Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another Great Evening

After my lunchtime reptilian adventure I was ready for another round, so I made the stopoff at Stearn's Lake on my way home last evening. Of course Redwings were everywhere, and at times I can't resist the urge for yet another picture of their gleaming colors.

As a relatively new birder I am just loving this springtime migration season. I guess that starting in October is the way to go, as you get used to dry barren landscapes and 15 species checklists. Now I am able to filter out more of the common residents, and focus on the visitors and new arrivals showing up. I know if I was just starting out I would be in over my head trying to sort out Robins and female Red-Winged Blackbirds from everything else, (yes the female RWBBs still get me occasionally, but I am starting to put size and streaky breasts together more quickly in the field now).

Anyway, one thing that I have noticed a few times is the recurrence of a recently identified species. For instance yesterday afternoon I identified my first Spotted Sandpiper. Last evening I saw a number of additional individuals of the same species and got some much better pictures. It makes me wonder if these occasions are a coincidence of arrivals, or a heightened awareness of the presence of the species - and therefore a trigger in the consciousness to alert on the now recognized shape and pattern. Probably a bit of both, but an interesting phenomena nonetheless.

They are welcome to click with my mind whenever I can get this close!

I also had this Brewer's Sparrow stop on this clear branch with a bit of back lighting. Another lifer, a new species each time out is just fine with me! Will I now have Brewer's showing up each time I head out? Have they been there all along, and this is just the first time one has been gleaming in the sun to catch my attention?

The pair of American Avocets, (summer residents?), were at the same location, the first marshy part of the lake the trail passes. I hope that they remain, as I get a rush each time I see their cool rusty heads.
Back off for more today at lunch, hopefully I will have some new species that I can start seeing around every corner!
2009 Count: 127
Lifetime: 142

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