Johnson County – May 4-5, 2014

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately but I have been using extra time to be out in the field.

This past weekend I scrapped birding and exercise and used the car to check out many areas in preparation for next Saturday Johnson County Big May Day count. I am glad I did because a couple of the grassland areas have been plowed under and are now farm ground. And if we don’t get rain this week, a couple of the areas could be good for shorebirds will be dry.  But I did find a couple of new areas for shorebirds.

And I didn’t do any bushwhacking but still had FOY mosquitoes and ticks.

For the weekend I added 14 FOY birds with the highlight probably being a Black-billed Cuckoo at Johnson County Park that called for well over a minute. I waited and tried for over 30 minutes to get a look but to no avail. If history is any indication I might not see/hear one more this year.

Hear is the Black-billed Cuckoo calling on my voice recorder.  The noise at the start is me cranking up the volume.  You will also to hear it in the background.

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And I am finally starting to learn to use the camera better. Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

Is there any doubt why people go to the tropics to bird?  If I could only see bright colored birds everyday... Scarlet Tanager

Is there any doubt why people go to the tropics to bird? If I could only see bright colored birds everyday…
Scarlet Tanager

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An obliging Yellow-breasted Chat came out to see what I was up to.

An obliging Yellow-breasted Chat came out to see what I was up to.

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I came across a couple of flocks of White-crowned Sparrows.

I came across a couple of flocks of White-crowned Sparrows.

A longer shot of an Orchard Oriole that was singing from a tree top.

A longer shot of an Orchard Oriole that was singing from a tree top.

A Great Blue Heron soaring on the afternoon winds.  Not sure I have ever seen one soar in broad, wide circles like this.

A Great Blue Heron soaring on the afternoon winds. Not sure I have ever seen one soar in broad, wide circles like this. And especially this high.

A back lit Northern Mockingbird -  I just liked the pose.

A back lit Northern Mockingbird – I just liked the pose.

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

A Blue Grosbeak sitting on a lower branch after singing from the top of a neighboring tree. One of 2 on the weekend.

A Blue Grosbeak sitting on a lower branch after singing from the top of a neighboring tree. One of 2 on the weekend.

A good comparison of a Greater Yellowlegs and Spotted Sandpiper side by side. The Solitary was calling when I arrived and still calling when I left.

A good comparison of Greater Yellowlegs and Spotted Sandpiper side by side. The Solitary was calling when I arrived and still calling when I left.

 And I also actually keep track of the number of species this time of year since I was getting ready for the count.  I ended up in the mid-90’s and really didn’t hit any good migrant areas.  So next weekend looks promising if the weather will cooperate.

 

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