Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
|Swainson's Thrush by Lee Weber|
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Everyone who goes to the beach has noticd the tiny sandpipers that run along the beach, chasing the waves as they wash out, then retreating as they crash back in to shore. Those very common birds are sanderlings.
What an odd sight last week when four sanderlings were found on a mudflat on the Catawba river near Belmont, for only the second local record in over twenty-five years. Seeing birds so far out of their preferred or normal habitat can make even serious, experienced birders do a double take.
Birders ticking off the sanderlings for their county or year lists were also treated to another extremely rare local shorebird, a buff-breasted sandpiper. This species typically is found in short-grass habitats, but there one was on a mudflat with a flock of killdeer.
It is going to be very interesting to see how many species of shorebirds end up getting tallied in Mecklenburg in 2015. there are several species whose occurrence here is a real possibility.
|Sanderling by John Ennis|
The buff-breasted sandpiper is more commonly found in short grass areas, as pictured below.
|Buff-breasted sandpiper by Phil Fowler|
Monday, September 21, 2015
|Red-headed Woodpecker by Phil Fowler|
|Blue Grosbeak by Phil Fowler|
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
|Yellow-breasted Chat by Lee Weber|
|American Goldfinch by Lee Weber|
|American Redstart by Jeff Lewis|
Black and White warblers are common too. They forage along the trunks and limbs of trees gleaning insects from bark crevices; unlike most other insectivores that glean from the foliage.
|Black and White Warbler by Jeff Lewis|
Magnolia warblers are pretty numerous too. Like most species, the immatures like the one below, outnumber the adults,
|Magnolia Warbler by Jeff Lewis|
|Tennessee Warbler by John Ennis|
Friday, September 11, 2015
I was lucky to find three semipalmated plovers this week along the Catawba River near Belmont. Plovers are small to mid-sized shorebirds. The semipalmated is one of the smaller species. The birds i encountered were immatures, much like the bird pictured below.
|Immature Semipalmated Plover by Jeff Lewis|
In breeding plumage, the adults are more boldly marked with a solid black neckband. They superficially resemble the killdeer, another larger plover that is common in the Piedmont pretty much year-round. Adult spring semipalmated plovers are shown immediately below.
|Adult Semipalmated Plovers by Taylor Piephoff|
Killdeer, shown below, are about twice as large. they have two bold neckbands and are extremely noisy most of the time, especially when startled or when birders get too close. The seem to alert other birds in the area to potential danger by their racket.
|Killdeer by Ron Clark|