Kittiwake!

 

Hi all!

At about five this morning I jumped out of bed, hearing the classic ‘I Like the Way You Move’ from Outkast blasting out of my phone. It was something that I had missed doing for sometime, and that was birding. I have been extremely busy with this absolutely useless thing called life, really? So today was the day I could step out of being Eddie and become Eddie who just wants to bird.

There had been a Black-legged Kittiwake at Steelworkers Park on the Southside of the city, and because of the seldomness of this bird, I really wanted to check it out. Since my mom had to be back home by eight for a Paddle Tennis game, we only had an hour or so to look for the bird, so we had to get in the car early. After about an hour in the car we got there and headed straight to the canal. The sun hadn’t risen yet so we had to wait for some time for light to come and wake up the birds. One Red-throated Loon flew by just as the sun peaked out over the horizon. Red-breasted Mergansers streamed by, and landed in the canal along with multiple Herring, and Ring-billed Gulls. After about thirty minutes, two gulls flew over our heads, and it looked like one of them had a black neck. I put my binoculars up, and sure enough, it was the Kittiwake!

 Black-legged Kittiwake

Black-legged Kittiwake

It slowly drifted out right into the sun before landing and settling down at the mouth of the canal.

 Black-legged Kittiwake

Black-legged Kittiwake

We watched it for a few minutes, attempting to get some half decent photos, but we pretty much failed. A few minutes later it was time to go, so saying bye to the kittiwake, we walked back to the car, and drove the 45 minute drive back, and arrived at about eight, just as all of small town Western Springs seemed to be getting moving. I had seen another lifer, Continental ABA #581 and Illinois #304!

All for now!

Eddie/Kidbirder

 

Ecuador Day 1

Hey all!!!

I was in Ecuador for 10 days of birding, and I’ve finally gotten my recaps of my days there together, so here I go!

We arrived at about 6:30 last night, to a completely pitch dark, Ecuador. We met with our guide Rob Ripma, from Sabrewing Nature Tours, and got on a bus to the hotel. I don't think I slept at all! I was up at about 4:45 the next morning, trying to get my first lifer of the trip. Sadly enough, the sun doesn't rise until six. My first bird was at 5:30am, an Eared Dove. After breakfast, I went out and saw my first good birds, such as Rufuos-collard Sparrow, Fawn-breasted Tanager, and Black-tailed Trainbearer. We then headed to Yanacocha reserve at about ten thousand feet, with Rob and our Ecuadorian guide, Edison Buenanos. We saw Blue-winged Mountain-tanager,

 Blue-winged Mountain-tanager

Blue-winged Mountain-tanager

Andean Condor, Variable Hawk,

 Variable Hawk

Variable Hawk

Sword-billed Hummingbirds,

 Sword-billed Hummingbird

Sword-billed Hummingbird

and Shining Sunbeam on the walk along with a few other birds. From there, we continued on to Tandayapa Valley where we saw birds like Golden Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager, Golden-crested Flycatcher, Flame-rumped Tanager, Smoke-colored Pewee and many more. We headed for the lodge that we were staying at, called Septimo Paraiso, near the town of Mindo. Upon arrival we had Palm Tanager, Flame-rumped Tanager, Gray-breasted Wood-wren and the best bird here, was a Wattled Guan, that we heard when we pulled up.

After taking our stuff to the room, we headed in the direction of the Wattled Guan. It was calling from some trees very high up and a ways back. Edison got on it very quickly. It was just sitting and calling every few minutes. We watched it for a few minutes, before it moved on. We checked some of the Hummingbird feeders and found Brown Violetear, White-necked Jacobin, Lesser Violetear, and Fawn-breasted Hummingbird. Other than that, nothing else happened.

 

Good birding!!

Eddie/kidbirder who is trying to keep up with his blog

Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary

Hello Again!  

The reason this post is coming in so late is just because I wanted to finish the biggest week blog first.

