Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

My excellent adventure in India

Fantastic trip to Thattekkad, Kerala, India, November 22-26, 2014. I stayed at the Hornbill Camp, which I highly recommend for intrepid travellers. I felt very safe there. Saw some interesting critters: A four-foot monitor lizard. A mongoose. The Malabar Giant Squirrel. And of course the birds I saw…93 species in all:

Jungle Myna
Common Myna
Black Baza
Red-wattled Lapwing
Whiskered Tern
Common Pigeon
Malabar Parakeet
Common Hawk Cuckoo
Jungle Owlet
Brown Hawk Owl
Sri Lanka Frogmouth
Great Eared Nightjar
Jerdon’s Nightjar
Indian Swiftlet
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Greater Goldenback
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Rufous Treepie
House Crow
Red-vented Bulbul
Jungle Babbler
Alpine Swift
Ashy Drongo
Ashy Woodswallow
Asian Fairy Bluebird
Asian Paradise-flycatcher
Barn Swallow
Black-hooded Oriole
Black-naped Monarch
Blyth’s Starling
Brahminy Kite
Bronzed Drongo
Brown Shrike
Brown-breasted Flycatcher
Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
Cattle Egret
Common Iora
Common Kingfisher
Crested Goshawk
Crested Serpent Eagle
Crimson-backed Sunbird
Dark-fronted Babbler
Drongo Cuckoo
Flame-throated Bulbul
Golden-fronted Leafbird
Great Tit
Green Bee-eater
Green Sandpiper
Grey Junglefowl
Grey Wagtail
Grey-fronted Green Pigeon
Heart-spotted Woodpecker
Indian Golden Oriole
Indian Pond Heron
Intermediate Egret
Large-billed Leaf Warbler
Lesser Goldenback
Lesser Whistling Duck
Lesser Yellownape
Little Cormorant
Little Spiderhunter
Loten’s Sunbird
Malabar Barbet
Malabar Grey Hornbill
Malabar Woodshrike
Nilgiri Flowerpecker
Orange Minivet
Oriental Honey-buzzard
Oriental Magpie Robin
Paddyfield Warbler
Plum-headed Parakeet
Purple Heron
Purple Sunbird
Purple-rumped Sunbird
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Rufous Babbler
Rusty-tailed Flycatcher
Small Minivet
Southern Coucal
Spotted Dove
Stork-billed Kingfisher
Streak-breasted Woodpecker
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Verditer Flycatcher
Vernal Hanging Parrot
White-bellied Treepie
White-breasted Waterhen
White-browed Wagtail
White-cheeked Barbet
White-throated Kingfisher

Our biggest week in American birding 2014

We just spent May 8-10, 2014, at the Biggest Week in American Birding in Oregon, Ohio. What a trip! This 10-day festival is located in Northwest Ohio, which for several weeks in the spring is the Warbler Capitol of the World. To find out more, visit


  • Seeing 24 lifers out of 94 species.
  • Getting Kenn Kaufman’s autograph on his Field Guide to Birds of North America.
  • Getting the autographs of Madison Grimm and Adam Grimm on their limited edition (1 of 100) posters commemorating their first place finishes in the 2013 Federal Duck Stamp Contests for their age categories, and honor of having their paintings appear on this year’s duck stamps. These father and daughter native Ohioans are incredible artists; Madison was only 6 years old when she painted her winning Canvasback in oils. I met her at the reception for them; she’s a very precocious 7-year-old who is an incredible artist like her father. I also got her autograph on the 2013 Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Amazing.

What I wished I had:

  • A flash extender. I will buy one of these very soon.

