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Old 03-24-2016, 09:08 PM   #1
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Ornithamateurs - The Birding Thread

It occurs to me that we might use a thread like this - we have a bird lover or two in our midst

Bird pics, sightings, stories, help in identifying, just anything in regards to our love of birding. Enjoy!
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:13 PM   #2
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I spend time on the Texas coast each winter, and seeing the whooping cranes is always the highlight. This is not my pic, mine are terrible but wanted to post this. My favourite bird to watch

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Old 03-25-2016, 10:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Collar_N_Cuffs View Post
It occurs to me that we might use a thread like this - we have a bird lover or two in our midst

Bird pics, sightings, stories, help in identifying, just anything in regards to our love of birding. Enjoy!
this is lovely thank you!

my current favourite moment: i spend a lot of time hanging out in my garage (stereo...books..etc) after dark. one winter night i had the overwhelming urge to open the garage door. i figured (hoped) maybe there was some major night sky action....so i throw the door up, step out, look up and a snowy owl was gliding directly over my head.
i was gobsmacked.

it took weeks to shake the awe.
and SILENT. omg. and the wing span. omg.
it was amazing.
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:21 AM   #4
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cnc: i hope you don't mind, but i am going to share my other fave encounter of the non feathered variety
i was taking my two kids, plus my niece, to a friends cottage. she had warned me that the last stretch of the journey was a seemingly endless straight road.
we are finally on the seemingly endless straight road. it is hot. everyone is drowsy. kids half asleep. suddenly i see what i think is a dog...running down the road toward us.
"hey, you guys, look at the road running dog" i call out.
three little heads start bobbing and looking all around.
it gets closer.
i realize it is a WOLF. i love wolves. ridiculously, and frantically.
(common sense exits the vehicle immediately)
i pull over, screaming "it's a wolf! it's a wolf. it's a WOOOOOOOOLF" and then jump out of the car. leave the kids. start running beside the wolf, talking and babbling at him.
he gives me the most amazing side eye and trots off the road and onto a path alongside the road. i am still running beside him. still talking. pretty sure i am annoying the fine fellow but i just can't stop.
remember i have kids and responsibilities and adulthood blah blah.
i get back in the car, look in the rear view mirror: he is back on the road.
so i drive back. and park. and wait. and get out and run and babble at him again.
lol.
i think the third time he side eyed me and left the road is when i finally gave up and got back in the car for good.
when we arrived at the cottage the kids and i were literally tripping over our tongues and words to tell our friends about it.
it was such an epic moment.
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:34 AM   #5
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Hello, what a lovely nest in which to flock together.

I have just come in from a few hours, not in my house garden but my vegetable garden, which is by our pond. We took the geese down to play today, it's a beautiful day, and we hoped it would keep their moods sweet. . I only caught a glimpse of a mallard duck, ( the natives are fairly shy) but as we weeded it was charming to hear the different quacks and noises, and try and catch glimpses through a hedge ( always to slow, always seeing wake or our geese). There are some coots and moorhens, as well as ducks, we sometimes get a visitor male duck of an odd variety for this area for summer and two females with him, and sometimes swans fly down to check out the geese and take a break. Then the realise the big white birds are rather common fowl, and continue on, but it's fun to see! The game birds are hard to spot, apart from pheasants, but very occasionally I do.
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:15 AM   #6
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Eagle ....
Whenever I see one it feels special to me. Even though I now live where I often see one every day. Certainly every week.
This pic was taken in WA, Puget Sound.
I have a little mysticism about them. Like they bring me luck. Or perhaps a sign of what I should do next.
I know that sounds silly.

cb
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:09 PM   #7
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Eagle ....
Whenever I see one it feels special to me. Even though I now live where I often see one every day. Certainly every week.
This pic was taken in WA, Puget Sound.
I have a little mysticism about them. Like they bring me luck. Or perhaps a sign of what I should do next.
I know that sounds silly.

cb
*not* silly.
not to this lit-peep, anyway.
eagles often represent messages to and from spirit/God/god/universe i would completely agree with "a sign of what i should do next". yep. <3

really enjoying all of the (feathery) tales ;p
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:16 PM   #8
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We have nothing like Eagles. . I'd be seriously excited to see one. We have buzzards, and smaller birds of prey, sparrow hawks, kestrels. And owls. I've been trying to get a picture for ages of the owls and buzzard for desert slave. We put anything the terrier catches, on a roof for them, and sometimes they barely wait for me to move away.

Where we last lived, the road was used by very few people, and ran along woods, often at dusk, two owls would race the car along side it, they were pretty fearless, and I loved it, I miss living there a lot. Our shower had a glass wall to the outside too, a large window, and quite often you'd be rinsing your hair to see deer glancing in from the field.
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:29 PM   #9
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I understand the gobsmacked and the awe and the messages

The first time I saw roseate spoonbills I was giddy for days. The first time I saw them fly it felt like magic (and I almost wrecked my car ). Hearing the Whooping Cranes honk is a very rare gift that I treasure. When I stay at the coast I see Osprey every day, and I love watching the pelicans dive and fish. A Cooper's Hawk hunts the field right next to the apartment every day around 1, which I so look forward to. And a Cara Cara has started to frequent that field as well. I feel so lucky to see these large birds with such regularity. I often hear owls, but don't see them.