Last week my mom took us to Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary to do a few hours of birding. When we got there, we found a few warblers right off the bat, such as Connecticut,

 Connecticut Warbler

Connecticut Warbler

 Mourning, Bay-breasted, Cape May, Black-throated blue, Wilson's,

 Eastern Wood-pewee

Eastern Wood-pewee

Black-throated Green,

 Black-throated Green-warbler

Black-throated Green-warbler

 and Canada Warbler. A few Scarlet Tanagers were around, and every thrush

 Gray-cheeked Thrush

Gray-cheeked Thrush

 other than Hermit, was seen. I also had a record number of American Redstarts at 50! Other than that, the hedge produced a Hooded Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler,

 Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

 Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. So I would say, It was a great day!

Good birding!

Eddie/kidbirder

Montrose Point, Lincoln Park, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, US
May 16, 2017 7:36 AM - 10:27 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.1 mile(s)
82 species

Canada Goose4
Mallard (Northern)  2
Double-crested Cormorant4
Great Blue Heron (Blue form)  2
Killdeer3
Bonaparte's Gull1
Ring-billed Gull25
Herring Gull (American)  2
Caspian Tern6
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  3
Mourning Dove2
Yellow-billed Cuckoo1
Chimney Swift11
Ruby-throated Hummingbird1
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
Olive-sided Flycatcher1
Eastern Wood-Pewee2
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher1
Willow Flycatcher1
Least Flycatcher4
Great Crested Flycatcher1
Eastern Kingbird1
Philadelphia Vireo3
Warbling Vireo (Eastern)  10
Red-eyed Vireo3
Blue Jay4
American Crow2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow3
Purple Martin35
Tree Swallow3
Bank Swallow3
Barn Swallow (American)  12
Black-capped Chickadee2
Red-breasted Nuthatch1
House Wren (Northern)  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (caerulea)  2
Veery3
Gray-cheeked Thrush6
Swainson's Thrush (Olive-backed)  16
Wood Thrush1
American Robin8
Gray Catbird7
European Starling5
Cedar Waxwing11
Ovenbird2
Northern Waterthrush3
Black-and-white Warbler3
Tennessee Warbler5
Nashville Warbler (ruficapilla)  1
Connecticut Warbler2
Mourning Warbler3
Common Yellowthroat3
Hooded Warbler1
American Redstart3
Cape May Warbler6
Northern Parula2
Magnolia Warbler16
Bay-breasted Warbler3
Blackburnian Warbler2
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  2
Chestnut-sided Warbler4
Blackpoll Warbler9
Black-throated Blue Warbler3
Palm Warbler (Western)  8
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  9
Black-throated Green Warbler4
Canada Warbler4
Wilson's Warbler2
White-crowned Sparrow (leucophrys)  22
White-throated Sparrow3
Song Sparrow1
Lincoln's Sparrow6
Scarlet Tanager1
Northern Cardinal3
Rose-breasted Grosbeak1
Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged)  10
Common Grackle (Bronzed)  25
Brown-headed Cowbird1
Baltimore Oriole2
American Goldfinch1
House Sparrow8
 

Biggest week at a Glance

Hey all!

Long time no see! Sorry for the absence, I've been extremely busy with school and sports, but now I'm back for good! Last week, I had the chance to go to the Biggest Week in American Birding, in Oak Harbor, Ohio. I was invited to speak about young birders at the festival this year, and I readily excepted. I have gone to The Biggest Week for the past four years, and I love it. The people are amazing and the birds never disappoint. Kimberley Kaufman is the coordinator of the festival, and the head of Black Swamp Bird Observatory  (BSBO.) The festival has been around for the past eight years, and it is the largest birding festival in America.

