Tuesday, June 2, 2009

May 29

A life bird, four "new" species for the year, and some other cool stuff! Not a bad day of birding!

The first "new" bird I saw was the Least Bittern which I spooked out of some vegetation on the bank of Pond 9 first thing in the morning. He flew into the next clump of rushes and before I had the chance to get the camera on him he had disappeared.

Eurasian Wigeon, left, and a Ruddy Duck.

Later that day I saw my lifebird, a Eurasian Wigeon, also on Pond 9. A new life bird is pretty exciting, that makes two for this year.

A White-faced Ibis walking past a nesting American Avocet on Pond 9.

There was also a flock of Brewer's Sparrows flitting from bush to bush along the edge of Pond 9. And I finally found a White-faced Ibis! I can't believe it took this long!

I also saw this male (note the blue on his throat) Desert Spiny Lizard near Pond 7. He was doing "push-ups" on the rock. I later read on the Internet that it is a territorial display.

A Killdeer pretending to be injured.

A Killdeer nest.

A Killdeer cooling its eggs.

Then a couple of Killdeer and a Roadrunner put on a real show for me. I arrived just in time to see two Killdeer run off a Roadrunner from their nest. Then one of the parents pretended to have a broken wing to lead me away from their nest. I backed off, but before I left I saw the killdeer that was sitting on the nest do an interesting thing that I had just read about that morning in a birding magazine. She went over to the edge of the pond, wet her belly feathers and came back and crouched over her eggs. Apparently as the water evaporates it cools the eggs. I read that Killdeer eggs are only viable to 108 degrees. This nest was out in the open and the only protection from the southern Nevada heat was what the parents could provide with their bodies. Amazing that they can pull it off.

Why did the Turkey Vulture cross the road?

And finally, I saw a Turkey Vulture running around on the ground. I think he had been feeding on a dead coot that was nearby. Not something you see every day.

No comments: