Monday, May 10, 2010

My 150th walking BIGBY species of the year!!

(What's a BIGBY? See:

Nice cool morning on the Indiana University cross country course. The breeze was from the NNE, my favorite wind direction on the XC course because it holds the urban noises at bay, keeping everything peaceful and quiet, with only natural sounds.

I had a better-than -average 61 species when I added everything up. This kinda surprised me since it didn’t seem especially birdy while I was out there. I had four new FOY/BIGBY species, bringing my 2010 walking BIGBY count to an even 150 species! (I’m still a little behind last year’s BIGBY pace, though).

Here are the new walking BIGBY birds:

* Willow Flycatcher - BIGBY species #147 for 2010
* Connecticut Warbler - #148
* Wilson’s Warbler - #149
* Black-billed Cuckoo - #150

And several non-FOY highlights:

* I’ve been seeing Savannah Sparrows just about daily in the same patch of grass since April 23. I’ve never seen them so consistently in five years of hanging out on the XC course. If I stand in a particular spot long enough a Savannah will pop up out of the grass and fly over to perch on a low forb. I’m hoping that they are nesting, because in five years of birding the XC course I’ve never seen any evidence that would suggest nesting by Savannah Sparrows!

* For the second time in a few days I’ve observed a Dickcissel singing on the XC course. This AM it was perched on an XC course directional sign, singing away. I’m pretty sure I’ve never encountered a *singing* Dickcissel on the IU XC course before. Maybe they’ll stick around?

* I think I’ve located the approximate locations of two Field Sparrow nests on the south section of the XC course. That’s pretty neat because I’ve never found a probable FISP nest on the XC course proper before. (They’ve nested in a nearby 20 acre grassy meadow in past years).

* Lots of Indigo Buntings hanging around. Cool birds. Pretty songs.

* At least ten Eastern Kingbirds on the XC course today. Lots of insect hawking and pitched battles. :-)

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