We arrived late Wednesday night, after my brother's birthday. I was pumped because this is one of my favorite times of year. After settling in at our condo, and collapsing into bed, we got up around 5:30 am the next morning. We drove to Magee Marsh in anticipation of a great day. When we got there, we noticed it was pretty quiet, by Magee standards. We walked the boardwalk for a few hours and found a few birds such as Northern Parula,

 Northern Parula

Northern Parula

 Blackburnian Warbler, 

  Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

  Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

  Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler,

  Black-throated Blue-warbler

Black-throated Blue-warbler

and Black-throated-blue Warbler. We headed back to BSBO to go to the optics alley, which is where most of the cameras and binoculars are sold, or rented. We stopped and said our hellos, before heading over to watch Noah Stryker do his keynote presentation on amazing bird behaviors. Afterwords, we checked out the social event, but we headed home kind of early, because I had to get up extra early for a trip I was co-leading the next morning.

The next morning, Tyler Ficker, a young birder that currently attends The Ohio State University, picked me up around 6:30 am. We drove about 45 minutes to Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve. We were leading a trip with Sarah Lucas and Jeremy Dominguez, two amazing birders from southern Ohio. We had a total of 65 species for the day, with the highlights being Scarlet Tanagers, Northern Parulas, Blue-headed Vireo, and a Mourning Warbler that I heard. After a quick attempt at Huron Point to try and see a Black-headed Gull, we headed back to Black Swamp where I picked up a Canon EOS-1DX Mark ii to try out. It was amazing! 14 images per second! It sounded exactly like a machine gun! It took me a while to get used too, but I did get some decent shots! The boardwalk had an American Woodcock,

  American Woodcoc  k

American Woodcock

a few Nashvilles,  a Magnolia,

  Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

and a few Black-throated Greens, but other than that, it was dead. We went to Maumee later that night for the social, but before we headed inside, my brother and I went to the Maumee Bay boardwalk to look for Eastern-screech Owls. We found two birds, a Gray phase

  Eastern-screech Owl (Gray phase)

Eastern-screech Owl (Gray phase)

and a Red phase. After taking a few photos of them, we headed back to the social. It had been a halfway decent day!

Saturday morning we got up around 5:30 am and headed over to the boardwalk. The variety was better, but quantity was down. There were some decent looks of a Whip-poor-will perched just off the board walk, but other than that, it was not very active.  I was co-leading a walk with Tyler McClain and Nate Koczycki. It was the Ohio Young Birders Club annual Biggest Week walk. We had about 65 species, a decent amount, with the best birds being Black-crowned Night-heron, Yellow-throated Vireo, and a few Scarlet Tanagers. I had to leave the walk early and go to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge for my presentation. I got there about an hour early and waited for the previous presentation to end. Once it was over, we headed on in and started to set up. A few minutes before my presentation, we realized that my mom's Mac didn't have an HDMI output and we couldn't hook up to the projector. My dad was kind of panicked. We tried at least finding another laptop,  but the IT guy wasn't around and we were scrambling. My mom left to go back to the condo and get my computer, but when she opened the door to our condo, a Barn Swallow flew in! My mom then made a quick decision to grab the computer and go, leaving the screen door open for the swallow to fly out, which it eventually did. By the time she got back, one of the workers had found a computer and my dad was able to put my presentation on it. From there, everything went smoothly and I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts on how to get more kids involved in birding.

The Social that night was awesome! Kimberly gave a great closing speech and they raffled off a pair of Zeiss binoculars and and a Swarovski spotting scope!!! Of course we didn't win them, but it was still cool. After that, we hung out for the rest of the night, then headed back to the condo. When we got home, there was a Whip-poor-will singing across the harbor. I tried to find it but I couldn't.

Sunday was our last and best day there. We got to Magee around 6:45 am after picking up Mariel and Angel Abreu from Nature is Awesome Birding and Wildlife tours. When we got to the boardwalk, it was loud. Very loud! Tons of warblers were singing and flocks of 25-50 were flying over. I was ecstatic!

  Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

We started at the boardwalk and noticed the migrants moving along the lakefront, heading west. So we left the boardwalk, and headed to the west end of the parking lot to go to the Estuary Trail. We started by birding around the little breakfast shack. There were warblers flying over and around us constantly! About 15 Scarlet Tanagers were feeding in a tree, flocks of 100's of Redstarts were flying in, a Cerulean Warbler was singing, and at least two Mourning Warblers were feeding on the side of the path. It was crazy! We continued walking towards the end of the trail, while hundreds of birds continually poured in. We got to the end of the trail and just stared up. I had never seen anything like it before! I estimated about 150 migrants about every five minutes! Blackburnian Warblers were going over, along with Prothonotary Warblers and lots of other great birds. The migration started to slow down by 9:00 am, so we started to walk back slowly towards the parking lot, but that took a while. Even more birds were in the trees : Philedelphia Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Prothonotary Warbler, Black-throated Blue-warbler, and a lone Eastern-screech Owl. The boardwalk was pretty decent for the amount of time we were there, which wasn't long. Tyler Ficker called me and told me that he was going to go to Pearson Metro Park to go find the Connecticut Warbler, and to see if I wanted to go with him. Tyler drove me to Black Swamp to drop off my Canon 1DX Mark ii. While there, we said our goodbyes to Kimberley and we took a picture of all of the youth birding guides.

We then continued on to Pearson. We got out of the car and checked in a location where the Mourning Warbler had been seen, nada. We saw where all of the birders were heading and walked that way. About 50 people were lined up trying to at least hear it. We waited for about fifteen minutes before heading back to our car, and heading back to Magee, to do a little more birding. We stopped by optics alley, and said goodbye to everyone. Then we headed out. It had been a really amazing trip. I had lead a few trips, done a presentation about young birders, and had an amazing time with the best birders I know! I can't wait for next year!!!!

 

Thank you for everything BSBO!!

 

Good birding!

Eddie/kidbirder

European Goldfinches

Earlier this year I went to see European Goldfinches at The Bird Nest, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We were on our way to ski practice, but it didn't start until 3:00 so we had some time to kill. We got there around 1:15, thinking it would be quick in, quick out, type birding. But it wasn't. The owner of the store was really nice, and told us what feeders they were coming to, and how often they came. We waited about ten minutes before the first bird showed up, then to get better views we went out the back door, and stood within thirty feet of the feeders. Once out there, they all came in. About fifteen European Goldfinches, one hundred House finches, a hundred House Sparrows, along with juncos and tree sparrows. We took tons of photos of the birds when they were at the feeders, then a car would come by, and scare them off. The birds would all fly up into the trees and sit there for a few minutes before returning to the feeders.

 European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch

During that time, I got pretty nice photos of the finches, before we had to leave at about 2:15. My brother and my dad had gone back to the car about thirty minutes before I did, since it was freezing. I said I would take a few more photos, but you know how that goes. So I ended the day with my first life bird of 2017, the European Goldfinch and we were a bit late to practice;-)

 

Good Birding!

 

Eddie/kidbirder

"Bird Nest" Feeders, Kenosha, Wisconsin, US
Jan 8, 2017 1:51 PM - 2:44 PM
Protocol: Stationary
13 species

Ring-billed Gull2
Herring Gull (American)  4
Red-bellied Woodpecker1
Black-capped Chickadee4
Red-breasted Nuthatch1
European Starling3
American Tree Sparrow19
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  17
Northern Cardinal2
House Finch50
American Goldfinch13
European Goldfinch16 Photos counted to exact all comes no to feeders
House Sparrow7

Brant

Hello again, 

On Sunday morning, we were heading down into the city for our Christmas tradition of visiting Santa, eating at the Walnut Room, and hanging out at the Christkrindlmarket. I was extra excited because I thought I might have a chance to see a Brant. At around 2:30 we headed back to our car and my mom said we could try for the Brant! I was really happy. My mom dropped us off at Grant Park and we walked past Buckingham Fountain, and crossed Lake Shore Drive to Monroe Harbor. It was snowing the big wet snow flakes, so I had to have my camera and binoculars under my coat. We walked north along the harbor towards a flock of geese. We checked that flock, but there were no small geese. I almost said to turn around and head back the other way, because I thought I saw a large goose flock fly in, but my dad saved the day by saying, " Why not just look at these birds ahead of us, we don't want to miss this bird by a hundred yards!" So I continued on north, towards a smaller flock of geese. I stopped about twenty-five yards out and bam! There it was!

