Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Birds #160 and #161: a Dove and a Flycatcher

I spent a couple hours this evening birding the neighborhood. Overall it was slow -- sometimes there is increased bird activity in the evening like there usually is in the morning, but not tonight. When I got to the intersection of Briar Hollow and Meadowheath I looked across the smaller creek and saw what appeared to be a White-winged Dove but I couldn't see the white wing patches. So I got my binoculars on it and saw a thin dark crescent on the back of its neck -- it was a Eurasian Collared-Dove, bird #160 on my neighborhood list! This is an introduced species (like starlings) that is rapidly increasing its range over the continent. I wonder if this bird is just starting to appear in our neighborhood, or if I just haven't been looking at our White-winged Doves closely enough. If anyone has seen these birds in the NASWC area before I'd love to hear about it.

From there I crossed the smaller creek and went onto the flood plain property. There was nothing very notable there until I was leaving near the end of Braeburn Glen. A medium-sized flycatcher was perched on top of a tree softly vocalizing. Through my binoculars I could see a dark head, white "saddlebags" on its back, and part of a streaky "vest" on its body. It was an Olive-sided Flycatcher, also new for my neighborhood list. This bird summers mostly in Canada and Alaska, so it's just passing through. On my way back home 12 or 13 Common Nighthawks flew over me on Braeburn Glen. It's neat to see them in big groups like that as they migrate north. As I continued home down Broadmeade and it got dark, I let my gaze widen to enjoy the fireflies.


Anonymous said...

Wow, A Eurasian Collared-Dove! Have you seen many of these recently? Maybe I should read the rest of the blog first before I ask. Hah.

Mikael Behrens said...

I've only seen Eurasian Collared Doves one other time in the neighborhood. A pair was flying over a soccer game on the T&C playing fields.

And once Steven McDonald had either a Eurasian Collared Dove or a Ringed Turtle Dove in his yard on Perthshire.