It would seem like I have taken a break. I am really just not getting that many decent photos on the weekends. I have not had a lot to show, and I do not want to post for the sake of posting. The last couple weekends have been a bit of a roller coaster.
After a lackluster day looking for LeConte's Sparrows on 10/31, I stayed home on 11/1. I checked Facebook and saw that a Magnificent Frigatebird was being seen across town. Amazing! I hopped in the car and bolted to the reservoir at Eagle Creek Park. After a lot of waiting, giving up to go bird, then getting a call it was back, I finally saw the bird. They are incredible, and slightly spooky looking, birds. That's a provisional number 331 for the state. I would have loved a shot, but it appears I left a bit early (again) and the bird came by for another fly-by shortly after I left. <Insert long-winded excuse about how I really waited around a while and did not give up as easily as it seems I might have - just to make me feel better.> Anyway, I struck out on the LeConte's but got a couple sparrow shots and was overjoyed to see a new state bird; especially one as cool as a frigatebird.
During the week, things got crazy again. An Anna's Hummingbird was reported from a residence up on lakefront. Even better, the homeowner was gracious enough to allow visitors. I knew I could not make it during the week; so, the bird was going to have to stay until the weekend. The scary news is that the bird was going to be banded on Friday. There is a bit of a history of rare hummingbirds getting banded and then disappearing the next day. I got up early on Saturday and headed north. I totally messed up the time change and got there an hour early without realizing it. I was not the only one, though. Another birder was already there, too. Together, we waited and hoped. I suddenly heard a lot of squeaky chatter above me and called out. A few seconds later, it popped into the feeder for some early morning energy drink. In less than a week, I had my second provisional state bird of the year - #332.
I waited around for a couple more visits. In the early morning chill, the bird was visiting about every 20-30 minutes. After the third visit, I hopped into the car and headed over to the Dunes NL. The reports from the observation tower were rolling in that morning, and there were a lot of Evening Grosbeak being seen. Shortly after I arrived, a nice flock of Snow Bunting flashed by, their white wing patches showing well in the morning light. Then a single Red Crossbill flew over and away all too quickly. The highlight though was a flock of 8 Evening Grosbeak on a slow approach as they lumbered into the wind and gave everyone a nice prolonged view. It was pretty great. In about 20 minutes, I saw 3 really great species for the state. I left and headed over to West Beach, where some Common Redpoll had been reported. Unfortunately, my luck ran out. After a bit of birding, I swung over to the Anna's for one last viewing and then started the trek home.
Like I said, it's been a roller coaster of a couple weekends. Things are popping up all over the state. I am just going to roll with it.
Thanks for reading,