Monday, December 30, 2013

Gone, Back Again and Almost There

What a week. I've been to Vermont to see a Northern Hawk Owl, York PA for family Christmas Eve, Florida to visit my mother and Dave, and then to Cape May to see 2 more contest birds.

No birds in York at all and only a few in Florida. Mostly, we visited, ate, drank beer, rode around in a golf cart (don't worry, not after the beer part) and swam in the pool.  I did manage to snap a few photos of Ibis and Cranes. We were able to get up close and personal with both species as they meandered next to the golf cart paths on Christmas Day.

White Ibis
Sandhill Crane
Of course, a new bird showed up in Cape May while I was in Florida. I could scream. We arrived back in Philly at 11:15 PM last night and I was in Cape May this morning at 9:30 AM today to see the bird. I know, I know - NUTS! White-winged Dove #354. It's the dove in the background with the white wings :-)

Mourning Dove (front), White-winged Dove (rear)
You might be sick of this by now but guess what else I saw today?  Yep - another Snowy Owl, #6 for the year.  This one was stationed on the beach at Cape May Point. All of the Cape May birders were on the beach looking at it when I got there. You should have seen the expression on their faces when Roxy showed up. Ha. She didn't go onto the beach with me but I could tell they were nervous (smirk).
Snowy Owl - Cape May Point
I got a bonus bird today too - Whooper Swan. This is a rare bird that may or may not count toward the contest since most birders say that it is probably escaped from a zoo or something. But Patty and I are not taking any chances. We saw the bird and are both putting it on our lists.With any luck at all, this bird will be #355!  Notice how much yellow it has on the bill.

Whooper Swan with Canada Goose
Almost done. 1 more day to go in the contest. We plan to go to Tinicum tomorrow to finish the contest in the field. We don't expect to add to our totals but hopefully we will get some good local birds.
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