Slightly out of New Jersey, a Scott’s Oriole was reported in Union Square Park in NYC! I arrived and after paying 20 dollars for parking was greeted quickly by the bird sitting comfortably in a tall tree right above a subway platform exit. Oblivious to all the action below, he sat an preened for some time before dropping down into a bush line for better viewing. People were gathered around to see what the 20 or so people with bins and camera’s were watching. I wonder how many future birders were hatched today as kids and their parents learned of this rare bird from the Midwest visiting their most unlikely location. It was great to “see” the bird but the highlight was definitely “sharing” it with others.
What a great time we had visiting with family on the other side of the country! Along with that came some great Central Oregon birding! We had invigorating morning walks in the Dry Canyons near my parents house that produced some of the common species of the area (most new to me :)). Some that we saw were Mountain Chickadee and Mountain Bluebird, Canyon Wren and Rock Wren, Black-billed Magpie and Western Scrub Jay. Red Shafted Northern Flicker were everywhere and we saw two different Northern Shrike during our stay. We made it to majestic Smith Rock with its collection of serious looking rock face and climbing surfaces as well as a stream full of Barrow’s Goldeneye. A trip to John Day during the week produced beautiful looks at resting Bald Eagles and weary Rough legged Hawks. On our last day we stopped in the nearby town of Bend at local birder David Tracy’s house. There he had visiting Anna’s Hummingbirds as well as a less common female Costa’s Hummingbird. As a parting gift, we saw an awesome little Pygmy Nuthatch feeding nearby. Thanks to my family for accepting us and putting up with (and actually taking part in!) my “habit” and I can’t wait to get out there in some warm weather! Here are some of my favorites:
The first day of 2008 brought hope for a prosperous and successful new year. I decided to try my luck for a third time on getting a Greater White-fronted Goose. One was reported at the Reservoir a day earlier so hopes were high. As I arrived I saw loads of people lined up with scopes and bins watching the water (or more specifically the birds that were on the water). Turns out it was for the 5-10 thousand Snow Geese flocked in the middle of the Reservoir, and not my Greater White-fronted. So I didn’t get the one goose, but got a lot of a different sort. They were quite amazing when the moved all at once seeming like lit flares when the sun caught their wings. A single picture doesn’t truly do it justice but i thought the wall-to-wall geese in the picture above gets the point across. Happy New Year!