Eastern Phoebe - the pumper of tails.
An out of season Prairie Warbler is a nice way to brighten your day.
American Oystercatcher - an amazing bird in every respect except one. Their flesh colored legs..... If they were black they would not look so awkward.
Among the shorebird flocks at Federal Rocks were a pair of Green-winged Teal.
Forster's and Royal Tern
Tricolored Heron - I am pretty sure I see more than three colors.
Snowy Egret - nothing like some cold and windy weather to make the birds not give a damn about being photographed.
The female Canvasback is still hanging out at the Aquarium pond.
Rock Pigeon - I can see why Mike Tyson loves pigeons. They love, they fight and they live in cities.
More often than not they fight.
But sometimes they chill out.
Back to the target bird for Saturday... I somehow managed to get on the first boat out to Core Banks near Atlantic, NC with a small group of friends from Wilmington. The plan was to find the Mountain Plover quickly with our scopes and then stake it out for the next couple groups that were coming. However, it didn't work out that way. Full disclosure, we did not find the Mountain Plover after combing the beach for hours. We did however find some other birds...
Highly cropped Long-billed Curlew - although this photo sucks, you can see the long thin bill and the somewhat plain looking head. A Whimbrel would have an obvious supercilium and a Godwit would have a decurved bill.
Long-billed Curlews are super rare in NC although the Core Banks are one of the best places to find them. This bird was skittish and did not let us get close.
Mr. Piping Plover, where is your cousin?
Red Knots and Sanderling
There was tons and tons of Black-Bellied Plover - about 500-600. So its possible the Mountain Plover was blending in, but more likely the North wind had the bird hunkered down some place different. I will have to try again next weekend. A group that went today did find the bird and it was a South wind.
Surf Scoters on the way back in.
4 of us headed to Cedar Island to see if anything was hanging around that rarity magnet.
An American Bittern was a nice surprise.
I love to watch a Bittern hunt, this guy was a dancing fool.
Sunday.... What a beautiful day!!! High 60s and sunny, low wind....
After dropping Melissa at the airport, the boys and I took a drive to the beach but stopped at Blue Clay Rd on the way. As promised by Dave W, there was American Pipit in the fields on the side of the road.
American Pipit - I tried to convince the bird to cross the road so it would not be backlit but he wasn't having it.
At the beach everyone was enjoying the weather including this Short-billed Dowitcher. In my experience the best field mark is the tail pattern. If there is more white than dark, then you have a SB.
Lesser Yellowlegs - it can be difficult to differentiate Greater from Lesser, but this bird was standing next to a SB Dowitcher and a Willet and was about the same size albeit longer legs than the Dowitcher. The Willet dwarfed it.
Luke - always deep in thought.
George always the clown.
At Oleander Gardens we stopped to try for a Brown Creeper. No luck but we picked up some photographic year birds.
I hate to end with such a poor picture but it was my last bird for the week and it didn't stick around for better pics - Baltimore Oriole.
Tomorrow is supposed to be 70! I have to work but I might get in an hour or two of birding. January was a good month. February has potential if the Mountain Plover sticks around and my Pelagic on the 20th produces a rarity. Can I dream of Puffins out loud or will that jinx it?
Hope everyone is doing well. Life is good....