Birdmeister’s Blog

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A successful North Coast trip (11/15/2015)

Posted by birdmeister on November 16, 2015

Dickcissel and Northern Mockingbird At Bayocean, Common Ground Dove and White-throated Sparrow at Wireless Rd. All capped off by a Palm Warbler at Seaside STP at the end of the day. It was a good day!


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Another November AZ weekend (11/6-11/8/2015)

Posted by birdmeister on November 12, 2015

This year’s attempt to see Baird’s Sparrow and my favorite thrasher was a full success: Yes on the Baird’s with good looks before sunrise in the San Rafael Valley. “My” Le Conte’s Thrasher popped up a mere 25ft from me and was calling – nice! Bendire’s Thrasher and Bell’s Sparrow were the supporting cast, all at the Thrasher spot at Baseline & Salome.

Other highlights included 2 Javelinas at the Amado STP, 56 Mountain Plovers at the Evergreen Sod farm on the Santa Cruz flats, the continuing female Blue-throated Hummingbird at the Paton’s, a single Chestnut-collared Longspur at the San Rafael Valley, a total of 4 White-tailed Kites in various grasslands and a late Indigo Bunting also at the Paton’s feeders.

In Ajo, I easily found the female Purple Finch and Rufous-backed Robin at Gibson Neighborhood Park.


A robin alright. Check the streaked throat, not a field mark for American.


Yes, Rufous-backed Robin.


This Prairie Falcon stuck for me.


A young Horned Lark from the Sonoita Grasslands.


I was surprised to find 3 Harris’s Hawks around Sells on the long drive from Ajo back to Tucson.


Many Caracaras (i.e. at least 12) were in the fields north of the Baumgartner & Wheeler farm on the Santa Cruz flats.


This Bobcat was from Sweetwater wetlands. The Abert’s Towhee below as well.


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Common Ground Dove (Yachats, OR, 10/24/2015)

Posted by birdmeister on October 27, 2015

A Common Ground Dove (only Oregon’s 4th or so) has be staying in the Yachats Commons for over 8 days now. The bird was easy to locate and quite tame. Also present at the same location were a White-throated and a Clay-colored Sparrow. A Mountain Chickadee was also there.

In Newport an hour later, the Brown Booby was at the same channel marker as the bird from last year (same bird?) and a Vesper Sparrow was at the Marine Science Center.

It was a good day. I even picked up a couple more birds for my Yamhill list at the Sheridan sewage ponds late in the day.



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Andalucia (09/12-09/26/2015)

Posted by birdmeister on October 9, 2015

The details of a 12-day birding trip with several slow periods can be read about in my trip report here:

A few pictures are also included. Enjoy!

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NH over Labor Day 2015

Posted by birdmeister on September 10, 2015

This year’s Labor Day trip was NH and a little bit of MA (Plum Island aka Parker River NWR). Birding was on the slow side, nevertheless enjoyable. The best day was Saturday when NH Coast wizards Steve and Jane Mirick gave me the grand tour of their local patch.¬†Highlights included Great Cormorant, Black Guillemot, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Upland Sandpiper, Western and White-rumped Sandpiper.

The following are pictures from a morning at Mt. Kearsarge northwest of Concord (1-4). Bird 5 came from the coast. Can you id them?

Bird 1


Bird 2:

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Bird 3


Bird 4


Bird 5: Odiorne Point SP. Are they really all the same species?


This Common Eider is of course easy to id …


The posture of this Red-breasted Nuthatch is so classic that I couldn’t resist uploading this picture. Too bad that he was in the shade.


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Apache Goshawk! (AZ trip, 8/7-9/2015)

Posted by birdmeister on August 11, 2015

Another glorious rain-season trip! There’s just something special about the monsoon. Of course, I got completely soaked again …

Highlights were a 2 young apache Northern Goshawks (boy, are these monsters!!), the long-staying Tufted Flycatchers at Ramsey Canyon, Band-tailed Pigeons in upper Carr Canyon, a Black-capped Gnatcatcher nest with 3 young at the parking lot of Florida Canyon (thanks and good to see you, Jake!), Lucifer Hummingbirds at Ash Canyon and 2 active Northern Beardless-Tyrannulets at Florida Canyon.



Lucifer Hummingbirds are pretty easy at the Ash Canyon B&B this time of the year. Mary Jo’s feeders are always a highlight of a trip to the Huachucas.



This was a general purpose trip, so I was pleasantly surprised that the Tufted Flycatcher at Upper Ramsey Canyon are still hanging around. Someone pointed out the nest to me. The birds were a 200 yards lower down in the canyon and we only found these birds by recognizing their call.



Maybe the highlight was the apache Northern Goshawk juveniles near the intersection of the Hamburg and Comfort Spring trails.



This particular bird (I suspect a female) was enormous. I would estimate its length to be around 30in! Eagle sized. The apache subspecies of Northern Goshawk is the largest which is kind of counter to Bergmann’s rule which states that species in warmer climates are typically on the smaller side. Its sibling was not far off. These birds could be heard for 2+ hours almost constantly. Their call is somewhat like a high-pitch Red-tailed Hawk.


A special bird for this time of the year is the Varied Bunting which is still singing hard. Lazuli and Indigo Bunting were not far up the trail at Florida Canyon.



A big bonus of this time of the year is that Botteri’s, Cassin’s and Rufous-winged Sparrows are all singing well. A good spot for all 3 is lower Madera Canyon. This Botteri’s (note the large bill!) was at near Ramsey Canyon & Brown Canyon Rd close to Sierra Vista.

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