Yeah, we got snow. Lots and lots of snow, but that didn’t stop me from birding this afternoon. I saw a surprising number of rarities for this time of year and for this area — must have been the Nor’easter.
The first bird I saw was very far from home. I am not sure of the exact species, but it sure was decked out in warm weather gear. You’d think he (or she) would be toasty in the above freezing temperatures here in Bethesda without all that warm weather gear.
The second bird I spotted was a common resident here in all seasons, but most welcome in the winter after a snow when its red coloring is a vibrant contrast to the snow.
I was delighted to spot my third bird of the day. This one of my favorites and, not counting today, I’ve only seen them two other times in my life — and had to take a boat ride to do so.
The next bird was one I had trouble identifying because they are not found in the United States. I did see some similar species in Ireland, but even the Internet didn’t help. I think it is some sort of Tit.
The next bird is unidentifiable and nothing I’ve ever seen nor heard of. Based on its habitat I’m leaning towards albino cowbird. (and although not a bird, what IS that animal behind it?)
Again, another bird far from its natural setting. This one was quite shy and wouldn’t smile for the camera.
The next two birds look similar to the bird near the barn, above, but have double neck rings. They may be related, but probably are not the same species. I’m thinking they are a vagrant species blown in by the winter storm from Africa — given their symbiotic relationship with the fox. I’ve seen enough nature shows to know that Africa has a lot of birds that sit on backs of bigger animals. I wonder whose heart the birds are fighting over.
The next one is very familiar to me, although I don’t see it nearly often enough. It’s without a doubt my favorite bird. This one is lacking a little color, but it has enough identifying field marks for me to know what it is.
The next bird has no identifying marks at all. It may be the same species as the one by the barn, but its bill looks a lot different. In fact this one’s bill looks more like a warbler or titmouse, but its body shape is more like a junco. I have no clue though, as to its identity.
This next one is easy.
I was shocked to find this fellow — especially after already seeing one earlier in the day. This one was dressed even more strangely than the first.
This next one is also hard to identify. It has the crest of a Jay or Cardinal, but is pale yellow. I’m just going to guess though.
The next one was also something I’d never seen before. It looks a little like a starling.
Couldn’t find the next one on the Internet either.
This next one looks somewhat like a wren so I’ll take a guess.
You cannot see the crest on this one in the photo, but it’s there.
I don’t know what this is, but I suspect it is a variety normally found in Europe. Maybe Gwen can help out. In the meantime I’ll name it myself.
The last bird I spotted today is one of the hardest to identify. It has no identifying marks and only the color and shape provide any clue to what it is.
Although I’d love to take credit for the idea behind this post, I’m going to come clean and admit that Birdchick did it last year.