Connecticut Warbler at McCabe Nature Preserve

Early this afternoon I found a Connecticut Warbler at McCabe Nature Preserve (eBird checklist). I think this is the first record for the preserve, which is located just outside of Milton, Delaware. I had high hopes of landing a Nashville Warbler or Blue-headed Vireo for my Delaware year list, but had no expectation of finding a Connecticut Warbler (CONW). The bird wasn’t acting like a textbook CONW (you know, skulky and hard to see), but was straight up chillin’ on bare branches in a young hardwood stand. Who goes out to find a Nashville Warbler and finds a Connecticut Warbler? Anyway, I don’t have much time to write so here are the photos.

The next three photos are a bit overexposed, but still get the job done.

Neotropic Cormorants at the Blythe Fish Ponds

This morning, the Tobins (Michelle and Jennifer), Bobby Wilcox, and I had two Neotropic Cormorants at the Blythe Fish Ponds in Blythe, CA. Who would’ve guessed the Blythe Fish Ponds would be in Blythe, CA? Anyway. Neotropic Cormorant is a review species in California. There was one individual present 1 March 2013 that David Vander Pluym and Lauren Harter of Phainopepla Fables found. Based on David’s photo here, I think these two birds are new. Both birds seen today were not missing or molting primary feathers like the one in David’s photos. Here are the photos of today’s birds. If you’re interested in looking for these birds or birding the fish ponds in general check out this Google Map I created: http://goo.gl/maps/bq5dy

Neotropic Cormorants - California

Neotropic Cormorant - California

Neotropic Cormorant - California

Neotropic Cormorant - California

Neotropic Cormorant - California

Neotropic Cormorants - California

Blythe Fish Ponds, Riverside, US-CA

Apr 18, 2013 7:55 AM – 8:34 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.4 mile(s)
Comments: Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.5.2
24 species

Cinnamon Teal  1
Redhead  6
Ruddy Duck  3
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Neotropic Cormorant  2
Great Blue Heron  10
Great Egret  9
Snowy Egret  4
White-faced Ibis  190
Turkey Vulture  6
Osprey  1
Common Gallinule  1
Black-necked Stilt  3
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Least Sandpiper  3
Long-billed Dowitcher  9
Rock Pigeon  2
Burrowing Owl  1
Cliff Swallow  25
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  15
Common Yellowthroat  1
Yellow-headed Blackbird  30
Great-tailed Grackle  15

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S13788527

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Palmyra Cove – Rufous Hummingbird

About a month ago I conducted a rarity loop throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania picking up the MEGA Northern Lapwings and Sandhill Cranes in New Egypt. While the Sandhill Cranes were less of a MEGA than the lapwings, they were still a nice addition to my New Jersey life list. I also haven’t seen Sandhill Cranes since the week I spent in Nebraska during peak crane migration in 2011. It was definitely a nice bonus on top of the lapwings.

From New Egypt I carried on toward an Ash-throated Flycatcher spot that was already occupied by hunters holding a Youth Day. Sadly, I just skipped out on searching for the flycatcher and drove towards the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border to stake out the continuing Rufous Hummingbird at Palmyra Cove Nature Center. It wasn’t long before I was watching the Rufous Hummingbird at the feeder next to the entrance from a few feet away. The hummingbird was another addition to my New Jersey life list and was definitely a nice treat to see in the middle of winter.

Rufous Hummingbird - Burlington County, New Jersey

Rufous Hummingbird at Palmyra Cove Nature Center in Burlington County, New Jersey on 19 January 2013. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Palmyra Cove Nature Park, Burlington, US-NJ
Jan 19, 2013 10:10 AM – 10:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.01 mile(s)
Comments: Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.5.2
13 species

Ring-billed Gull  26
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon  2
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
American Crow  2
Carolina Chickadee  2
Carolina Wren  1
American Robin  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
Northern Cardinal  1
American Goldfinch  1
House Sparrow  12

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S12654024

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

In addition to this individual, I’ve seen another Rufous Hummingbird in Chester County, PA, an Allen’s Hummingbird in Bucks County, PA, and an Anna’s Hummingbird in New Castle County, DE this year. Click the links to read all about them!

Mallards know how to “do it” on V-Day

Although these photos were not taken on Valentine’s Day, they still show that Mallards can “do it” any time, or during mating season. These photos were taken on February 17th, 2011 at Millbrook Marsh in State College, PA. The male definitely wears the pants in this relationship. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Review – Phone Skope Camera App for Android

The Phone Skope Camera App is only available for Android at this time, but hopefully it will be out for iOS in the near future. Before I converted to the iPhone 4s, I used the camera app on several occasions, mostly taking pictures of birds through a Celestron Regal 80 F-ED Spotting Scope. I am extremely pleased with the results I have obtained as the weather conditions have been less than ideal for photography. In rainy, foggy weather the camera produces identifiable photos with relatively decent quality. The image stabilizer feature is phenomenal when taking handheld photos. The only downside to the app is that it will not take a photo unless the phone is completely still. Overall, a great app from Phone Skope!

Although these photos are not top-notch, they show that the app can produce identifiable photos under any conditions. This can come in handy when you see that Tufted Duck or Northern Lapwing in the rain or fog.

Belted Kingfisher at the Newark Reservoir on 10 December 2012. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Canada Geese at the Newark Reservoir on 10 December 2012. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Phone Skope makes custom adapters for any smartphone and spotting scope combination. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter!