Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sandpipers and Gulls

I spent all morning birding the neighborhood today and found 63 species. I was actually hoping to find more migrating songbirds but I guess it's still just a few days too early. I did find a few. My first Tennessee Warbler of the year was across the street from my house, and I found a Yellow-breasted Chat on the flood plain property. I also saw my first Western Kingbird of the year on the T&C playing fields. It was flying with a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. And I counted more Nashville Warblers than I've ever counted before: 25. Most were singing. Just upstream of the new hike-and-bike trail parking lot I was pleased to find a few more Baird's Sandpipers. I got this picture of one.
On the creek just downstream of the T&C playing fields there were lots of shorebirds. I counted 120 Least Sandpiper, 4 Spotted Sandpiper, 8 Solitary Sandpiper, and 4 Pectoral Sandpiper. Here's a picture I got of the Pectoral.
Early this evening my neighbor Steven McDonald emailed me that he was seeing Franklin's Gulls, Broad-winged Hawks, and Swainson's Hawks over his house. So I went out on my back patio to see what I could find. Between 5:30 and 7:30 I counted 256 Franklin's Gulls flying north. Most were headed straight up Broadmeade and some flew right over my house. The biggest group was about 90 birds and a couple times I could hear them calling. The sound made me think of the coast and I could almost smell the salty air. It's an exciting time to be birding!


Anonymous said...

HI, Mikael: I saw the gulls too, from the top of Valburn in Northwest Hills. What a wonderful sight, flying on the ocean of air.

Mikael Behrens said...

Neat! Did you hear the gulls calling? Hopefully I can get a picture of them soon.