Monday, November 25, 2013

Rarity Run Part 2

So yesterday I set out to check for a few rarities around town.  My first stop in the morning was at Lakeside Park where I struck out on a Forster's Tern and some Bonaparte's Gulls from the previous evening.  However, a check in the afternoon was successful.  The Forster's Tern is a very late record for Southeast Arizona with no records that I know of in November.  

Forster's Tern
There were also two Bonaparte's Gulls near the shore.  Unfortunately one of them got tangled in some fishing line.  I watched from the other side of the lake as three men tried to untangle it.  By the time I drove around to the other side they had managed to free the bird.  Apparently it hadn't been hooked at all, but I stayed and watched it to make sure it was okay.  After ten minutes of watching it motionless on the edge of the water I decided to approach it hoping it would be okay to fly off, but instead it went into the water.  Birders later reported seeing both birds flying all around the lake, so it seems to be fine.

Bonaparte's Gull
Another nice surprise was a this Merlin.

Since the lighting was much better than on Friday, I decided to see if the Black Scoter was still around (see previous post here).  Success!

Black Scoter
To cap off a great afternoon of rarities I found the continuing Lewis's Woodpecker in the park.

Lewis's Woodpecker
Have a great final week of November!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Rarity Run

Some fantastic birds were found today in Tucson after/during a big rain storm.  First I went to Kennedy Lake to check out six Bonaparte's Gulls.  It turns out I got there just in time.  As soon as I started taking pics, they flew up high and out of sight.  They're rare here, a state bird for me.  Coincidentally, there was one at Lakeside Park today at the same time.

Bonaparte's Gulls
 CERange Map for Bonaparte's Gull

The best bird of the day and the top candidate for Pima County bird of the year was a female Black Scoter!  It was found on a concrete pond behind a police station in Reid Park.  The only other time it's been seen in the county was in 1975, with only two previous records for Southeast Arizona.  Sweet lifer!

Black Scoter
CERange Map for Black Scoter