If I were in Texas, I might have tried to change this bird. Luckily we don't have this problem in NC. This Belted Kingfisher was seen at Lake Waccamaw, NC.
This bird was trying to take advantage of my affliction and make me think it was a Nashville Warbler.
Then just as I was rejoicing it turned to a profile view and laughed at me. It was in a flock of 3 other Magnolia Warblers and they had a good laugh at my expense.
Unmistakable tail pattern with wing bars make this a Magnolia Warbler just to name a couple field marks.
Olive-sided Flycatcher!!! That was the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this heavily "vested" bird at Ft Fisher this week. And no I don't mean he had a good 401k plan. I mean that he has a dark shadow on both sides of the breast giving the appearance of a vest. Unfortunately this bird left quickly so to be honest my rarophyllic brain is still trying to make this an Olive-sided Flycatcher. Seeing that my affliction is probably clouding my judgement, can one of my faithful readers tell me this is simply a dark Pewee? Is the bill too small for an OSFC?
I knew better than to do anything with this bird. If the black plumage on a male with breeding plumage remaining does not extend to the vent, even my disease addled brain will not dare to call this anything other than a Black-bellied Plover.
Someone with my disease can spend hours on a flock of peeps. This flock at Ft Fisher was attacked by a Peregrine Falcon but unfortunately in my impaired condition I was not fast enough to capture the attack. Darn.... I needed Peregrine for my year list!
Surely there was an Eurasian Oystercatcher mixed in here? Sadly there was not.
There was more Caspian Terns than Royals!
Whats this?? A large black-backed gull with yellow legs? That back is much darker than a Lesser Black-backed Gull and why is it's head so clean. A LBBG should have a dirty head this time of year!
He looks just as big as this Herring Gull to the right and boy that back is dark!! Could it be a Kelp Gull?
Dr. T has been helpful in developing coping mechanisms to combat my condition. One such mechanism is to focus on the species that the bird is most likely to be and then check off the field marks rather than looking for the field marks of the rarity.
This closer look in different light shows a much grayer back, a yellowish eye (not gray-yellow), some head streaking and if you look very closely, the gape (innermost corner of bill) is reddish and not yellow like a proper Kelp Gull.
Also the primary projection was quite pronounced (long winged). Thank you Dr. T!!! Using your skills, I am learning to live with this disease.
The more I looked at this bird the more I saw a Lesser Black-backed Gull. I will never be cured, but maybe I can use my support system and 12 step program (Dr. T's patented program designed to combat the debilitating effects of Rarophyllia) to lead a somewhat normal life.
Ok I am starting to tire of this lark (no pun intended) so I will just tell you these are Knots and peeps.
This Avocet is all American. I didn't even have to check it's birth certificate.
I could not choose the best pic, so here is a few more. I love when a bird let's me into it's world and shows no concern.
Don't even suggest this is a Common-ringed Plover, I wasn't even thinking it. Semi-palmated Plover.
And you thought the Northern Lights did not come to Wilmington. Just kidding, its a rainbow over Zeke's Island.
Another Lesser Black-backed Gull. I had 3 on the Spit the other day. What is this world coming to when these are becoming common.
Turn away of you don't want to see a horrible pic. It was taken through my office window.
I was surprised to see this Painted Bunting on my feeder in the middle of a conference call. I almost had to hang up on my client, luckily I didn't. He is still coming to the feeder today.
Airlie has a bunch of cool sculptures now. I am glad they are using my membership dues for something constructive instead of paying a bunch of people to drive around with ATVs 24 seven.
Another Magnolia Warbler! WTF, I didn't see one all last year in Wilmington, now I have to push them aside to find something else.
A male Redstart is a good bird.
Giant Asian Mantis - this species eats Steel-plated Woodstars
This Bluebird is not a Western Bluebird.
EMPID!! Oh I can go so many places with such a bird. No real eye-ring to speak of, and it just did not have the jizz of a Pewee.
Luckily this bird was humoring me and not going anywhere. I had it in multiple snags in different positions and light.
The bill was kind of bi-colored like a Least Flycatcher but this bird did not look like a Least. The primary projection was too long for a Least but not long enough for most of the other species (Acadian).
In addition it's tail was straight edged and relatively thick.
One thing it did not do was fly lower so I could get a proper look from above.
Ok, last thing you want to do is trust someone with Rarophyllia, but I swear my intuition was saying Willow Flycatcher. I could have sworn I heard the Wit calls, but my ears are not very reliable. What do you think dear readers? Willow Flycatchers are never reported in Wilmington, but I am not sure why because there are plenty of reports in coastal SC.
Short to Moderate Primary projection? To me the bill is too large for Least, the projection is too short for Acadian or Pewee.
This morning early I headed to Carolina Beach SP and right when I pulled in was treated to 6 Common Nighthawks feeding above the visitor's center. If anyone has tried photographing swallows or swifts in flight, they will know my frustration. With actively feeding Nighthawks, they fly very erratically and it is very difficult to photograph them despite their ample size. I was happy to come away with one decent shot.
Don't worry I am over it, I did not even try to make this a Lesser Nighthawk or even an Antillean Nighthawk.
This peep was trying to convince me it was a Stint, but I told him I with Dr. T's help I would not be tricked.