Sunday, April 25, 2010

Three new BIGBY birds for the year

What's a BIGBY? See:

I managed to get in a decent walk on the Indiana University cross country course before Saturday's rains started. It was pretty dark and damp due to a lingering high fog. I recorded 42 species for the morning...

Here are a few highlights from Saturday, April 24:

* Northern Waterthrush – BIGBY species #112 for 2010...also a first-of-year (FOY) species. Along a creek back in the woods. I don’t think I could have positively ID’d this bird if it hadn’t sung a few times, and if there hadn’t been a Louisiana Waterthrush cooperatively singing downstream for comparison.

* Cerulean Warbler – BIGBY species #113 (and an FOY bird). On the edge of the woods at the far north end of the XC course. For some reason the north section of the XC course is better for warblers...must be the wooded hills to the north.

* Wood Thrush – BIGBY #114 (and an FOY). I love their ethereal flute-like songs, and I don’t usually get to actually SEE one singing like I did on Saturday.

* Rose-breasted Grosbeak – My second of the season, doing a few “sneakers-squeaking-on-a-basketball-court” calls.

* Eastern Kingbird – Second sighting in three days. There was a pair hawking insects together at the far southeast corner of the XC course. Maybe it was just the dim lighting that morning, but these birds seemed exceptionally striking...the bright white band at the tip of the tail contrasting very nicely with the inky dark tail feathers.

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