Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A First for Eagle Creek Park

While I was away over the weekend a rare bird was found at Eagle Creek Park close to my home in central Indiana. This seems to be the way it always goes. I go away to an event for a few days and something great shows up and I have to hope it sticks around long enough for me to see it! Two years ago the first state record of Green Violet-ear showed up while I was away at a festival but that would have been a long drive even from home. To actually have a rarity show up in a park that I bird in multiple times a weeks is a whole different story.
On Saturday morning, while at the Indiana Audubon Fall Festival, I was checking my emails and found that a birder had found a jaeger at Eagle Creek that they believed to be a Parasitic. After just a few minutes I got a text from a friend of mine letting me know that he was looking at the jaeger and he was pretty sure it was actually a Long-tailed! Now here in central Indiana, any jaeger is a good jaeger but a Long-tailed is an incredibly awesome find. I was left to hope that it would stick around until late Sunday afternoon when I would have a chance to go look for it.

We arrived at Eagle Creek around 4pm on Sunday and saw the bird within about 30 seconds! I had seen only one Long-tailed previously on Lake Michigan but you never get close views there so having one on the reservoir is a real treat! The scope views were awesome but I was not able to get any photos since we were looking almost directly into the sun.

I had to work on both Monday and Tuesday but was able to sneak away out to Eagle Creek this morning to look for the bird again. When I arrived, it was not in sight but soon flew in from the north. I got a few terrible photos with my camera and a few more with my phone held up to my scope. After seeing these photos, I really think I need to get an adapter to attach my DSLR to my scope!

Long-tailed Jaeger in Flight With Camera

Long-tailed Jaeger in Flight with Camera

Long-tailed Jaeger on the Water through my Scope

Long-tailed Jaeger on the Water through my Scope

The bird is still out there as of this afternoon. If you have a chance to get out to Eagle Creek you definitely should look for the jaeger. It's only the second inland record for Indiana and you rarely get this close a view when they are seen at the lakefront.



Lisa at Greenbow said...

It was such a good sighting Rob. I think your "memory" pictures are just fine. I have several that look just like them. I can't wait to see if the person in the kayak gets a really close shot.

Dan Huber said...

Great find!


Rob Ripma said...

Lisa - It was great to see you and Gary out there! The memory pictures are definitely much better! Marty's pictures are amazing!

Dan - Thanks!