What we saw in Magee Marsh, Metzger Marsh, the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and surrounding fields in Oregon and Oak Harbor,OH:

American coot

American goldfinch

American kestrel

American redstart

American robin

American wigeon

American woodcock

Bald eagle

Baltimore oriole

Barn swallow

Black and white warbler

Black-billed cuckoo

Blackburnian warbler

Black-capped chickadee

Blackpoll warbler

Black-throated blue warbler

Black-throated green warbler

Blue jay

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Blue-winged teal

Brown thrasher

Brown-headed cowbird

Canada goose

Canada warbler

Cape May warbler

Chestnut-sided warbler

Common gallinule

Common grackle

Common merganser

Common tern

Common yellowthroat

Dark-eyed junco

Double-crested cormorant

Downy woodpecker


Eastern kingbird

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern phoebe

Eastern screech owl

European starling

Gray-cheeked thrush

Great blue heron

Great egret

Greater yellowlegs

Green heron

Grey catbird

Hairy woodpecker

House sparrow

House wren

Indigo bunting

Kentucky warbler


Least flycatcher

Louisiana waterthrush

Magnolia warbler


Mourning dove

Mourning warbler

Nashville warbler

Northern cardinal

Northern flicker

Northern waterthrush


Palm warbler

Prothonotary warbler

Purple martin

Red-eyed vireo

Red-tailed hawk

Red-winged blackbird

Ring-billed gull

Rose-breasted grosbeak

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Scarlet tanager

Song sparrow

Sora rail

Summer tanager (first year male)

Swainson’s thrush

Tree swallow

Trumpeter swan

Turkey vulture


Warbling vireo

White-crowned sparrow

White-eyed vireo

White-faced ibis

White-throated sparrow

Wilson’s warbler

Wood duck

Wood thrush

Yellow warbler

Yellow-breasted chat

Yellow-rumped warbler (mainly Myrtle)

Yellow-throated vireo





Painted turtle

Snapping turtle

My osprey photo

It doesn’t get much better than this sometimes. Tuesday, August 13: Found out that my osprey photograph took second place in the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program’s 2014 Calendar contest – out of 100+ entries. The same day: Gary Lefko, admin of Colorado Birder ( put my osprey photo on the website banner with a photo credit. He interviewed me and made me Featured Colorado Birder. That’s some rarified air; you should see the photos other Colorado Birders post there.Image

Crazy good birding in Teller Farms

Whatta day birding in Teller Farms! Star and I started out from the Teller Farms North trailhead and went south and east in search of the elusive Dickcissel (new for me). Ran into a birder who told me where to look for the Dickcissel and the reported Bobolinks. Sure enough, saw two and heard two Dickcissels! Saw two Bobolinks, which was only the second time I’d seen them. The first time was two years ago in South Dakota. While Star ran loose (legally) and had a great time playing with other dogs on the trail, here’s what else I saw:

Blue Grosbeak (new for me; thought it was an Indigo Bunting)

Brewers Blackbird

Barn Swallow

Red-winged Blackbird

European Starling

Western Meadowlark

Eastern Kingbird fighting with a Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Red-tailed Hawk

American Robin

A Sparrow I couldn’t ID. Maaaaybe a Savannah Sparrow??

Wish I’d had my camera. Would have gotten some great pics of the Bobolinks.

Hiking the South Mesa trails

Great hike with Marty and the dogs tonight on South Mesa trails (below Eldorado Canyon south of Boulder). Saw some great birds:

Lazuli Bunting (first for both of us)

Spotted Towhee

Mountain Bluebird

House Finch

Say’s Phoebe

Yellow-Rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)

American Robin

Great Blue Heron overhead

Camping in Pike National Forest

Celebrated Memorial Day 2012 weekend by camping at the Kelsey Campground in the Pike National Forest. Would have been a great place to camp if it hadn’t been windy, if the campsites were level, and if we didn’t hear boom, boom, boom every day (shooting range not far away).

Saw the following birds:

  • Townsend’s Warbler (first for me)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Pine Siskin
  • Stellars Jay
  • American Crow
  • Western Wood Pewee
  • Magpie
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  • Mourning Dove

I know we saw more than this, but that’s all I can recall this evening.

Birding with Dee on our fabulous trip across Nevada and California!

Thank you Dee for putting together this list of birds that we saw on our trip!!


