So many Birds … So Little Time

Yellow-crowned Night Heron ... This young Night Heron has been hanging out for a couple of weeks and it was nice catching him bathing this morning.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron … This young Night Heron has been hanging out for a couple of weeks and it was nice catching him bathing this morning.

Well, I’m down to the last two weeks of the year.  I’ve been on an incredible run the last couple of weeks adding a handful of new species to my Big Year list but also realizing that I just don’t have enough time to chase everything that I would like to.

RAZORBILL-12-14-2012-6493-B

The past week or so Florida has been experiencing one of the most incredible birding spectacles EVER.  For some reason MANY, and I can’t emphasize many enough, Razorbills, a species that is rarely seen in our waters have been seen in the 1,000’s.  We have also had unheard of numbers of Scoter’s heading South.

Razorbill

Razorbill … This was the 229th species of bird I have photographed this year in Palm beach county Florida!!

Razorbill's ... Huge flocks of these seen all over the Florida coast!

Razorbill’s breed in Canada, Iceland and other far Northern shores and rarely migrate South of Maryland and Virginia.  Multiple hypothesis have been thrown out to as why the birds have left their normal feeding grounds.  I’ve heard that possibly Hurricane Sandy disrupted their feeding grounds.  I’ve heard that possibly a shift in the magnetic poles has them disoriented.  The thing that really worries me is does the Florida coast have sufficient food to feed them this Winter and will they be able to make it back North to breed next year. 

The 3 other species I picked up this week were a Swainson’s Hawk, Grasshopper Sparrow and Canvasback.  The Hawk and Sparrow were seen on the same morning while riding my bike at Loxahatchee NWR and the Duck was seen while riding at STA 1 East.

Grasshopper Sparrow ... was species #226 photographed in the county.

Grasshopper Sparrow … was species #226 photographed in the county.

 

Swainson's Hawk ... was # 227 for the county.  This was a really good sighting this late in the season and there was actually 3 of them kettling with the Turkey Vultures!

Swainson’s Hawk … was # 227 for the county. This was a really good sighting this late in the season and there was actually 3 of them kettling with the Turkey Vultures!

Canvasbac ... This is the first male I've seen in the county and was the 228th  species photographed this year.

Canvasback … This is the first male I’ve seen in the county and was the 228th species photographed this year.

The decisions on what to chase have become tough these last couple of weeks.  I still need a couple of Duck species.  The Pelagic show on the beach is out of this world and Brian Hope called right before work today with a report of 4 Eiders he saw today. I still could get an American Goldfinch or Common Myna and possibly a Sparrow or two.  There is just so much I’d like to chase and just not enough time left.

So I guess I’ll leave it up to God and hope that while I’m on the beach looking for Pelagics that a flock of Goldfinches fly by being chased by a Short-tailed Hawk.  We’re due for a good cold front next weekend so maybe that will help drive a few more rarities this way.  Thank you so much for visiting and being patient with my lack of posts! 

 

Advertisements

About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
This entry was posted in Birds, Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to So many Birds … So Little Time

  1. Vicki says:

    the Razorbill is a very interesting looking bird. Nice to find another nature site, and I look forward to your new posts.

  2. Marcello Gomes says:

    Tom, once again you have excelled with your awesome finds! There’s no doubt that your Christmas wishes will come true. You seem to know where to be at the right time. Congrats!

  3. mike585 says:

    The first image is a really nice capture, Tom.

  4. Nice Razorbill – don’t see that guy much! Congrats on the Grasshopper Sparrow too, I’d like to see one of those.

  5. I love the birds you feature in your blog. You’ve been looking for the American Goldfinch…For the first time, I have 13 female American goldfinches weathering over this winter in my village in Wisconsin. They come to my yard to feed on Niger seed. Wishing you the best in spotting more species this year. Betsy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s