Thursday, December 24, 2015

December 24 - Quick Rarity Chase

As I had this day off from work I had a little time to look for some recent rarities.  First up was a Northern Shrike in the South Branch WMA.  It took me a few minutes to find the exact road and the abandoned house with the two silos.
However once there, and having walked about 100 paces, I was able to spy the Shrike in the distance atop a Cedar tree.  As I continued to walk in hopes of a better view, the bird flew in a bit closer, and then closer still.
It felt like the bird was curious about my presence, and it finally landed atop a small deciduous tree only about 20-25 yards away, which afforded my some very nice views.  Unfortunately the bird turned it's face as my photo was taken, however the image still allows me to share with you the intent of this blog, which is to share what my eyes see...

click to enlarge

Afterward I made a stop nearer to home to try for the Painted Bunting which had been found by David Blinder about one week earlier.   At the stakeout, I ran into friend Mike S. and we spent some time chatting as we waited for the bunting to appear.
After almost 90 minutes it was time to leave for both of us, and as luck would have it the bird finally appeared, however it was the briefest of views as the bird barely came out of the phragmites and only provided partial views of its unmistakable colors.