Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lunch-hour Birding at My Patch

Being the father of four, we have a busy lifestyle.  I have to sneak in my birding whenever I can.  My lunch hour has proven a very effective time to ditch the cubical farm and rejuvenate my mind with the wonderful respite nature provides.  Sometimes birding the same area day after day is...well...just ordinary; good, but ordinary.  The arrival of each new migrant species in its season is thrilling and adding new birds to your patch list is almost as exciting as seeing birds for the first time.  Today was a special lunch-hour birding session as I was able to add two birds to my patch list.  One of the birds was especially cool because I had only seen one of its species previously, and that was six years ago!

Here are some recent bird photos from my patch!

Blue Grosbeak - my 2nd time ever seeing one! and a new bird to my Utah and patch life lists!  

This photo is from a long distance for my small lens, but still diagnostic. This one surprised me and I wasn't quite sure what it was at first, but my gut told me Blue Grosbeak even though the plumage was mottled.  Once I got back to my office, I found that The Stokes Field Guide was the best resource and shows a great picture of a 1st summer male very similar to the plumage shown in my photo.

I also saw a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, but it was too deep in the brush to get photos.  This was a first to my Utah and patch list too!

Here are some more birds I've been enjoying:

"Get off my territory! I've got ladies to breed with here buddy!" (At least that is what I think he was sayin'.)
This is the game "Where's the bully?" - male Bullock's Oriole hidin' up there somewhere.
Warbling Vireo
Cooper's Hawk - juvenile
Yellow Warbler - female - notice the plain breast rather than the red streaks on a male.
How about a little blue on blue?!  Did you know that "Lazuli" is the name of a shade of blue?
Ratty lookin' Western Scrub-jay
American Robins, no matter how common and always cool and pretty!
Western Tanager - almost Idaho's State Bird
I was decked out in my camo hat and jacket and leaning against the truck of an adjacent tree in the shade when the Tanager swooped down and then up and over me.  Awesome!


  1. A Blue Grosbeak, cool. I know where I'm going tomorrow.

  2. hehehe....I sneak in birding all the time too! Lunch-time birding is always good. You definitely had a good lunch break today! Love that last shot. It's really cool!!

  3. @Norm - Let me know when you're going there and I'll see if I can join you!

    @Kelly - Thanks! Nothin' like be dive-bombed by a Western Tanager.

  4. that in flight shot of the tanager is awesome!! sweet pics!

  5. Awesome indeed! Good work! What a way to spend your lunch time!