Monday, November 17, 2014

Duck Survey and a Bird Show

So, this is a very late post for the duck survey, but whatever.

Two Sundays ago I went on a duck survey around Concord Mills. We started at 7:30 at the well-known 'HHGregg wetland', which is a wetland behind... an HHGregg! I have seen a good variety of ducks there before, getting my lifer Northern Shoveler and American Wigeon there in previous trips, and it turns up some good birds like Wilson's Snipe (haven't seen one), Red-necked Grebe (during last winter's big irruption season- I saw it!), and an American Bittern that had been reported a few days earlier. We couldn't find the bittern but we did see some Pied-billed Grebes, Green-winged Teal, and the best views of male Hooded Mergansers I've seen. There wasn't too much there, though.

Next we went across the road to the other well-known duck spot, a retention pond in front of the Concord Mills Mall. It's right between the parking lot and the highway, but for some reason the ducks don't mind. We had three Buffleheads, some American Coots, and a well-worn male Northern Shoveler. I'm a big fan of Buffleheads, they're really cute and the males are very handsome.

Next we went to a few places I haven't gone to. One was behind a Target; the only duck there was a male Hooded Merganser. There were quite a few sparrows, including White-throated, Field, Swamp, and Song, and we listened to the bubbly song of a House Wren- in late fall!

We checked out Coddle Creek Reservoir, both north and south ends. The south end as usual was more productive, with American Wigeon, Ring-necked Ducks, Ruddy Ducks, Horned Grebes, American Coots, Common Loon, Northern Shoveler, and Bufflehead. The best duck for me was a handsome male Northern Pintail, a life bird for me! The north end and a small pond by the reservoir weren't as productive.

South End-
North End-

It was a good day of duck-watching and I had a lot of fun!

Now, onto the bird show.

I took the day off work Saturday to go to a bird fair, which was in Belmont. This is for pet/domestic birds; if you aren't interested, don't read!

I saw a wide variety of parrots, ranging from your normal Budgerigars and Quakers to Canary-winged Parakeets (now very rare in aviculture), Bourke's Parakeets, and Painted Conures! I got a lot of pictures, which I'll update with soon.

Lady Gouldian Finch
Wild-Caught Violaceous Euphonia. :(
Painted Conure
English Budgerigars
Baby Budgies!
Blue-crowned Conure preening a yellow Quaker.
Sleepy Linnies. The turquoise one looks like my own, Steve!
European Goldfinch
Young White-capped Pionus
Happy Umbrella Cockatoo
Male Paradise Whydah
Look at that tail!
Sleepy Scarlet-chested Parakeet (Male)
Baby lovebirds!
Intense Kakariki eyes!

As for my doves, the babies hatched 11/14/14.
Taken on 11/16/14
Here are the babies; you can still see the eggshell which the mother appears to eat from. The babies are almost always covered by the parents, so this was one of the rare times I could take a picture of them. They make little peeping noises when they're awake and the parents feed them crop milk, which sounds very liquid. I watched the mother feed the babies up close, it was pretty weird! The babies grow fast though; in about a week they'll be out of the nest, trying to fledge with their parents.

Happy birding and/or bird raising!