 Brant

Brant

It was snowing really hard and my hands were frozen, so my best photo was on my phone, sadly enough.

IMG_1842.jpg

 We watched it, and photographed it, without getting our cameras wet, for the most part. It came within five feet of me twice! But after that, we had to go because my legs, hands, and head were frozen, and I didn't want my camera to break. We called my mom and she came and picked us up. It was the perfect ending to a great day.

Monroe Harbor, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, US
Dec 4, 2016 2:33 PM - 2:52 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.3 mile(s)
5 species (+1 other taxa)

Brant (Atlantic)  1 Photos, next to building at Monroe harbor
Canada Goose50
scoter sp.  2
Herring Gull (American)  3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  3
Hermit Thrush1

 

All for now!

Eddie/kidbirder

King Eider Attempt 2

For the second time, we headed back to try or the King Eider. We got there around 2:30 pm and walked north toward the orange netting around a large rock. Once I got there, I pulled out my scope and started scoping Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Mergansers, and some Mallards. The Black Scoters I had seen the day before were in the same place. I scoped farther out than yesterday and on my way south, I ran into this big brown bird? I stopped the scope and looked and there it was the KING EIDER! I was literally jumping up and down because I was so excited. We told a lady that we had found the bird, so she came over and photographed it with us. 

 King Eider

King Eider

 

Three Long-tailed Ducks flew in and made a huge splash in the water,

flushing up all of the Buffleheads, we left the King Eider and walked south towards North Point, I noticed a large raft of Scoters and scoped them out. It turned out to be mostly Red-breasted Mergansers but there were eight SURF SCOTERS floating with them. After that, we left. The light had started to fade so we figured it was time to go.

 

Good birding!

 

Eddie/kidbirder

Lake Park--Linnwood Water Treatment Plant to Bradford Beach, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
Dec 2, 2016 2:38 PM - 4:03 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.4 mile(s)
Comments:     Two birders a dad and a dog
If you want more details on the eiders location, contact me through kidbirder.com
13 species

Mallard (Northern)  7
Greater Scaup5000
King Eider1 Photos, seen from orange netting int the water south of rugby field
Surf Scoter8
Black Scoter9
Long-tailed Duck4
Bufflehead20
Common Goldeneye26
Red-breasted Merganser500
Ring-billed Gull13
Herring Gull (American)  25
Thayer's Gull1
Mourning Dove1 

King Eider attempt 1

Currently we were driving to lake park in Milwaukee Wisconsin to go and see a king eider. This king eider has been present for the last week and I’ve never seen one before. This would be ABA 521 and world lifer 614. We live in Western Springs IL, so its close to an hour and a half drive to see the bird. 

We arrived and I immediately started scoping. I found About twenty Bufflehead, 4 Greater Scaup, and ten Red-breasted Mergansers. Scoping into the waters of Milwaukee, I also found a few Herring Gulls and one Ring-billed Gull. We walked farther down the beach towards the point. As we were walking, we came upon 9 Black Scoters!

 Black Scoters

Black Scoters

 

I Personally love scoters. I’m not sure what it is about them, but I just love to see em. We continued walking along the beach, but saw nothing other than a few Buffleheads. It had started to sprinkle some so we started to slowly walk back towards the car s little disappointed. I kept scoping along the bank and found all off the same birds plus a very confused Downy Woodpecker hopping on some rocks. Scanning out over the water one last time before we had to go, I found a few more Common Goldeneye’s and Red-breasted Mergansers. But we had to go. Hopefully I will get to see one soon!

