Tag Archives: #ABArare

Brambling – Medina County, Ohio

On December 30th, Katie Barnes and I set out to twitch two ABA rarities, Kelp Gull and Brambling, before trying to get her additional year birds. More on the Kelp Gull later. We arrived at Allardale Park in Medina County, Ohio to find 30 or so birders staking out the feeder station for the Brambling. We waited, waited, and waited some more. The bird finally showed itself in the top of a Sweetgum after an hour of waiting, but only gave brief looks before flying off. While we waited for it to return, we enjoyed excellent views of Mourning Dove, House Finch, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and a variety of other birds visiting the feeders.

Finches at Allardale Park, Medina County, OH on December 30, 2015. Digiscoped with a iPhone 6 Plus + Vortex Optics Razor HD 20-60x85 & Phone Skope Adapter. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Finches at Allardale Park, Medina County, OH on December 30, 2015. Digiscoped with a iPhone 6 Plus + Vortex Optics Razor HD 20-60×85 & Phone Skope Adapter. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

After a short, cold wait, the Brambling returned to the feeder station, but this time stuck around for a couple of minutes, giving the crowd the desired look and providing a decent photo opportunity. It was well worth the wait! Here are two of my best digiscoped shots of the bird.

Brambling at Allardale Park, Medina County, Ohio on December 30, 2015. Digiscoped with a iPhone 6 Plus + Vortex Optics Razor HD 20-60x85 & Phone Skope Adapter. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Brambling at Allardale Park, Medina County, Ohio on December 30, 2015. Digiscoped with a iPhone 6 Plus + Vortex Optics Razor HD 20-60×85 & Phone Skope Adapter. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Brambling at Allardale Park, Medina County, Ohio on December 30, 2015. Digiscoped with a iPhone 6 Plus + Vortex Optics Razor HD 20-60x85 & Phone Skope Adapter. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Brambling at Allardale Park, Medina County, Ohio on December 30, 2015. Digiscoped with a iPhone 6 Plus + Vortex Optics Razor HD 20-60×85 & Phone Skope Adapter. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Observing this bird without ticking anyone off is somewhat of a challenge, so here’s a map of where to park (red pin), where to stand (yellow pin), and the feeder station the bird visits (blue pin). Click on each pin for more information.

Let me know if you have any info to add to the map. I hope this helps clear up some confusion about seeing the bird as there have been many posts to the Ohio Birds listserv about it.

#DErare – Crested Caracara

A Crested Caracara, which will be a first state record for Delaware pending acceptance by the Delaware Records Committee, was found this morning in Millville, Delaware by Sharon Lynn. The bird was first spotted along White Necks Rd. next to the Bay Forest community.

Crested Caracara in Millville, Delaware on 8 March 2013. Photo by Sharon Lynn.

At least a few birders have seen this bird since it was first reported around 09:30 this morning. It seems that if you find a carcass in the general vicinity of the Bay Forest community and White Necks Rd. (another map here) you have a good shot of seeing the bird. The bird was also seen on Old Mill Rd. and Irons Lane in Millville, Delaware.

Crested Caracara in Millville, Delaware on 8 March 2013. Photo by Sharon Lynn.

There have been numerous sightings of Crested Caracara(s) throughout southern New Jersey since last fall and continued through February of this year. The most recent sighting was on 25 February 2013 in Salem County. Although this could potentially be the same bird, a local that lives near the Delaware sighting said the bird has been there since before hunting season, which would make it a completely different bird than the New Jersey individual.

Here are the eBird records from February and March of Crested Caracaras in New Jersey and Delaware, with the most recent being in southern Delaware. The Egg Harbor sightings are from around 10 February 2013.

Crested Caracaras breed in Florida, south Texas, and south-central Arizona. I would think (don’t hold me to this), that these vagrants are either from Florida or Texas.

The Tamest Gull

The gulls in the old Best Buy parking lot at Hunt Valley Town Centre in Baltimore County, Maryland are extremely tame. In fact, they are the tamest gulls that I have ever seen. Of course, that could be a result of constant hand-feeding from gull hungry birders looking for something EPIC or MEGA if you will.

You pull up and wind down your window and the action commences. If you lay down a slick of popcorn or chips the Ring-billed Gulls are all over it. Every time you move your hand or shuffle something around in the car the gulls go NUTS. The gulls are basically in love with the human hand which feeds them goodies. Popcorn, BBQ chips, waffle fries from Chick-fil-a, or what have you.

Ring-billed Gull at Hunt Valley Town Centre in Baltimore County, Maryland on 28 February 2013. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

When it comes down to it, you have to feed the gulls. If you don’t, you feel guilty and you will probably miss something EPIC or MEGA in the flock. It’s easy. Just stop by the nearest Wawa or Chick-fil-a and pick up something tasty. Go the the gull spot and start unloading your arsenal. Eventually, something good will turn up. I was at this same spot a couple of months ago and only saw Ring-billed Gulls. I was using plain Lay’s or LAME potato chips and nothing good showed its face, unfortunately.

Well, my reason for going there in the first place was for an adult Black-headed Gull. For my second go, I spiced it up a bit and chose some plain popcorn and BBQ chips. Alright, I went through the bag of popcorn and something magical happened.

This HAPPENED: The TAMEST Gull –

Black-headed Gull - Maryland

Black-headed Gull - Maryland

Black-headed Gull - Maryland

Black-headed Gull - Maryland

Black-headed Gull - Maryland

And a mug shot for good measure:

Black-headed Gull - Maryland

It was a lifer and it was EPIC. Although it wasn’t much of a chase, it was much better than the DIPPING session I had the last time. The bird was extremely TAME. Parking lot gulls are super TAME.

#DErare–Calliope Hummingbird in Wilmington

This bird was first photographed by Hank Davis on November 9th, but was not positively identified until last night or this morning as a Calliope Hummingbird. The bird was visiting a yard in Wilmington along with a Rufous Hummingbird. If accepted, this will be the first state record for Delaware.

Calliope Hummingbird in Wilmington, Delaware on 11 November 12, Photo by Hank Davis

The bird was supposedly observed by the homeowner this morning, but not seen during a four hour sit by a few birders this afternoon. The last time the bird was confidently observed was November 11, where Hank Davis took these photos: http://harolddavisphotography.smugmug.com/Birds/11-11-12-Calliope-Hummingbird/26516778_vtTW4R#!i=2215008194&k=qGvTZws

Calliope Hummingbird in Wilmington, Delaware on 11 November 2012, Photo by Hank Davis

Post from Andy Urquhart on DE Birds this evening:

“Although the homeowner reports that the Calliope Hummingbird was seen this morning, it was not seen during a 4-hour vigil this afternoon, despite repeated feeder visits by a Rufous Hummingbird also present on the property. A significant difficulty is that the backyard where the bird has been seen is not visible or accessible from the street. The only viewing is from inside the house. The homeowner is willing to try to arrange access for birders, but first we need to determine if the bird is still around. If it is, some directions will be issued for birders to try to get to see the bird.”

More details will be posted to DE Birds when available or if the bird returns.

Link to #ABArare post on the ABA Blog.