As far as smaller birds go, I love the Red Wing Blackbirds, Barn Swallows, (so pretty!) robins, which I don't get to see very often in Texas, and there is currently a cardinal living near the house that I hear all evening The larger birds are great, but the smaller ones tend to fill in much of the daily birdsong that I love.

So glad you are all enjoying this thread!
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:33 PM   #10
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Living on a boat in a harbor puts me in constant contact with Great Blue Herons (they are taller that you think!), Black Capped Night Herons and all kinds of seagulls! I started my birding hobby in Tucson, Arizona so didn't get much exposure to shore birds.
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:35 PM   #11
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One of my favourite awe moments with birds is cause by humble starling. In murmurations, when they fly, and the air and earth seems to go in to some strange stop/go effect. There is a dead tree just over our boundary, ( it was alive when we came, and I am so sad it's died and I dread it's going, but it's deadness through last summer was also depressing) and the starlings sit in it and every time I go into that garden they lift up and we have this effect and it's wonderful.
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:35 PM   #12
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Living on a boat in a harbor puts me in constant contact with Great Blue Herons (they are taller that you think!), Black Capped Night Herons and all kinds of seagulls! I started my birding hobby in Tucson, Arizona so didn't get much exposure to shore birds.
We have all of these in Texas as well
Can I come visit?
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:36 PM   #13
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Living on a boat in a harbor puts me in constant contact with Great Blue Herons (they are taller that you think!), Black Capped Night Herons and all kinds of seagulls! I started my birding hobby in Tucson, Arizona so didn't get much exposure to shore birds.
Living on a boat sounds quite romantic.
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:37 PM   #14
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We have all of these in Texas as well
Can I come visit?
Of course! We can take beach walks for the shore birds, and upland hikes for raptors and mountain birds!
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:38 PM   #15
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Living on a boat sounds quite romantic.
It certainly has its moments, like the time I had a Mallard duck follow me down the dock back to the boat!. But its not for everyone!
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:01 PM   #16
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Living on a boat in a harbor puts me in constant contact with Great Blue Herons (they are taller that you think!), Black Capped Night Herons and all kinds of seagulls! I started my birding hobby in Tucson, Arizona so didn't get much exposure to shore birds.
a neighbour has a koi pond,and every summer a blue heron comes and perches on his garage roof and watches the fish.
i have been tempted to let the bird at the fish, lol.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:03 PM   #17
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Living on a boat sounds quite romantic.
visiting amsterdam left me with romantic visions of boat living.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:03 PM   #18
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It certainly has its moments, like the time I had a Mallard duck follow me down the dock back to the boat!. But its not for everyone!
what are the downfalls to living on a boat?
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:07 PM   #19
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what are the downfalls to living on a boat?
Space is a big one. If you're not comfortable with smaller spaces, it's not for you. I say this living on a 30' sailboat. Larger boats don't have this issue.

I can live on my boat year round, making winter challenging with the storms. While I live in a protected harbor, the wind and rain can make quite a racket! You wouldn't believe the noises that boats make in very heavy wind!
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:42 PM   #20
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visiting amsterdam left me with romantic visions of boat living.
There are a few canal boat 'marinas' not to far from here. I am not sure why they called marinas, it makes G a bit jittery linguistically.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:51 PM   #21
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Hmmm. Are birds still the topic here?
Anyway-- we occasionally see Pileated Woodpeckers here. They're remarkable, crow-sized, and the largest woodpecker in North America.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:59 PM   #22
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Hmmm. Are birds still the topic here?
Anyway-- we occasionally see Pileated Woodpeckers here. They're remarkable, crow-sized, and the largest woodpecker in North America.
The first time I saw one of these I was astonished. I had no idea what it was at the time. I was convinced I was seeing some sort of atavistic woodpecker.

And if you have ever spent time on the water, love of water and birds can become easily intertwined
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:28 PM   #23
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Today we are being serenaded by a pair of mockingbirds with interjections by finches and an occasional cactus wren. The latter confounds me. I'm used to the sweet songs of house wrens back east. These guys sound parched and rough in comparison. Desert living strikes again!
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:36 PM   #24
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Today we are being serenaded by a pair of mockingbirds with interjections by finches and an occasional cactus wren. The latter confounds me. I'm used to the sweet songs of house wrens back east. These guys sound parched and rough in comparison. Desert living strikes again!
When you're out hiking around steep canyon walls listen up for the Canyon Wren... Very cool!
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:35 PM   #25
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Ok, Yank, if you are lurking in this thread..
These birds are not trumpeters. They (trumpeters) are a large bird. This is a small bird that sounds big.
I scared them off by approaching their roosting area, a stand of bamboo, too closely. They left for 3 or 4 days, but are back! Hooray! Going to try and catch them as they come in to roost, because once they are rooasted in for the night, you can't see a thing! The bamboo is too thick.
I'm really curious about these guys. They sound like 2 different birds, a honk and a trill. Either 2 birds roost here at the same time, or possibly the young honk and the adults trill? A mystery!
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