Tuesday, November 30, 2010

7
comments
Tundra Swan

The swans were still swimming today, thankfully, so an accurate identification was made. Access to the Melco flood basin site adjacent to the landfill is restricted access but they do give birders permission to set up their scopes if something exceptional is being seen. So today I joined Pat and Jane Bell and Carol Besse for a brief, cold, and wet look at some beautiful swans. It was determined the mystery swans were Tundra Swans based on the extensive pink on the bill of the juvenile and the yellow spot on the bill which was seen on an adult.

So I was able to snap off a few more pictures, but nothing exceptional. The pictures were taken through my scope and it was raining pretty hard, plus I had to crop them way down, so they may resemble the Loch Ness Monster more than a Tundra Swan.




The dusky looking bird above on the left is the juvenile. It's tough but if you look closely you can see the bill is mostly a pinkish orange color, with black at the tip, as opposed to the juvenile Trumpeter Swan, which has black at the base of the bill as well. Nevertheless, we proceeded to get closer to be 100% sure we were correct. When we got closer the birds started to swim away, guess we were getting a little too close, but luckily Carol was able to spot the yellow spot on the bill, confirming the hunch that it was a Tundra Swan. I wasn't able to capture that in the pictures unfortunately, but you can see how some of the birds have a rusty tinge to their heads and necks, which I recently learned they acquire from foraging in ferrous wetland soils.

On another note, I will be participating in World Bird Wednesday, a meme created by Springman at the Pine River Review to bring together nature bloggers from around the world to share out sightings. Check it out!

Monday, November 29, 2010

1
comments
Swans

A group of 11 Cygnus spp. swans were seen at the Melco Flood Basin adjacent to the landfill today. It was too far me for to tell whether they were Tundra or Trumpeter Swans. I have some grainy photos that may help in identification that I will post later when I get home.

Here are the photos I managed to get. Not much help. If you have any idea or inclination which species it may be leave a comment. Thanks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2
comments
Print Give-a-way Winners

The time has come to draw the winners for the free print give-a-way announced two weeks ago. All readers had to do was "like" the Landfill Bird Blog on facebook to be eligible. Without further ado, the winners are: 1st place - Georgia Silvera Seamans, 2nd place - Nancy Meyers, and 3rd place - Colleen Cole. Congrats to our winners and thanks to everybody for reading and participating.

Monday, November 22, 2010

0
comments
Kentucky Sandhill Crane Season

It is that time of year again when Sandhill Cranes begin to fly over Kentucky on their migration south. The birds announce their passing with a loud trumpeting call that is endearing to many. Sandhill migration is a tradition with birders much like spring and fall migration or the arrival of ducks in winter. It is an opportunity to see really cool birds that do not breed or overwinter in our area as they pass through for a short time twice each year. It also gives birders the opportunity to see a Whooping Crane which are often mixed in with the Sandhills, an opportunity I had around this time last year.

Unfortunately, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has recently decided to open a Sandhill Crane season in the state in 2011. The bird is apparently tasty, having earned the nickname "Ribeye of the Sky". And while I am usually very sympathetic to hunters and their rights, I see a problem with an open season on Sandhill Cranes, and I am not the only one. A new group call KY Coalition for Sandhill Cranes has been created to give a voice to those whom wish to see the Sandhills keep their protected status. There will be no public comment on the issue before a decision will be made as to the rules and regulations of the proposed season. That means certain stakeholders that "use" the wildlife in a non-consumptive fashion will not be allowed to have their say regarding the issue before a final decision is made. Please consider joining the KY Coalition For Sandhill Cranes if you too would like to oppose the creation of a Sandhill Crane season in Kentucky.

Sandhill Cranes
A flock of Sandhill Cranes flying over the landfill on December 11, 2009

There are a some problems with the proposed season other than offending the sensibilities of a few birders. First and foremost is the fact that Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes migrate together. Historically the birds migrated together before Whooping Cranes populations took a big hit. Knowing this fact, when Whooping Cranes were reintroduced to the wild they were purposefully imprinted on Sandhill Cranes so the two species would migrate together. Millions of dollars have been spent on captive breeding of Whooping Cranes and their reintroduction to the wild. With the eastern population standing at 96 birds, it would be a big blow if just one was accidentally killed. That represents thousands of dollars that went into caring for that bird. A second issue with the season is that these birds do not breed or winter here, merely passing through. That means the birds killed in KY also belong to every other state that Sandhill Cranes migrate though. Essentially, a season here would damage the viewing pleasure of our neighbors to the north in Indiana and other states that do not have a season.

