That’s all folks…..

20 11 2012

Barred Owl – Luke Tiller

After the day ended, a drive down Riversville to go get a bar of chocolate turned up this little beauty. Deteriorating light didn’t help my chances of getting a killer shot, but it was a lovely way to end a great season here at Quaker Ridge.

Last Day Winter Finches

20 11 2012

Common Redpoll – Luke Tiller

Last official day of the season here at Quaker Ridge.  The raptors were essentially a no show, but the winter finches put in an appearance to give everyone something to get excited about. First up was a singleton White-winged Crossbill that dropped in on the lonely blue spruce a few hundred yards downhill from the watch for a minute or two. About half an hour later this little guy appeared, as if by magic, on the bird feeder I had just yesterday hung at the bottom of the hawkwatch lawn.

Common Redpoll – Luke Tiller

There’s always been something romantic about ‘winter’ finches. Wondering where they’ve come from, how they survive in the harsh climates they inhabit and whether they’ve ever laid eyes on a person before their encounter with you. Lets face it it’s pretty light population wise up in and even beyond those boreal forests. Today we tallied 4 Common Redpolls, 2 White-winged Crossbills, 3 Red Crossbills, Pine Siskin, 2 Purple Finches and one final rarity 2 Mute Swans heading east fairly high over the watch – not sure I recall ever seeing them here before? A fine end to the season rounded out by a Barred Owl as I drove to the store post count (pictures later).

Common Redpoll – Luke Tiller

Thanks to everyone who stopped by on the day to say farewell. ‘It’s been emotional!’

More Junco

18 11 2012

Junco – Bill Asteriades

Not that it’s changing my revised opinion that this bird from East Shore Park in New Haven is somewhere more in the realm of Oregon Junco than Pink-sided, I thought this picture from Bill Asterides was at least a better feel for how the bird looked in the field once it was in the light. Still inclined to agree with Mark Szantyr’s interpretation of both colors and extensiveness of flank coloration leaning towards Oregon, but still an interesting looking bird nonetheless.

I see the Audubon’s Warbler was relocated today. I wonder if people got pictures – is it possible the Audubon’s from Stratford, Milford and New Haven are all the same bird? East Shore really is an amazing spot, probably unique in Connecticut, and needs to be hit every day by some good birders in late fall – otherwise how are we ever going to get the state’s first Townsend’s Warbler 😉

Possible Pink-sided Junco

17 11 2012

Possible Pink-sided Junco – Bob Rocco

So this is the best picture I have been sent of the bird. Anybody got any thoughts? Looks like the bird has dark lores, a pale throat, extensive pink flanks (which look less pink in this picture – taken in shade). Definitely appreciate comments on this difficult bird. More pictures will be posted once I get them

Another day, another….

15 11 2012

Northern Saw-whet Owl – Luke Tiller

Another fun day at the hawkwatch. Not down to the hawks particularly, or in fact anything else that flew overhead, but mainly down to stumbling on this awesome little guy somewhere out in the vicinity of North Greenwich (no details – by order of the COA).

I managed to come upon this diminuitive little owl after being directed to his presence by a rather alarmed trio of White-throated Sparrows. They were chipping furiously and as I approached them, I swiftly realized that whatever had them worked up was important enough that they were completely oblivious to me. I already had Saw-whet in mind as the likely culprit as I peered through the tangle and discovered this cutie snugly hunkered down in a mass of vines and branches.

Northern Saw-whet Owl – Catherine Hamilton

I have to say it never ceases to amaze me when I find one of these things. I think this is the first time I’ve discovered a Saw-whet thanks to some help from some mobbing passerines and although I had it in my mind that this is what they had tracked down it was still something of a shock that the bird turned out to be there. I remember having the same feeling of surprise when I first looked up from a pile of pellets and white wash (probably the thousandth I’d checked) to discover my lifer sitting in a Red Cedar at Saugatuck Falls one winter.

Northern Saw-whet Owl – Luke Tiller

Although I am usually reluctant to share information about owl sightings (you’ve heard the horror stories…) I had to try and get a few people on the owl. I think everyone who works at the center enjoyed heading seeing him and best of all we managed to share this special bird, and moment, with some very thrilled 2nd Grade kids who were visiting Audubon Greenwich on the day.

Cave Swallows yesterday, Saw-whet today, what can come next? Personally I’ve got my fingers crossed for Bohemian Waxwings, Evening and Pine Grosbeaks! Only time will tell…

Cave Swallows – Quaker Ridge First

14 11 2012

Cave Swallow – Luke Tiller

After speaking with friends up on Lake Ontario on Monday and hearing that they had a decent but by no means large flight of Cave Swallows I had my toes, fingers and all other parts that I could, crossed for these little Texan beauties putting in an appearance at the watch either yesterday or today. Well I got my wish and some lousy (but diagnostic) pictures to go with.

Cave Swallow – Luke Tiller

There appeared to be only three birds but they circled around a few times over the building and fields over the watch allowing Stefan Martin, Tom Baptist and Catherine Hamilton (who all showed up after the first appeared) to join myself and Bill Wallace in enjoying the show.

Cave Swallow – Luke Tiller

Hopefully a couple more will put in an appearance over the day!!!!

Cave Swallow – Luke Tiller