QUICK POST: Today I finally got some of the good winter birds that we expect to see in the Black Dirt Region of Orange County. Highlights:
(2) Rough-legged Hawks (one light morph and one dark)
(4) Snow Buntings (3) LAPLAND LONGSPURS
(2) American Pipits
(many) Horned Larks
It was also a good day for raptors with many Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks seen throughout the day. I also had a single American Kestrel and a single adult Bald Eagle. I had two large groups of Canada Geese but the only unusual bird that I could find among them looked to me like a domesticated goose.
It’s that time of year again, when my evening birding time is severely reduced by the shortened days and Canada Geese gather in numbers in Orange County. Tonight I made it out to the Black Dirt Region and located a flock of approximately 1,700 Canada Geese with 3 blue morph Snow Geese among them. It was a distant look, but still nice to sift through the geese and find some gems. Oh, and it is also that time of year when it is COLD! Windy and low temps made for some uncomfortable birding. Here are some shots of the Canadas:
QUICK POST: I took a driving tour of the Black Dirt Region this morning to see what was going on. It was an uneventful morning; I had relatively few species (25 in the black dirt), and most were expected. American Pipits are still present in decent numbers, I saw several smaller flocks in various locations. I had many Horned Larks for the day, but never got any good looks at some of the larger groups to sift through them for longspurs. I did have a couple of interesting birds – there was a single Snow Goose way out in a field with about a dozen Canada Geese on Celery Avenue. The highlight of the morning for me was locating a BRANT among a group of approximately 100 Canada Geese on Missionland Road. From what I read in the Crossley Guide, this is a juvenile because of the white fringes to the coverts and the lack of a white necklace, which will grow in through the fall. The light did not lend itself to good photography, but here are some shots from the morning:
Quick Post: I tooled around the Black Dirt Region for a little while this morning, mostly in hopes of relocating a Lapland Longspur that had been reported from the Mearns Bird Club field trip the day before. I dipped on the longspur, but there were plenty of Horned Larks and American Pipits to sift through. The birds were in loose flocks and most were quite distant, but I did have a few closer birds which allowed for some photos. I really enjoy seeing and photographing these birds, and although it didn’t happen for me today, it’s really exciting because there is always the possibility of finding Lapland Longspurs and Snow Buntings among them.