Monday, January 26, 2009

When can a bird sighting be counted?

Now, I've heard several people explain when you can count a bird sighting to your list. Life list or whatever. On a podcast, I've even heard a photographer, Scott Bourne, say that he doesn't count it unless photographed. So, does it require a certain amount of time in order that the bird can be clearly IDed?
I personally go with my own honor system. Though, I have been yelled at by others when I am driving and call out "Ptarmigan!" on the side of the road. Of coarse, I didn't stop driving and everyone was saying, "What", "Where", or "No you didn't". This is usually followed with a friendly name calling session.But, its with friends, so its OK.
I felt very certain that it was a White-tailed Ptarmigan from my quick look and considering we were in the alpine of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
I go back to my point of limited time / limited opportunity. At the time of this sighting, we were driving back to our cabin with a car full of 2 families. Including a 1 year old and two 4 year olds. In days past, it seemed less troublesome to quickly pull over and stalk back for the second look.
The "Distracted Birder" does the best he can with limited fuss.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cedarhurst on the Bay

Did a little drive-by birding in Cedarhurst on the Bay. There is a road in the community that has a good look over the Chesapeake. Clear views within the comfort of the car's side window. Saw a few Buffleheads, Red-breasted Mergansers, and a Hooded Merganser. Although the road viewing is convenient, I can see why the community did not fair well with hurricane Isabell.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The iPhone

I know this isn't related to birding directly, but, I recently got an iphone. I'm still learning all the uses it can provide. Two things I found of use: iBird is an iphone app that gives a field guide on your phone. I'm very intrigued, but haven't shelled out the 20 bucks. They do have a regional version for less. But really, who wants to limit themselves to "Backyard". The other really cool thing is Google maps on the phone. Its has opened my awareness to what is over the patch of trees. Figuratively.
More to come.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

NFL Birds

A reason that football and birding should go hand-in-hand. This weekend, every team that was a bird (not including the Steelers. That will be our outlier) won. Eagles, Cardinals, and Ravens. Hmmm...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

House vs Purple Finch

A mildly exciting opportunity to compare the Purple Finch with the House Finch. Both were at my feeder today. Gave me and Karen a good chance to compare the two. The House Finch is so much more common that I usually assume thats what it is. This at least gives my hope for the indigenous finch.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Year

As I read and hear of others discussing the beginning of 2009 with bird sightings, I feel that I need to post.
2009.1.1 OK, I glimpsed at the feeders and after seeing the crow and squirrels, thought how I need to cut off that branch from where the fuzzy tailed rodents drop from onto my main feeder.
As I write this, Karen tells me she saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker.
In a real effort to be "bird friendly", I bought some good bird seed from my favorite store (and former part-time employer) the Wild Bird Center.
Tomorrow. Cut that branch.