-thanks-Those frogs had veen avoiding me in that area all summer.

dAwN said...

Howdee Larry!
I have internet! After over two weeks without..i feel out of the loop.
nice to catch up and see what you are up too..
cant help with the butterfly id..
But the heron I know is singing Joy to the World..I can tell by the way its tongue is curled.

Kathiesbirds said...

Larry, I am watching hawks also and saw my first common black hawk yesterday. It was a juvenile so I didn't even know what it was at first, but I was able to photograph it and post pics on my blog. This is a life bird for me! That pectoral sandpiper would be a life bird for me also if I could see one!

Larry said...

dawn-Glad you were able to solve your internet issues.I may have heard some singing coming from the heron's direction but I can't be sure.

kathiebirds-Congratulations on your Black Hawk! I have no idea what they look like so I'll visit your blog soon and have a look.

dguzman said...

Hawk watches are a really cool way to meet other birders; I saw over 300 Broadwings one day last fall--very cool!

The butterfly is, I think, some kind of comma butterfly?

LauraHinNJ said...

What a fresh little bird!

matthew houskeeper said...

Certainly nothing wrong with being lazy now and then.
Hawks are so amazing.

Rambling Woods said...

The heron is cooling off as mentioned above. Even on the hottest days here on the pond, the GB will stand in the sun, open their wings and drop them looking like somebody opening a raincoat for some reason. When the green herons come it at the same time as the blue, there is a bark-off to see who gets to stay.. LOL. The butterfly looks like a question mark but I can't see if it has tails or not. Nice bullfrog... Michelle