Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More birding

The family and I got up early to go birding. I had intended to take them to the Osage Trail between 86st N and Sperry, but we didn't like the parking situation. We went out to Keystone Dam instead. Took Avery Drive and then old Highway 51. Stopped on both sides of the Dam. Not a lot going on, intermittent rain kept most of the birds down. As we were crossing the dam, I spotted a raft of ducks on the lake, fairly close to the dam. Couldn't stop on the dam, though. Damn dam safety rules. They were letting a lot of water out of the dam, which slowed things below the dam down some as well. There were a lot of pelicans below the dam. I saw four of them do something I've only read about; co-operative fishing. They form up in a circle, then rush inwards beating the water with their wings, herding fish into a eating zone, then scoop them up. I also saw a Great Blue Heron which thought it was gull. It was flying low over the water, and then dove into the water grabbing a fish. It then had to fly away quickly to avoid the converging pelicans. I've never seen or heard of Great Blues fishing like this. One exciting sighting; As we were going up Old Highway 51, The Wife called out, "Cardinal, but that wasn't a Cardinal". I stopped the car, got out the field guide and started looking at red birds. She rejected a tanager, and described a black mask on the bird. I showed her the Vermilion Flycatcher. As soon as I showed her the bird she said, that's it! A pretty rare bird for this part of Oklahoma. We went back and looked around for ten minutes or so, but failed to find it again.

The list for the day:

Rock Pigeon
European Starling
Red-winged Blackbird
American Robin
Turkey Vulture
Carolina Chickadee
Eastern Phoebe
Vermilion Flycatcher
Blue Jay
American Crow
Savanna Sparrow
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Ring-billed Gull
Double-crested Cormorant

Fifteen birds, including five new ones for a total of 39 year birds for the family. (I noticed that had in fact counted House Sparrow before, so adding it to the number here was wrong.)


Mike Looney said...

Dafydd, I need my camera back soonish.

Dafydd said...

Is this weekend soon enough?