Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Since last update the microscopic menace has combined with Chaos on steroids to diminish my birding output. Since my last update the yard has only brought me a Great Crested Flycatcher and Yellow-billed Cuckoo to put the number at 126. Since May 30th I have had no additional Yard Birds for the year. The summer are typically the height of the doldrums, but this year seems especially so. I think the lack of additional birds in the yard, and the craziness of Chaos has piled on to extremely de-motivate my birding.
May I missed 100 birds for the month, ending at just 99. I did have some highlights with some decent shots at a female Orchard Oriole at the feeders. The Red-tailed Hawk made a few passes at the feeders. It eventually got better as I've seen it take at least 3 squirrels from near the feeders. I picked up a trail cam to try to catch some pics/videos. It didn't capture one successful attempt, so will have to play with it. On June 24th I thought I was going to have to rescue one of them from being tangled in vines. From my eBird checklist:
Details: First one caught something black under the feeder. Possibly a Grackle. Found a couple of feathers. Flew up into a dead, broken tree and struggled with whatever it was. It ended upside down mixed in with vines. After about 5 minutes of struggle it dropped to the ground, then spooked up into a tree by Turkey, empty taloned. Second one snagged something reddish. No feathers, so possibly tree squirrel or Cardinal.
I beat my June Big Day Yard on day 1 with 32 birds, above previous of 29. Several Wild Turkeys have been nearly daily visitors with one large male showing off a few times. I managed 51 birds in June, above my high of 39 previous. A huge Thank you to the new eBird setup. Much easier to look up summaries like this now.
I tried to push things by going out on June 20th to see if I could kickstart things. I managed 7 year birds for the County, but nothing too special. It still didn't help. July 6 I did the same, with 3 additional year birds for the County, but I still didn't feel normal. July 8th I caught the bug. I was at 68 birds after just stopping at a few spots in the morning. I didn't realize my July Big Day was only 71, so I headed out for the evening to try to chase down more. 6 FOY helped to contribute to a new Big Day for July of 81 birds. Felt really good to be on a chase like that. I think if I head back out some more I should be able to pass my high of 100 for July.
One of the birds on the Big Day of July 8th was a blue bird, with very reddish markings on its wings. I have some audio recordings, that may or may not be the same bird. There was definitely Indigo Buntings around there. This bird really stuck out up on a wire with sun behind me. I know INBU can be very mixed in color, but this looked just like Blue Grosbeak markings. It didn't look chunky enough though. I tried to find it the next day and just found INBU still. Just really frustrating as my camera lens had broken earlier in the day so I couldn't get a pic of this bird on the wire. I may not give up on it, as it is at the same spot as what I hope is active Osprey nest on F DR N.
I did manage to add Vesper Sparrow and Black-billed Cuckoo (decent looks) to the 5MR patch on 7/9. July 6-9 trips out and about did manage to add new birds too the current Patchs I have on eBird. So not only were these trips food for the soul, but adding to some lists also. I don't see how I am going to get to 150 for the Yard for the year, so I think my only real goal, outside of Days/Months, is to see if I can pick up 1 more Yard Bird to get overall to 150.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)