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Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm thankful for....A new life bird!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow American blog readers out there! I was going to list a few things in the natural world that I'm especially thankful for today, but an unexpected sighting takes the cake today as I got a new life bird!

This guy must have gotten blown off course during some of the recent wind storms, because he/she is supposed to be out in the ocean but instead has been hanging out here in a city park. It's a red phalarope! (Same as the grey phalarope for those of you in Europe.)


Red phalaropes breed north of the Arctic circle and migrate offshore, so they are the least often encountered of the three North American phalaropes. They are late migrators with many of them heading south in November, going as far as beyond the equator. Funny, there's no red on it at all this time of year, but you can tell them from other phalaropes in winter plumage (here are some red-necked phalaropes from a few months ago) due to its all gray back with no streaks and stouter bill.

Red phalaropes are known for being fairly approachable and this one is no exception, because some fellow birders have reported getting to within a couple feet of it in recent days. No such luck for me today, because despite the rain a lot of other folks were out enjoying the park and it was a bit skittish of the edges of the pond. I may have to try again in nicer weather if it sticks around.

Finally, this mallard was just too pretty not to share as well:

6 comments:

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

nice one Monika - A lifer...do you have twitchers over there in the pacific NW. Birders who travel miles at the drop of a hat to get a new bird on their lists - if you aren't familiar with the term?

Cheers

D

Warren Baker said...

Great species for your list Monika. Do you have a list ?

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

SNAP! http://birdblog.merseyblogs.co.uk/archives/2009/11/sure_as_night_f.html

On my old patch a mile from ma n da's house - might get a chance to see it on Sunday

Cheers

D

Monika said...

Dave - We do have twitchers, though I haven't heard that particular term widely used. There were a couple other birders out there to pick up the species yesterday in the rain, too. Let us know if you get a chance to see that one this weekend! The weather is better here today so I'm off to see if I can't get some better photos.

Warren - It was a great find, a new lifer for both my parents too. I do keep a life list. This was #315 for North America.

Heather said...

Congrats on the lifer! (Also, congrats on the new camera.)

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