Friday, June 10, 2011

These Wonderful Birding Days!

This last week of birding has just been spectacular for me!  Nope, I haven't gone down to Central America racking up 300+ life birds.  I haven't been on any field trips or anything of the sort.  I've only been birding my backyard and my patch...oh I guess I did make that quick little trip down to Provo to see an awesome life bird Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.  In my backyard I've been enjoying photographing Western Tanagers and I got a life bird too, the female Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  I've added several birds to my Utah life list recently and a couple were without even trying...a Northern Mockingbird and six Common Grackles at Lagoon, a popular theme park just north of Salt Lake City.  Neither of those species are especially common in my area and as such are always a treat to see.

Today at work I was swamped with an urgent project and worked right through my typical lunch-hour birding.  I was kinda bummed.  When I came home, I hugged my beautiful bride then went out to check the bird feeders as is my custom.  I went to turn on the garden hose to refill the birdbath when I spooked a larger bird from off the fence.  I saw the white-wing patches as it awkwardly flew and knew the bird instantly.  My heart gave a flutter. Luckily, it landed on the neighbors fence and I was able to take the photo below.  Yep, another great bird to add to my yard and Utah list!  And its not the "adding to my list" that is so important, its really the enjoyment of the variety and total awesomeness of each bird.

Sometimes I just feel like the birding gods are smiling down upon me.

Happy birding everyone and have a great weekend!

Common Nighthawk


  1. These are really hard to photograph, and your photo is a beauty. Congratulations!

  2. That is awesome, Robert. I feel like daytime nightjar sightings are among the rarest and most special experiences in birding. Yesterday, I thought I spotted some kind of goatsucker flying during the day and wanted desperately to stop there on the highway to check it out!

  3. Cool!! I have never seen one. Awesome picture!

  4. @Linda @Mike - Thanks for commenting. I have found that Common and Lesser Nighthawks are not so hard to find in daylight, if you find a roost. With Common Nighthawks, I have found roosts with several dozen of them. They are hard to photograph because they are usually in the shade and their cryptic pattern doesn't always photograph well. I was really excited to get that photo in the daylight!

    @Hilke Breder - If you can ever get to Malhuer NWR in Oregon, I can tell you where you can find dozens of these awesome nighthawks.

    I am looking forward to a bird field trip Tuesday night to hopefully see Poorwills for the first time and maybe add a few owls to my Utah life list.

  5. Oh Robert, they sure are! I love nighthawks! I used to see them all the time in Syracuse, UT at the Bluff Road park. (It has another name I can't remember). It is a great place to bird! I use to have them in my yard and on my fence also when I lived in Clearfield, UT. So, so special!