Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hatteras Pelagic

After spending a week at the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, my wife and I headed down to Hatteras to take a pelagic trip into the Gulf Stream with Seabirding Pelagic Trips. We boarded the boat at 5:45am and headed off on a two and a half hour ride out to the best birding spots. I quickly added Greater and Audubon's Shearwaters to my list as well as a Bridled Tern. Over the next few hours, we saw Wilson's and Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, Cory's Shearwater, and Black-capped Petrel. It was an amazing trip especially since I had never been on a pelagic trip before. We even got to see 3 species of dolphin, one species of whale, and a manta ray! Below are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip!

Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Wilson's Storm-Petrel

Greater Shearwater
Great Shearwater

Greater Shearwater
Great Shearwater

Greater Shearwater
Great Shearwater

Greater Shearwater
Great Shearwater

Greater Shearwater
Great Shearwater

Bottlenosed Dolphins
Bottlenosed Dolphins

Black-capped Petrel
Black-capped Petrel

Black-capped Petrel
Black-capped Petrel

Band-rumped Storm-Petrel
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel
-Rob

Friday, June 25, 2010

North Dakota Birds

Just a few pics from North Dakota. I will only be in North Dakota for a couple more days, then I head to the Black Hills of South Dakota with a completely different mix of birds.

The only snapping turtle I have seen all summer.



I lie in circles on the sunlight.
Shine like diamonds on a dark night.
Ain't no mercy in my smilin'.
Only fangs and sweet beguiling.
-Snake Song
A Priarie Rattlesnake on the prairie.

Sunrise next to my tent. I just had time to take a quick pic because I had to start counting birds.


Long-billed Curlew-A fairly local bird on the western North Dakota prairies.



American Wigeon-A pair of wigeons spent the evening on the lake next to my tent.

-Eric

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Birds of the Dakota Prairies

Greetings from Bowman, ND

Over the past couple of weeks I have been birding and conducting bird surveys in North and South Dakota.


Here are some pics of the common prairie birds.


Marbled Godwit-These big shorebirds are very curious about people and fly around your head calling before they move on.

Golden Eagle-One of the many raptors that commonly soar over the grasslands.

Common Nighthawk-I found a large flock of nighthawks catching bugs over Lemmon Lake in South Dakota

Chestnut-collared Longspur-One of the more beautiful birds on the prairie.

Burrowing Owl-This owl lives in prairie dog towns and is active during the day which makes it easy to find in many places.
-Eric

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Collection of Images from Magee Marsh

Below is a collection of images that my wife and I took while I was leading an Indiana Audubon Society trip to Magee Marsh in Northwest Ohio.
The IAS group looking for warblers.

Northern Water Snake

Prothonotary Warbler

Philadelphia Vireo

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

House Wren

Common Nighthawk

Black-billed Cuckoo

Barn Swallow
-Rob

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chasing a Gallinule

Since I had today off from work, I decided to see if I could find the Purple Gallinule that had been seen up in LaPorte, IN. I contacted my friend Brad who is from the area and has been speaking with the owner of the property where the bird has been seen, and he arranged for us to go over and check it out. It turns out that the gallinule has been present since May 6 and is quite tame.

I left home at 5:30 this morning for the two and a half hour drive to Dunes State Park where I was meeting Brad. I arrived a little early and decided to bird for a little bit. All I managed to find were a bunch of mosquitoes! I met up with Brad and we headed over to LaPorte. It was very strange to be pulling up to a residential community to look for a gallinule, but there we were in the middle of suburban LaPorte hunting for it! It didn't take more than 10 seconds to find the bird and it was quite cooperative, allowing many close photos. It was just about the easiest rarity to find that I have ever chased!

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule in LaPorte, IN

-Rob