I love birds but I also respect people's rights to shoot them as well. I have no problem with dove and duck hunting, as they are well organized and thoughtful limits are put in place. But the way KYDFW wishes to proceed without public input is not the way to go. I don't have any legitimate argument with the season other than what I mentioned above. Sandhill populations are large as such that they could probably withstand light hunting pressure and not many hunters would pursue the bird. But I still feel legitimate in saying that I wish the birds not to be hunted because I just don't think they should be. Why should that argument be any different than those who seek to hunt them just because they want to? It feels like the state is chasing dollars because they are in a budget crunch and are willing to put things on the table that they were not before. I see the proposed season as useless and arbitrary as a Black Bear or Woodcock season. It really serves no purpose other than to serve a small constituency that wish to see it happen. When in reality the opposing constituency is probably even larger in number but lacking in a orchestrated voice. That is why I encourage you to join KY Coalition for Sandhill Cranes in their effort to make those heard that are against the proposed season. *Steps off soapbox*

Sunday, November 21, 2010

0
comments
Swamp Sparrow

The answer to the quiz in the previous post was Swamp Sparrow. Congrats to Richard for guessing correctly. Here are a couple more photos I took the same day.

Swamp Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Thursday, November 18, 2010

7
comments
How Well Do You Know Your Sparrows?

So you think you're a good birder huh? Well now is your chance to prove it. The first person to correctly guess which species of bird this is below will win a free 4x6 print of any picture posted on the blog or from my flickr page. Leave your guess in the comments section. Good luck!

Guess This Sparrow

0
comments
Fox Sparrows

Species 152 for the landfill is the Fox Sparrow! I turned up a group of around 6 or 7 Fox Sparrows while doing the afternoon point counts. I was really excited to see these guys after what has been a boring summer and fall because of the heat and drought. Also because I've only seen this bird once before in my lifetime. But I think the cold front and rain has the birds out and moving about more.

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

0
comments
Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Saturday, November 13, 2010

0
comments
Print Giveaway

To celebrate the new blog design I am having a free print giveaway! All you have to do to be eligible is to click on the FACEBOOK link in the navigation bar above (or this link) and "like" landfill bird blog on facebook. After two weeks I will pick a random name from our followers to see who wins the prizes. First prize is an 8"x10" print of my Chestnut-sided Warbler, second place prize is a 5"x7" print of my Yellow Warbler, and third place prize is a 4"x6" print of my Red-winged Blackbird. See below.

First Prize

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Second Prize

Yellow Warbler

Third Prize

Red-winged Blackbird

All you have to do is "like us" on Facebook and you will be eligible for these awesome FREE prizes. I will notify the winners on Facebook by sending a message and posting the winners names on our feed. Good luck everybody!

0
comments
BIG Changes!

Welcome to the new Landfill Bird Blog! I've spent a lot of time putting together the new format and it is looking great! There are still some issues to iron out like text color but for the most part the site update is complete. There are lots of new features to check out. Starting from the top you will find the HOME, POSTS RSS, and COMMENTS RSS buttons that will allow you to easily bookmark our updates. Below that you will find the CONTACT, CALENDAR, and RARE BIRD MAP pages. I encourage you to check these pages out as they are great features for allowing you to find my contact info and where all the best birds have been seen on the landfill. At the top of the right side bar are social bookmarking buttons that allow you to share the site with your friends! The Flickr photostream grid has been moved to the sidebar along with a list of species that have been seen on the landfill to date. Last but not least is the flying goose favicon at the top to add that extra touch. I'm excited to bring this update to the Landfill Bird Blog and I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

0
comments
Fall

Wait, breeze blowing
Seedheads dance their stilted jig
Yesterdays life blood blows across the ground
Raked into piles after gently falling down
Stop, squirrels scurry
Hoarding mast for winters freeze
Berries ripen as robins bite them
Carried aloft on autumns breeze

American Robin

0
comments
Morning Menagerie

There were a lot of good birds out and about this morning. A group of Cedar Waxwings have been around lately, possibly eating Japanese Honeysuckle berries that grow rampant out here. These guys finally stayed put long enough for me to get a long distance shot of them.


This Song Sparrow was doing a balancing act before landing on the fence.


White-crowned Sparrow and Mourning Dove

Swamp Sparrow

0
comments
Kentucky Buck




Saturday, November 6, 2010

0
comments
House Finch Female


0
comments
Furry Lunch

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

0
comments
Signs of Fall

Finally it feels like fall here in Kentucky. After what seems like 5 months of summer, colder weather has returned. There has been very little fall color this year because everything is brown and brittle. However, I was able to find a few signs of autumn.





0
comments
Red-tailed Hawk

0
comments
Take Flight

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More