Species Name Race
Blackbird Red-winged
Blackbird Brewer’s
Blackbird Brewer’s
Coot American
Crow American
Crow American
Dove Mourning
Duck Ruddy
Gallinule Purple
Gnatcatcher Black-tailed
Goldfinch American
Grackle Great-tailed
Grackle Great-tailed
Grebe Eared
Grebe Pied-billed
Grebe Horned
Gull Ring-billed
Hawk Red-tailed
Hawk Red-shouldered
Heron Green Little
Hummingbird Anna’s
Hummingbird Black-chinned
Kestrel American
Moorhen Common
Night-heron Black-crowned
Phoebe Say’s
Phoebe Black
Pigeon Rock
Pigeon Rock
Pipit American
Quail Gambel’s
Rail Virginia
Raven Common
Shoveler Northern
Shrike Loggerhead
Sparrow White-crowned
Sparrow House
Starling European
Teal Green-winged
Warbler Yellow-rumped
Wren Marsh


Species Name Race
Blackbird Brewer’s
Chickadee Mountain
Chickadee Mountain
Chickadee Black-capped
Crow American
Crow American
Crow American
Dipper American
Egret Great
Grebe Eared
Gull Ring-billed
Harrier Northern
Harrier Northern
Hawk Sharp-shinned
Hawk Red-tailed
Hawk Sharp-shinned
Heron Blue Great
Hummingbird Anna’s
Jay Steller’s
Junco Dark-eyed
Kestrel American
Magpie Yellow-billed
Meadowlark Western
Meadowlark Western
Nuthatch White-breasted
Nuthatch Pygmy
Nuthatch White-breasted
Owl Barn
Phoebe Black
Quail California
Raven Common
Raven Common
Raven Common
Robin American
Robin American
Scrub-Jay Western
Siskin Pine
Sparrow House
Sparrow Song
Sparrow White-crowned
Starling European
Titmouse Juniper
Titmouse Tufted
Towhee California
Vulture Turkey
Woodpecker Acorn

Birding at Walden Ponds in Boulder

Gorgeous fall day. Marty and I took the dogs to Walden Ponds, where there’s always great birding. As we walked along, I said, “Listen to that blue jay – it sounds just like a red-tailed hawk!” Well, uh, it really was a red-tailed hawk. Here’s what we saw:

Gulls (I don’t know gulls because I really don’t care too much about them)
Black-capped Chickadee
American Robin
Northern Flicker
Belted Kingfisher
Blue Jay
American Coot
American Widgeon
Pie-billed Grebe
Red-tailed Hawk
Canada Goose
Common Goldeneye
Ring-necked Duck
Redhead (duck)
Great Blue Heron
and a lone Bufflehead.

Birds of Denmark

OK, so I haven’t been blogging. It seems as though I post pictures and thoughts on Facebook rather than my blog. I got back last week from a 2-1/2 week work assignment in Ringkøbing, Denmark. It was an incredible trip – not just because I was in a beautiful country on my company’s dime. I had a car. I had time to explore West Jutland. I saw fabulous birds that might be lifers (unless I get back to Europe):

  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Greenfinch
  • White Wagtail
  • Yellow Wagtail
  • Grey Heron
  • Goosander
  • Hooded Crow
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Greylag Goose
  • Spoonbill
  • Lapwing
  • White-tailed Eagle (Sea Eagle)
  • Meadow Pipit

And I saw more commonplace birds, but it was still good to see them so far from home:

  • Oystercatcher
  • Tern
  • Coot
  • Mute Swan
  • Long-Billed Dowitcher
  • Cormorant
  • Black-Headed Gull
  • Common Gull
  • Magpie
  • Collared Dove
  • House Sparrow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Crow
  • Blackbird
  • Starling

Hiking and birding

Hiked the Meadowlark Trail in Deer Creek Canyon on Friday, and saw some great birds:

Female Bullock’s oriole
Lots of spotted towhees
Canyon wren
Sparrows (so hard for me to differentiate!)
Northern flicker
Others that were just too darned fast for me to id.

Then this morning, Marty and I took the dogs on a tough hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Serious inclines on the Beaver Trail. Felt like I was climbing a 14er! Only a few birds:

Brown creeper, my first in the U.S.! Saw one two years ago in Costa Rica. The brown creeper is North America’s only creeper.
Dark-eyed junco (gray-headed)
Steller’s jay
Sparrows again in the leaf litter (and no, they’re not house sparrows). Maybe if I get the Sibley’s Guide to Birds for my birthday, it’ll be easier to identify them…

Any day birding and hiking with my honey and our dogs is a great day!