Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Chicago Elaenia +

On April 20, I went with Scott Jennex and Karl Overman to view the Chicago Elaenia. We arrived in less than ideal conditions which included rain. However, there was plenty of bird activity, and it was only a matter of time before one of the other birders spotted the bird. Sure enough, we all enjoyed the perplexing Elaenia as we chased it from tree to tree.
I'm not even going to attempt to throw an identification on this bird. Experts have been going back and forth from White-crested to Small-billed Elaenia and back. The bird does not respond to tapes and will not call. There is a possibility this bird will be banded in the near future, if they can catch it, which I am all for. It isn't on a breeding ground, isn't setting up a nest and will not be harmed, so I say go for it.

I've also added quite a few year birds since my last update, and I'm closing in on 400. At this point last year I was only reaching 300, so I am feeling quite good. I leave tomorrow (4/23) morning for a week of raging on birds in south Florida.

I'll visit Miami for exotics, Ft. Lauderdale, Bill Bagg's State Park for the La Sagra's Flycatcher, the pinewoods NW of Lake Okeechobee, Everglades, the Keys and Dry Tortugas. It is sure to be a crazy trip! More when I return.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A New Chicken

Folks, apologies for the lack of posts recently. I've been enjoying being home, but also busy preparing for another Alaskan field season.

This past weekend, my dad and I drove down to Newton, IL to look for some Greater Prairie-Chickens. We drove down Friday morning and birded around the area the rest of the day. I added a few year birds including Red-headed Woodpecker, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, among others.

Saturday morning we got to the chicken spot early in hopes of securing a spot in the blinds even though we didn't have a reservation and they say the blinds are booked a year in advance. Lucky for us, they have a portable blind no one was using, and we were able to use it.

The chickens started dancing right before sunrise, making all sorts of hoots and chicken noises. They were far enough away, and the weather was cloudy enough to make photography tough, but I did manage a couple alright pictures with my Iphone through my new scope.

All in all, it was a very fun weekend with my dad, especially since we both got our lifer Greater Prairie-Chickens.

I'll be working on seeing some more year birds before I leave for my FL birding trip on April 23rd.