Colorado Day 3

Hello Again,

 

Today was more of a calm day. We stayed at a hotel last night, and this morning, we picked up my dad from the airport. We did some shopping, and headed to our condo. When we got to the condo, I noticed that a stream ran straight along side it. Eagerly, my brother and I hopped out of the car with our football to get some play time in,. Before we could start, I had to walk to the edge of the river to scope it out. There were two AMERICAN DIPPERS about fifteen feet out. I was really excited because they seemed really tame. I ran back and got my camera while my dad and my brother set up their fly rod. I crept up over a little bridge, when I heard the dipper calling. It landed ten feet away! I crept up behind a little plant and laid flat on my stomach and fired away.

 American Dipper

American Dipper

For the next 40 minutes I was watching four American Dippers feed and sing all along this little creek.

 American Dippers

American Dippers

I got the best looks of dippers I had ever seen in my life.

 American Dipper

American Dipper

After being patient with the bird above on the stick, he flew across the river, and slowly walked towards me. I was laying down flat on the rocks, with my camera barely above the water. I laid very still trying to photograph it, but it walked too close! Over my lens in fact! I don't have any photos to show how close it was, but I was shaking with excitement.

I got up and left. There were trout everywhere so I wanted to fish. But I had no luck.

 

Good Birding!

 

Eddie/kidbirder

Birds Seen today:

Common Raven 

American Dipper

Song Sparrow

Starlings

Black-Billed Magpie

American Goldfinch

Nebraska and Colorado Day 2

Hi again,

Today was more of a driving day, but I did get to see a few nice birds from the car.  The best part about today was the snow!  Winter storm Argos swept through western Nebraska,  so snow was plentiful. It was a slow day birding wise, but I did get a Nebraska Lifer, the ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, on the drive. As we approached Colorado, SNOW GEESE appeared in the sky in the thousands.

 Snow and Ross's Geese

Snow and Ross's Geese

Going 70 mph on the highway, I had my camera pointed out the window photographing them. Overall after looking through binoculars, I estimated one flock had 5,000 SNOW GEESE and 1,000 ROSS'S GEESE.

 Snow and Ross's Geese

Snow and Ross's Geese

We came upon a flock of about 50 Mallards and Canvasbacks. A few Canada Geese were seen, but not in as high of numbers as the Snow Geese had been. Cackling Geese came in small flocks mixed in with the Canada Geese, but were outnumbered 100 to one. Western Meadowlark, European Starlings, and Rock Pigeons were ever present along the fences and pastures. 
 

 

Good birding!

Eddie/kidbirder

 

Birds:

  1. Canvasback50
  2. Mallard250
  3. Rough-legged Hawk1
  4. Belted Kingfisher1
  5. Snow Goose5050
  6. American Kestrel5
  7. Western Meadowlark7
  8. Ross's Goose  1517
  9. Cackling Goose75
  10. Canada Goose650
  11. Red-tailed Hawk  2 

License plates:

 

NEBRASKA:                        COLORADO:

Nebraska: in state                 Colorado: In state

Pennsylvania 1                     Nebraska 3

North Dakota 2                     California 1 

Indiana 15                             Missouri 2

Iowa 9                              Arizona 1

Illinois 5                                 Illinois 1 

Oregon 4

South Dakota 1

Maine 3

Kansas 3

Ohio 2

Missouri 5

California 4

Tennessee 2

Alabama 1

Michigan 2

Texas 1

Idaho 3

Wisconsin 2

Florida 1

Wyoming 1

Colorado 3

Oklahoma 7

Georgia 2

Arizona 1

Minnesota 3

Louisiana 1

North Carolina 1

Montana 1

 

Ontario 2

Quebec 1